Proposition 1B: School Funding

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, April 30, 2009

The way Prop 1B supporters see it is…you’ve got two choices – either give more money to schools or you’ll end up building more San Quentins. 

“If we don’t adequately educate our children, we’re going to end up increasingly sending kids to prison.” 

That’s Debbie Look with the California PTA. She’s standing next to the playground at William Land Elementary School in downtown Sacramento. Look says Prop 1B would restore education funding to schools like this one across the state – funding that’s been cut in recent years.  

“…could help them to keep their library open. They’ve lost counseling if they even had it to begin with. Music programs, art programs, all of those things that we really need as a basic education for every child.” 

Supporters say there’s another reason you should vote for Prop 1B – the economy. They say it’s crucial to the state’s future workforce. So where would California get the $9 billion dollars to fund schools? From Prop 1A. That’s one of the other measures on the ballot that would extend tax increases to create a rainy-day fund…and restore education funding. That means if Prop 1A fails…so does Prop 1B. 

“Knowing that Proposition 1B is linked to 1A which is so critically flawed, for us it was important to take a position of just say no.” 

Bonnie Castillo is with the California Nurses Association. The group opposes all of the propositions because Castillo says they would give the governor and legislature too much power to cut vital programs. 

“It’s composed of a series of takeaways for us as registered nurses that we are very concerned about it. We think public health services, infrastructure is really critical for us especially on the eve of a possible swine flu epidemic.” 

Opponents also say that an initiative passed by voters 20-years ago…Prop 98…already guarantees that schools get the money they need…even though those funds were cut because of the state budget crisis. And they argue Prop 1B would make education untouchable for lawmakers grappling with budget deficits.

Prop 1B supporters say if voters reject their attempt to restore $9 billion in education funding, they’ll sue the state to get it back.