Imperial Valley Educators, Parents and Other Supporters Rally to Urge Yes Vote on Prop 55

Passing Ballot Measure Necessary to Prevent up to $4 Billion in Funding Cuts to Education

As Election Day draws closer, local school employees, teachers, parents, students and other education advocates held a press conference today at Bucklin Park, highlighting the local support for Proposition 55, which will prevent nearly $4 billion in funding cuts to education. Proposition 55 maintains the current income tax rates on the wealthiest Californians in order to protect public education and other vital services, like children’s health care, from cuts.

Absentee ballots have been mailed out, and the speakers at the press conference encouraged those who vote by mail to return their ballot as soon as possible. The speakers added that whether you vote by mail, or vote at the polls on Election Day, what matters is that you find Prop 55 on the ballot and vote yes.

“What can we do to help our kids and public schools? The answer is simple – vote yes on Prop.55 to help our kids thrive,” said Bea Mora, a bus driver at Central Union High School. 

“Now is not the time to cut funding for education, which would force our schools back to the days of teacher layoffs, larger class sizes and cuts to programs. We can prevent cuts simply by maintaining the current tax rates on the wealthiest Californians with a yes vote on Prop 55,” said James Taylor, President, Associated Calexico Teachers.

Joining Mora and Taylor were Todd Evangelist, Director of Foundation for Education, Imperial County Office of Education; Andre Harris, Education Center Coordinator, Southwestern Community College; Juanita Salas, Board Member, Imperial Valley Community College; Michael Breyette, Senior Labor Relations Representative, CSEA; Tony Sandoval, Parent and School Board Member, Heber Elementary School District; and Robert V. Rodriguez, CTA/NEA Coordinating Director.      

In addition to these local supporters and organizations, the coalition of more than 300 organizations and elected officials supporting Prop 55 includes the California Teachers Association, California Federation of Teachers, California School Employees Association, California State PTA, California Medical Association, California Labor Federation, Health Access California, League of Women Voters, Children’s Defense Fund, and Children’s Hospital Association, as well as numerous elected officials and dozens of schools boards across the state.

 

Proposition 55, the California Children’s Education and Health Care Protection Act of 2016, is not a tax increase, it simply maintains the 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. Prop 55 directs funds specifically to K-12 public education and community colleges, while also allocating funds to health care for low-income children and their families. The proposition contains strict accountability requirements.

Budget forecasts show that unless we extend the current taxes on the wealthy, which would continue to bring in an average of $8 billion in annual revenues, 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.