California Educator

August 2016

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State Ballot Propositions to Support T H E N O V E M B E R 8 ballot will contain several propositions that affect the education and well-being of California students, educators and communities. CTA supports the following initiatives: P R O P. 5 5 : Children's Education and Health Care Protection Act P R O P O S I T I O N 5 5 , the Children's Education and Health Care Protection Act, will prevent billions of dollars in funding cuts for public education and other vital services, such as children's health care. Budget forecasts show that if the measure fails, California public schools will face $4 billion in cuts and the state budget will face a deficit of more than $4 billion in the first full year alone. "Without passage of Prop. 55, we know public education, we risk going back to the days of massive educator layoffs, larger class sizes, and more cuts to programs like art and music," says CTA President Eric Heins. Prop. 55 does not raise taxes on anyone; it maintains current tax rates on the wealthiest Californians — approved four years ago as part of Prop. 30. During the 2008-09 recession, Califor- nia public school funding was cut to the bone, with more than 30,000 teacher layoffs, critical student programs eliminated, school libraries closed, and larger classes. While public schools and colleges are just starting to come back from these cuts, the state still ranks 46th in the nation in per-pupil spending. California is facing a severe teacher shortage and needs to hire more than 22,000 teachers next year alone. Funding from Prop. 55 will help local school districts hire quality educators, restore art and music classes and reduce class sizes. Facts to know: • Prop. 55 extends by 12 years current tax rates on the wealth- iest 2 percent of Californians — singles earning more than $250,000 and couples earning more than $500,000 a year. • Prop. 55 does not raise taxes on anyone. • Working, middle-class families and businesses will benefit as the quarter-cent sales tax increase that was part of Prop. 30 expires as planned at the end of this year. • The initiative will generate an estimated $8 billion per year. • Revenues are put into the Education Protection Account, a dedicated fund where monies go directly to K-12 public schools and community colleges. • Revenues will also be used to improve access to health care for low-income children and their families. • Prop. 55 includes strict audit, disclosure requirements. The coalition supporting Prop. 55 includes the Association of California School Administrators, California Federation of Teachers, California Hospital Association, California Medical Association, California School Employees Association, California Teachers Association, SEIU 1000, Service Employees Interna- tional Union California, and many others. Take action: Urge colleagues, parents and the community to support Prop. 55. For more, go to CAMPAIGN Prop. 55 The Children's Education and Health Care Protection Act (see story below). Prop. 58 The LEARN (Language Education, Acquisition and Readiness Now) initiative expands opportunities for English speakers to learn a second language and for non-native speakers to learn English as quickly as possible; helps students compete in a global economy; restores local control to schools and gives parents a bigger voice. Prop. 52 The Medi-Cal Funding and Accountability Act maintains a partnership between state and local hospitals, in which California has received more than $18 billion in federal funding to improve health care for children, seniors and working families. This will end in 2017 unless Prop. 52 is passed. For details on these and other issues, see 34 advocacy

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