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The Projected Impact of Proposition 30, the Schools and Local Public Safety Protection Act of 2012

NUSD's Chief Financial Officer provides an overview of Proposition 30 and the impact to the district in the event it does not pass. Information on Proposition 38 will be presented next week.

Proposition 30, which is on the ballot for the Nov. 6 election, would temporarily increase income taxes on high-wage earners and the state sales tax. Income taxes would increase 3 percent on households earning more than $1 million, increase 2 percent on households earning $600,000-$1 million and increase 1 percent on households earning $500,000-$600,000.

The state sales tax would increase a quarter of a cent. The sales tax hike expires in four years, income taxes expire in seven years.

Estimates of the revenue increases vary from $6.8 billion to $9 billion for 2012-13 and lesser amounts thereafter through 2018-19. These revenues would be available to

  • (1) pay for the state's school and community college funding requirements, as increased by this measure, and
  • (2) address the state's budgetary problem by paying for other spending commitments.

The measure bars use of funds for administrative costs.  It provides local school district governing boards discretion to decide, in open meetings and subject to annual audit, how funds are to be spent.

  • Proposition 30 is intended to reduce the state budget deficit and to protect schools and students from deeper budget cuts.
  • If Proposition 30 is not adopted in November, public K-14 education faces more than $5 billion in additional cuts in January 2013, resulting in more cuts in public education programs. California schools already have the largest average class sizes in the nation. In many districts, art, music, vocational education, athletics, and after-school programs have been substantially reduced or eliminated.
  • For the 2012-13 school year, the Novato Unified School District reduced teaching positions by 2.8 positions; an office manager, delivery driver, custodian, library clerk and instructional aides, the supervisor of maintenance and operations, supervisor of information technology and  the director of accountability.  In addition, there was $700,000 in site reductions such as supplies, travel and conference, and professional development, and $300,000 in district wide costs. These reductions are in addition to the $10.5 million in reductions over the last 4 years.
  • Proposition 30 guarantees that new revenue for education will be spent on schools at the local level. It also provides for transparency of expenditures through a public audit.
  • In the past four years, public education funding has been cut by more than $20 billion.  Like NUSD, most other school districts have had to deal with these cuts in ways that have resulted in larger class sizes, teacher and non-classroom staff layoffs, and reduction or elimination of educational programs.
  • On Sept. 18, the NUSD Board of Trustees adopted a resolution stating the Board’s support for Propositions 30 and 38.

It is time to reevaluate how California funds schools and essential public services and to provide adequate per-pupil funding to ensure all California students have the opportunity for quality education.

Specific Impacts on Novato public schools:

  • Over the last five years NUSD has made budget cuts of over $12.5 million which resulted in:
    • Reductions in teaching staff
    • Reductions in classified staff – custodian, office manager, instructional aides, delivery driver, receptionist, library clerk, crafts worker
    • Reductions in administrative positions - Supervisor of Maintenance and Operations, Supervisor of Information Technology, Director of Accountability, Executive Director of Instruction, Dean of Students
    • Reduction of school site supplies
    • Reduction of home to school transportation
    • Restructuring of Special Education transportation
    • Closure of a middle school
  • Five years of a state level fiscal crisis have caused the State to withhold more than 22 percent of the funding owed to school districts.
  • In anticipation of Proposition 30 passing, the State did not make additional cuts to public school revenue for the 2012/13 school year.
  • If Proposition 30 fails in November, the state will cut NUSD’s revenue by over $3.3 million in January 2013. The state will allow school districts to negotiate a reduction in the school year by up to 20 days, down to 160 school days, in 2012-13 or 2013-14. This will be down from 180 days that had been the minimum until five years ago when the State allowed districts to cut five days to help manage significant cuts to their funding.
  • If Proposition 30 fails, an on-going reduction of $3.3 million could result in :
    • Higher class sizes
    • Less than 180 days of instruction
    • Furlough days for all employees
    • Reduction in classroom cleaning
    • Reduction in classroom technology
    • Reduction in staff development
    • Reduction of support personnel
    • Elimination of programs
    • Closure of a school

Information on Proposition 38 will be sent out next week. Visit NUSD Budget Information for more information on Propositions 30 and 38.

— Karen Maloney, NUSD Chief Financial Officer

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Mark Schoenbaum October 09, 2012 at 08:56 PM
Threatening children and the elderly will not get the tax passed. The state needs to deal with its spending problem first, starting with real pension reform.
Craig Belfor October 10, 2012 at 03:38 AM
Sounds like a good idea, but why bother when our city council will just use it to blow more money another boondoggle like the new digs, which will cost the same as 10 teachers a year for 30 years.(and that's not counting furnishings)
Just My Opinion October 10, 2012 at 02:12 PM
Pensions are not the root of all evil. While I agree that some top earners have inflated pensions that they negotiated and paid into, most of us have very modest ones. If I retire at 65 I will not even get enough to pay for my house payment (which is modest). I cringe when mention is made of taking even that away.
Dave Robertson October 10, 2012 at 07:41 PM
Proposition 30 is obscene. These increases put California in the ball park of NYC as far as state and local taxes go. Businesses and individuals are leaving the state already as the result of our bloated budgets and fiscal cash crises and the enormous tax burden we are all required to pay. The only exception to this is Silicon Valley, though more business would likely stay there if our state weren't in such a mess. Mark Schoenbaum above hit the nail on the head. California governments are compulsive spenders and cannot control what they do. Why do public sector employees get a pension at all when the bulk of the private sector gets noting but Social Security? This double standard is simply wrong! Why do states like Maryland and Virginia have top state tax rates in the 6-7% range, but California cannot survive on 9.3%? So the answer is to follow Obama (and the Europeans) with "stick it to the wealthy" fixes? Who will they tax when this money runs out? Why can't California face the reality that our government is bloated across the boards and will not even try to make ends meet? Our current fiscal crises - at the national, state, and personal levels - will not improve by raising taxes, let alone on a single demographic group. The entire western world is overspent trying to turn it's society into the ultimate safety-net utopia. The 21st century phenomenon of bloated governments and increased taxes to be squandered is getting really tiring!
Patty Maher October 11, 2012 at 07:00 PM
It is my understanding that school districts are prohibited by law from "engaging in any political advocacy using public resources." This information provided by the CFO was sent out via the district's email distribution list. Ms. Maloney quite likely penned this on "company" time. With statements such as "It is time to reevaluate how California funds schools and essential public services and to provide adequate per-pupil funding to ensure all California students have the opportunity for quality education" and the concluding laundry list of what will happen if Prop 30 fails, it appears a line has been crossed from informational to advocacy. Or am I misreading it?
TAK October 15, 2012 at 05:08 PM
Patty - usually I agree with you 100%. Not on this one. I believe that the majority of the community has no idea of the specific impacts of this proposition not passing on our local schools. Larger class sizes, two weeks less instruction per year, closure of a school. This is NOT GOOD. I am glad that Ms. Maloney has spoken out about the effects. It would be irresponsible for NUSD not to have figured out what their contingency plan is if this fails. Why not make that public now? I want parents and the community to know this NOW while they have time to vote, rather than show up at NUSD meetings in April mad at the District and demanding something different. If you read the opinion carefully, Ms. Maloney does NOT advocate a vote in favor of these taxes. But it is time for the Sate to reprioritize spending for education. I think whether or not you support prop 30 you can agree with this statement. No one wants more taxes. The reality of the state and district budget stinks. But, I for one am willing to support this proposition whole heartedly. I don't think we can afford not to.

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