Commentary: Why Newport-Mesa should support Prop. 30

In recent years, California's education budget has taken more than $20 billion in cuts. Anyone who claims wasteful spending is the only problem isn't seeing the entire picture.

We have a revenue problem too. According to Education Weekly, California ranks 47 out of 50 states in per-pupil expenditures.

The Los Angeles Times recently reported that more than 470,000 students can't get the classes they need at the community college level because of budget and class-section cuts.

Furlough days, pay cuts and freezes, increased class sizes, increased employee contributions to benefits and retirement, reductions in programs, et cetera are all common for education workers throughout the state.

A yes vote on Proposition 30 means California's students will not suffer from the $6 billion in additional cuts that are set to take place midyear if it fails.

If Proposition 30 fails, the Newport-Mesa Unified School District would suffer $16 million in cuts. Newport-Mesa's community should vote yes on Proposition 30 because it is a responsible revenue measure that will generate $6 billion to $9 billion for California during its first year.

It is the right moral choice that says we as a community value investing in our children and our future.

Proposition 30 is responsible because the new revenues generated are guaranteed to go to education through the Proposition 98 constitutional guarantee whereby 40% of California's general fund must go to K-14 public education.

Proposition 30 generates revenue by slightly increasing income taxes on those who can most afford it. Households making more than $500,000 a year will pay 1% more (at 11.3%) while households making more than $1 million and higher will pay 12.3% in state income tax. Naysayers claim that people will leave the state.

There's just no statistically significant, cause-and-effect, empirical evidence to back up this claim. I seriously doubt that millionaires like Kim Kardashian are going to move to Texas because, after Proposition 30 passes, she would have to pay a 12.3% state income tax rate.

Ninety percent of the revenue generated from Proposition 30 comes from slightly increasing income tax on the wealthiest Californians.

All Californians will pay a modest quarter-cent sales tax increase for the next four years. After Proposition 30 passes, a $4 fish taco would cost $4.01.

Let's come together as a community and lead they way in voting yes on Proposition 30, the "Schools and Public Safety Protection Act." Our children and schools deserve it.

JOEL FLORES is the political director for the Newport-Mesa Federation of Teachers.

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