CA Can't Go Back...
California students, schools and colleges can’t afford to go back to the days of massive teacher and staff layoffs, larger class sizes, and cuts to programs like art and music, and the state should protect essential services. Proposition 55 does not raise taxes on anyone; it simply maintains the current income tax rates on the wealthiest Californians. Prop. 55 prevents $4 billion in funding cuts to public education and protects other vital services, like children’s health care. Money goes to local schools and the Legislature can’t touch it. Prop. 55 contains strict accountability requirements to ensure funds designated for education go to classrooms, not to bureaucracy or administrative costs.
So What Does Proposition 55 Do…
Proposition 55 Protects our Students and Public Schools from Returning to the Days of Massive Budget Cuts, Educator Layoffs, Larger Classes and Tuition Hikes
California public school funding was cut to the bone during the recession, forcing more than 30,000 teacher layoffs, huge class sizes, and the elimination of programs like music and art that make our kids well-rounded. Public schools and colleges are just starting to come back from these cuts, and unless we pass Prop. 55 to maintain the current income tax rates on the wealthiest Californians, our schools will lose $4 billion a year.
Furthermore, California is facing a severe teacher shortage. There is a need to hire more than 22,000 teachers next year alone, and there is still a need to hire education support professionals like library aides, bus drivers and custodians.
Funding from Prop. 55 will give local school districts the money they need to hire quality teachers and school employees, and to reduce class sizes.
Furthermore, Prop. 55 will help keep tuition rates stable and make more classes available to California’s
2.1 million community college students.
Proposition 55 Does Not Raise Taxes on Anyone, the Wealthiest Will Temporarily Continue Paying the Same Amount they are Now to Protect Schools and Vital Services from Deep Cuts
Prop. 55 only affects the wealthiest Californians who can most afford it, ensuring they continue to pay their share of taxes so that funding for education and other vital services is not cut – this is not a tax increase.
Budget forecasts show that unless we maintain the taxes on the wealthy, our public schools will lose nearly $4 billion and our state budget will face a deficit of more than $4 billion in the first full year alone.
Proposition 55 Will Improve Access to Health Care Programs for Low-Income Children
California chronically underfunds health care, and Prop. 55 provides up to $2 billion per year to give low- income families with kids increased access to care. This measure helps low-income families with children access the care they need, especially preventative care, which keeps kids healthier and saves California money in the long run. Proposition 55 will help low-income children come to school healthy and ready to learn – because everyone deserves access to quality healthcare, not just the wealthiest Californians.
Proposition 55 Provides Strict Accountability So Californians Know How the Money is Spent
Strict accountability and transparency requirements ensure funds designated for education go to classrooms, not to bureaucracy or administrative costs.
- Prop. 55 puts new revenue into a specific fund, the Education Protection Account, to make sure the money goes to local schools. The Legislature can’t touch it.
- Prop. 55 gives control to local school boards to determine student needs.
- Local school districts must separately identify how the funds are spent in their annual budgets and must post spending online to guarantee that Californians know exactly how and where funds are spent. Local districts are also subject to independent local audits.
- The measure authorizes criminal prosecution for any misuse of money.
More About Proposition 55…
Proposition 55, the California Children’s Education and Health Care Protection Act, temporarily extends current income tax rates on the wealthiest Californians for 12 more years – singles earning more than $250,000 and couples earning more than $500,000 a year.
- This measure does not raise taxes on anyone.
- Working, middle class families and businesses will benefit as the quarter-cent sales tax increase that was part of Proposition 30 expires as planned at the end of the year.
- The initiative will generate an estimated $8 billion per year on average.
- The initiative allocates these tax revenues to education and health care.
- The initiative includes tough accountability and transparency requirements.
The broad and diverse coalition supporting the measure includes Association of California School Administrators, California Black Chamber of Commerce, California Children’s Hospital Association, California Federation of Teachers, California Hospital Association, California Medical Association, California School Boards Association, California School Employees Association, California State PTA, California Teachers Association, Children’s Defense Fund – California, Service Employees International Union California State Council and SEIU 1000.