Letters to the Editor: Prop. 13 was flawed, and not because of the school bond measure’s number

Gavin Newsom
California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during a news conference on Feb. 28 to rally support for the school bond measure Proposition 13.
(Sandy Huffaker / San Diego Union-Tribune)

To the editor: For the first time ever, I voted against a school bond, Proposition 13. I was not confused by the number 13, and I did understand the measure and did not like it. It smelled like bait-and-switch to me. There were two major flaws.

First, the way the measure was structured created a massive shift of power from local school districts to the state. This proposition allowed the state enormous discretion in apportioning the bonds proceeds. I put on my reading glasses and tried but failed to find in the fine print a set of fair, objective, measurable standards for determining who gets what.

Second, Proposition 13 included language that removed impact fees paid to school districts for certain housing developments. I could not find any requirement that the sale or rental price of such housing be affordable to low- or moderate-income persons. So the benefit of the bond measure went, at least in part, to developers of market-rate housing rather than to needy public schools.

Put a better bond measure on the next ballot, and I’ll vote for it.


Eleanor Egan, Costa Mesa


To the editor: The editorial was a slap in the face of voters like me who opposed Proposition 13 not because we didn’t understand it, and not because we don’t care about schools, but precisely because we do care.

I voted against this proposition in order to send a message to the California government that our schools are important enough to be fully funded by the regular legislative processes, not by initiatives and propositions, which ultimately cost way more than normal funding because of interest.

Let’s put schools back on top of our priority list for funding, especially in view of the current budgetary surplus in California.

Richard Rains, Sylmar