News: Passage of Prop 30 Brings Certainty to District Budget

Photo Credit: Los Angeles Times

California Governor Jerry Brown campaigns for his tax measure, Proposition 30

On Tuesday, Nov. 6th, California voters approved Proposition 30 with 54.7% percent of the vote. Prop 30 allocates increased revenues for California schools, such as the Sequoia Union High School District, as a result of higher temporary taxes. Without the passage of Prop 30, “trigger cuts” would have gone into effect, cutting education funding.

“When we adopted our budget in June, we contemplated that the election in November would be successful,” said Assistant Superintendent Enrique Navas. “In the event that the initiative didn’t pass we were going to lose about $418 per ADA.” This loss of $418 per student would amount to about “$3 million in ongoing funding,” out of a budget of $107 million.

Had Prop 30 failed, “we had promised to the School Board we would use the reserves for the current year, to withstand immediate cuts for the remainder of 2012-13,” said Navas. At that point the Superintendent’s staff would have “put together a plan to address the ongoing cuts.” These cuts would have been “devastating,” because the district has “been cutting for a number of years and … you get to a point when you have to affect to classroom or the instructional program.”

As part of this year’s negotiations for the contract with the Sequoia District Teacher’s Association, “there was a contingency agreement that if Proposition 30 passed, [the district teachers] would receive a 1.5% raise,” said SDTA Vice President Tania Kranzler.

“We’re very happy Prop 30 passed,” Kranzler said, “because it gives relief to our school district as well as the school districts that feed into ours.”

Navas agrees. “Thanks to the voters, we are now in a position to keep the budget as it is. We are very pleased the initiative passed.”