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