Local teachers show support for Proposition 55

A proposition on the Nov. 8 ballot could give California schools access to an estimated $11 billion annually, and many teachers on Thursday stood outside Burbank schools before classes began to let others know of their support for it.

The event was not the first show of support among local teachers for Proposition 55.

If voters approve the measure, it would extend Proposition 30's temporary income tax increase on California's wealthiest earners for a dozen more years. Proposition 30 is currently slated to end in 2018.

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The revenue, which would be available to K-12 schools and community colleges, would come from couples who earn $500,000 annually or from individual taxpayers who earn $250,000 per year.

In August, the Burbank Unified School Board passed a resolution backing the proposition.

The local teachers' participation was part of a statewide effort encouraged by the California Teachers Assn.

For Emerson Elementary teacher Samantha Robman, the passage of Proposition 55 could prevent some of what schools experienced during the recession years, prior to the passing of Proposition 30 in 2012.

"We were suffering through the recession — we had pay cuts, and sometimes we didn't even have paper for students to write on. We can't go back to those dark times" Robman said.

Meanwhile, teachers also stood in front of Burbank High.

Diana Abasta, president of the Burbank Teachers Union, said the proposition's passage will directly affect local schools.

"If the community wants to continue seeing our district staff our schools with highly qualified teachers, offer strong and relevant curriculum and keep our programs rich in music, arts and activities, there must be a concerted effort to make sure the word gets out to vote yes for Proposition 55," Abasta said.

"This is not one of those things that we can afford to leave to chance," she added.

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Kelly Corrigan, kelly.corrigan@latimes.com

Twitter: @kellymcorrigan

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