Proposition 1B Intends to Return Funding to California Schools

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Analysis: Proposition 1B's effect on California

Zach A. Williams talks with Melani Sutedja about
Proposition 1B and its effects on the education system.

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Proposition 1B will allocate funds for K-12 education and California community colleges in an attempt to offset recent budget cuts, if voters approve the measure in the May 19 Statewide Special Election.

Supporters of the measure argue that the state should restore $9.3 billion guaranteed by Proposition 98, which was passed by voters over 20 years ago.

However, opponents said the measure-which cannot pass unless Proposition 1A passes as well-will divert money from the state's general fund, which provides money to all other state agencies.

Fred Glass, spokesperson for the California Federation of Teachers, said the measure would return funding-about $2 billion to $3 billion a year- that has been taken from education and placed in the general fund.

"California already ranks 47th in per student funding among the states," he said. "Without restoring the money cut over the past two years that dismal ranking will worsen."

While the federation opposes Proposition 1A because it imposes a statewide spending cap, it supports Proposition 1B for symbolic purposes, Glass said.

However, William Schlitz, political/communications director for AFSCME Local 3299, a labor union for UC service workers, said the union opposes the measure because it takes funds from other services to compensate for education cuts.

"UC workers have children too, so while they appreciate (education), they (would) appreciate it if the rest of the system weren't left behind," he said. "It shouldn't be about who gets cut-we should have a system that ensures that everyone is cared for."

While the proposition invests in K-12 education and community colleges, the money will be taken from four-year universities, which are dependent upon the general fund, Schlitz said.

He added that because the money will not go toward state-funded universities, many parents and students could face increased tuition.

Tom Lacey, San Francisco county chair for the Peace and Freedom Party, said the proposition will only temporarily fund education with the $9.3 billion and that a long-term solution is needed.

Marsha Feinland, a member of the party and the California Teachers Association, said voters should fight for education even if Proposition 1A fails.

"If we defeat 1A and 1B and we don't work on doing something, we're in trouble," she said.


Contact Melani Sutedja at [email protected]

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