It’s a real shame that getting an education in California is so hard these days.
So who is to blame for this crisis? At this point it really doesn’t matter. We just desperately need money for our schools.
Over the past few years California’s Department of Education has taken detrimental cuts to funding, severely crippling academic advancement in our state.
California is currently staring at an enormous $15.7 billion deficit that Governor Jerry Brown is trying to alleviate with his new tax initiative, Proposition 30.
Numerous boards, committees, and organizations have focused their efforts to solving this growing deficit problem, but unfortunately their solutions seem superficial. Almost like applying a Band-Aid to a freely-flowing, open wound.
If voters approve Gov. Brown’s Prop. 30 during this November election, they could cauterize this gaping gash that is bleeding our colleges dry.
The Los Angeles Times reports that the majority of Californians initially supported the initiative, but support has slightly dwindled since then.
If taxpayers back the initiative that would raise sales tax by a quarter cent as well as raise income tax on earners of over $250,000 annually, for seven years.
Gov. Brown hopes that taxpayers will be able to generate $6 to $8 billion in revenue to complement the $8.3 billion the governor has already cut. This would finally get California out of the red, breaking even.
On the district level, the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD), is finding itself with less and less every year.
In the LACCD’s 2012-2013 Final Budget, it outlines contingency plans for “worst case” and “best case” scenarios. Currently the district’s budget stands at $3.47 billion, with $46.6 million having been cut last year alone. College presidents have had to make cuts on their campuses in anticipation.
Californian voters need to support this initiative because these taxes are mere pennies-on-the-dollar compared to the massive loss that will hit the LACCD and its students.
What we really need is educational reform, but for now Proposition 30 is California’s best shot at saving community colleges.
These cuts are putting students on the streets. Last year, in 2011, the LACCD reports having lost 5,800 students.
If this negative trend continues it will result in about 15,000 to 20,000 students being dropped from the LACCD within the next year, as stated in their budget.
Some arguments against Prop 30 claim that this money would not go toward schools, but if this initiative does not pass, there won’t be much left of these schools.
The passing of Prop 30 is essential to the survival of education in California and this crisis warrants a call to arms. Ignorance is the enemy and ballots are the bullets.
Student body governments need to support this initiative by rallying student voters and spreading the word.
Defend public education in California and vote ‘yes’ on Prop 30.