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Year in review: Prop. 30 brings temporary relief, not long-term solution

Posted: December 29, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: December 29, 2012 2:00 a.m.

After years of continued budget cuts, local school districts seem set to get some financial relief after voters approved Proposition 30 in November.

But local superintendents said Proposition 30 is by no means a cure-all for the financial woes plaguing schools statewide.

California Gov. Jerry Brown proposed Proposition 30, a series of tax hikes, as a way to raise much-need funds to fill the state’s coffers. One of the arguments for Proposition 30 was that it would provide additional funding to education.

Proposition 30 raised the state’s income tax for those who make $250,000 or more per year and raised the statewide sales tax.

Supporters of the measure said the increased tax rates would generate several billion dollars in additional revenue for the state.

Proposition 30 was one of several tax-hike measures on the November ballot, and it was no sure thing that voters would approve it.

As a result, some local school districts, like the Saugus Union School District, chose to craft their budgets assuming Proposition 30 would not pass — taking a financial hit this year to avoid midyear monetary malaise.

Saugus district Superintendent Joan Lucid said doing so meant the district had to lay off teachers and staff and increase class sizes.

Others, like the William S. Hart Union High School District and Sulphur Springs School District, passed budgets assuming the passage of the measure in order to avoid preliminary cuts.

Hart district Chief Financial Officer Susan Hoerber said the district faced roughly $11.1 million in cuts had Proposition 30 not been approved.

Sulphur Springs district Superintendent Robert Nolet said the district would have received a funding cut of $457 per student had Proposition 30 failed.

But all local district superintendents stressed Proposition 30 is more about stabilizing existing budgets rather than backfilling any previous cuts to education funding.

Newhall School District Superintendent Marc Winger said Proposition 30 just “stems the tide of red ink in the short term” for local schools.



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