Proposition 98: School Funding

Your editorial "School Funds: No on 98" (Oct. 26) identifies many good reasons to vote for Proposition 98. When you argue that California schools have been beggared and neglected--ranking "48th in terms of per student expenditures and 50th in terms of class size"--you are right on the money.

When you point out that the Gann limits have condemned "the state to inferior education, roads, and public service," and conclude that the "state simply cannot meet the standards of excellence in public services, including education, that are essential to national economic leadership under the constraints of the Gann initiative," you are precisely on target.

As a result, I was mystified by your conclusion, which seems to run counter to your argument.

Last June hundreds of educational, community, and business organizations--as well as your newspaper--supported an attempt to modify the Gann limits for all public programs via Proposition 71. That measure was narrowly defeated.

Proposition 98 is a thoughtful response. It asks voters to specify a minimum funding level for education and allocate a portion of revenues in excess of the Gann limits for instructional improvement.

It is clear that voters recognize that education has been a casualty in the current budget process. Lawmakers have had ample opportunity to correct the problem and have failed to do so. As a result, education's share of the total budget is declining. Proposition 98 simply corrects the imbalance and provides funding for education in line with the amounts allocated to schools in other industrial states.

For these reasons, the San Diego County Board of Education has unanimously endorsed Proposition 98, as have many school boards throughout California.


President, Board of Education

San Diego County

Office of Education

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