An analysis of the public school system reveals one challenge facing community colleges and universities: Rising costs are putting pressure on enrollment or forced schools to limit the number of courses they can offer. Every year the result has been a dramatic drop in the number of students the system can afford to teach. Most colleges have also reduced the size of their staff, and provided fewer student services. Without staff, these young people fail to understand why they are unable to get an education or even graduate from a college or university. The best way to help students avoid budget cuts is Proposition 30, which will not only prevent a possible $6 billion in cuts to public schools and colleges, but it will also provide billions of dollars in public funding that schools at all levels desperately need. Taking this into account, this essay considers the pros and cons of proposition 30, particularly in the form of increasing the personal income tax of higher earning Californians by 1 to 3 percent for seven years.
The students who go to a college or university right after high school would benefit immensely from proposition 30. These community college students may find it easier to get classes now that voters have approved a tax measure to help fund public education. Proposition 30 is aimed at sparing college students another round of tuition increases that will prevent them from getting classes. California’s community college system will restore thousands of classes, which means putting an ease on a huge backlog of students unable to complete their degrees.
Proposition 30 will make a difference this year by providing community colleges with $210 million in additional funds in 2012-2013 by adding approximately 3,300 classes to the spring 2013 semester. The passage of Proposition 30 means more classes for community college students. “The passage of Proposition 30 not only saved us from cuts totaling $8.6 million, but provided $1 million in new money for Mt. SAC to add 130 course sections for the spring semester,” said Mt. SAC President Bill Scroggins in a news release (Johnson, 2013). This will help students achieve their goals of continuing their education.
Students who choose to go to a university would also benefit from proposition 30 because it would prevent them from having classes cut and being put on a waiting list to get into a class. These students will go from having no or minimal classes to about 200 more classes this spring. Without proposition 30, many of these young people face larger class sizes, tuition hikes, more teacher lay-offs, and will lose over half a billion in funding. Many young people did not understand the consequences if prop 30 did not pass and that the money from prop 30 will go directly to schools and public safety services. Prop 30 prevents deep school cuts, puts more cops on the streets, and helps balance the budget by raising income taxes for the wealthiest Californians. Proposition 30 was placed on the ballot by Governor Jerry Brown and supporters of the proposition include the California Teachers Association.
Another group to consider is young people who wish to graduate and continue on to graduate school. Proposition 30 is a critical step in addressing the continual budget crisis that continues to affect many undergraduate and graduate students wishing to continue their education. Many recent undergraduate students end up without any classes to help keep them in the public school system in order to be able to register for the next quarter or semester.
For these people proposition 30 is especially important because it will help them be able to continue their education and to graduate with their Master’s degree in whatever major they decide to pursue. If the budget had not passed the cuts would target public schools, community colleges, and universities. The University of California would have seen tuition increase by 20%. Many students cannot afford fee increases year after year. This is causing student loan debt to rise continuously, which is not fair to young people at the start of our adult lives.
One argument against proposition 30 is that it does not guarantee one penny of new funding for public schools. Another argument is that California is already a very high tax state and we have the 2nd highest income tax rate, as well as the highest state sales tax rate. If Proposition 30 is approved, California will be by far #1 in income tax rates.
There are some people who generally support tax increases in California. The Wall Street Journal stated, “That California Governor Jerry Brown is trying to sell his tax hike to voters this November by saying it will go to schools. The dirty little secret is that the new revenues are needed to backfill the insolvent teacher’s pension fund.” (FOX, 2012). The people who are opposing Proposition 30 do not fully understand what the measure entails and what benefits it will bring to our California public schools.
In conclusion the best way to help students avoid budget cuts is Proposition 30, which will not only prevent a possible $6 billion in cuts to public schools and colleges, but it will also provide billions of dollars in public funding that schools at all levels desperately need. The students who go to a college or university right after high school would benefit immensely from proposition 30. Students who choose to go to a university would also benefit from proposition 30 because it would prevent them from having classes cut and being put on a waiting list to get into a class. Another group to consider is young people who wish to graduate and continue on to graduate school. Proposition 30 helps a big minority of people and this is something us students and teachers should vote on.
FOX, J. (2012). California general election. Retrieved from http://voterguide.sos.ca.gov/propositions/30/arguments-rebuttals.htm
Johnson, M. C. (2013). Diamond bar walnut patch. Retrieved from http://diamondbar-walnut.patch.com/articles/prop-30-means-more-classes-for-mt-sac-students