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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Best Hope For Emeryville Schools: Proposition 30

Yes On Proposition 30

Everybody knows California public schools, once vaunted and esteemed as the best in the nation have been severely degraded by decades of indifference by Sacramento and the anti-tax, anti-government culture of an ascendant political right wing across the state.  This shameful legacy has brought us where we now find ourselves;  a broken education system, starved for resources and in need of emergency money to stop the drive over the cliff for our schools.  Later, a more sustained reinvestment in the schools needs to be taken up to fulfill our commitment to the progressive idea of public education.  This emergency cash infusion is where Proposition 30 comes in; it will fill in for school busting poison pill 'trigger cuts' recently implemented by politicians in Sacramento.

Emeryville schools are especially at risk now: the Emery School District is pursuing a feckless fiscal plan to fund the new proposed school rebuild project, the Center of Community Life, that once voters get hip to, will likely turn them off to giving the School District any more money.  However, the new school will need money from a new parcel tax for its day to day operational budget or else Emery will see more teacher lay-offs.
After Emery has spent hundreds of millions of dollars, including $107 million to close down the existing elementary school, Proposition 30 can help, in the likely event that Emeryville taxpayers' generosity has reached its limit for education in our town.

Proposition 30 gets some money from a 1/4 cent sales tax increase but the lion's share comes from a tax hike on those who make in excess of $250,000.
Voters should beware of Proposition 38, also an education funding measure on this November's ballot but it's funded by an across the board tax increase, including poor people making just $7400 per year.   Proposition 38 however limits the tax increase to 2.2% for those making more than $2.5 million per year.  Proponents are calling for a shared sacrifice for Proposition 38 but we say the working class and the middle class have already sacrificed enough in the new America (and California) we have built.
Funding for Proposition 30 on the other hand is premised on the progressive "ability to pay" notion, the idea, once commonplace but now foreign in today's Republican ascendant America,  that holds those with the greater ability to pay should pay the greater amount.

Even if Emeryville voters do pass a new parcel tax to help the schools operational budget next year, Proposition 30 will directly help fund these desperately needed expenses for Emery.  It's the best chance we have to stave off another round of teacher layoffs or worse.  Let's get the rest of the State to help us avert a operational budget disaster for Emery Unified School District...consider the let down that will come after we pay so much money for a new school only to be too broke to run it properly.
Please consider a yes vote for Proposition 30; it will help make sure we don't throw good money after bad in our quest to build an excellent school system here at Emery.

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