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ACSA to Support Governor's Revenue Initiative

May 31, 2012

David Gomez, president of the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) has announced that the association will support Gov. Jerry Brown’s November ballot initiative to raise state revenue.

“Our schools and students cannot afford more cuts,” Gomez said. “We strongly believe that school communities must rally behind a revenue solution that helps prevent additional cuts and budget uncertainties.”

Officially titled the Schools and Local Public Safety Protection Act of 2012, the governor’s initiative proposes to temporarily increase the state sales tax as well as income taxes on high-wage earners.

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. The income tax increases expire in seven years. Estimates of the revenue increases vary – from $6.8 billion to $9 billion for 2012-13 and from $5.4 billion to $7.6 billion, on average, in the following five fiscal years, with lesser amounts in 2018-19.

These revenues would be available to pay for the state’s school and community college funding requirements, as increased by the measure, and to address the state’s budgetary problem by paying for other spending commitments.

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

“We believe the governor’s measure is a balanced approach that will reduce the budget deficit and protect schools and students from deeper cuts,” Gomez said.
ACSA’s position is that, with more than $20 billion in cuts to schools in recent years, the risks to California students have never been greater.

Gomez explained that if the initiative fails in November, public education is facing more than $5 billion in additional cuts in the next year. California schools already have the largest class sizes in the nation. Art, music, vocational education and after-school programs have been eliminated. Home-to-school transportation services and critical academic programs are decimated.

“We are committed to the hard work of ensuring that this measure is successful,” Gomez said. “ACSA joins a broad coalition of support for this measure, including the governor, legislative leaders, businesses, education groups, labor unions and community organizations.”

Talking Points on governor’s initiative

• This initiative is a balanced solution that will reduce the budget deficit and protect schools and students from deeper cuts. After several years of massive cuts, this initiative helps balance California’s state budget without raising income taxes on those hit hardest by the recession.

• School funding has been cut by more than $20 billion in recent years, and the risks to our students have never been greater. We strongly believe that school communities must rally behind a revenue solution that helps prevent more cuts and uncertainties.

• If the initiative fails in November, public education faces more than $5 billion in additional cuts next year. California schools already have the largest class sizes in the nation.  Art, music, vocational education and after-school programs have been eliminated. School libraries are closed. Home-to-school transportation services and critical academic programs are decimated.

• This initiative guarantees that new revenue for education will be spent on schools at the local level. It also requires transparency through a public audit when funds are allocated, so Californians can ensure our schools are getting the money they deserve.

• We are committed to the hard work of ensuring that this measure is successful. ACSA joins a broad coalition of support for this measure, including the governor, legislative leaders, businesses, education groups, labor unions and community organizations.

• All the revenue increases in this initiative are strictly temporary, designed to restore education funding and bring California’s budget back into balance during these difficult times. It helps pay down the state’s wall of debt and restore budget cuts to schools.

• Since school funding in California is so closely tied to the health of the state budget, we strongly believe the governor’s measure is the right choice for our schools and students.

Source:  Association of California School Administrators