Thanks for covering the Proposition 30 and 38 initiatives ("Propping up Schools," Oct. 4). I would like to add my thoughts to the discussion.
Prop. 38 would also increase the personal income tax rate on all but the lowest bracket through 2024. All new revenues from Prop. 38 would be dedicated to K-12 except during 2016-17, when 30 percent would be allocated for state debt-service costs. And most importantly, within Prop. 38, no funds are dedicated to higher education.
In contrast, Prop. 30 provides essential funds for higher education. If Prop. 30 fails, there will be even further cuts to the CSU and UC system, which are both already substantially impacted by budget reductions. Specifically for the UC system, as structured in 2012-13 state budget, there will be an additional $250 million "trigger" cut, plus a shortfall of $125.4 million from a negotiated tuition freeze, for a total deficit of $375.4 million. While not everyone has or will have a child looking to the CSU and UC system for higher education, it is important to remember that UC has also been serving our local community since 1913 through the UC Cooperative Extension system and its programs: 4-H youth development, master gardener, localized education and research on a broad range of agriculture and natural resource topics, among others. If Prop. 30 fails, impacts will be felt everywhere in UC. However, if it passes, most of us will only experience a quarter cent increase in sales tax for the next four years, but together we will help maintain our world-renowned public university system and will be able to provide educational opportunities for the next generation.
As a parent I do not support Prop. 38. I ask you to consider the merits of Prop. 30 and join me in a yes vote.
Yana Valachovic, Bayside
Thank you NCJ for your very well done comparison of Props. 30 and 38. I'd like to offer my two cents on two propositions on the ballot. As a teacher, mother and California citizen, I implore voters to use economic sense when making important election decisions. As an economics teacher, I teach students about the link between a country's "human capital" -- the skills, knowledge and experience that a population possesses -- and economic growth. Why are some countries rich while others are poor? According to economists Eric Hanushek of Stanford's Hoover Institution and Dean Jamison of UCSF, there's "evidence of a clear, strong relationship between cognitive skills and economic growth." They say, "A highly skilled work force can raise economic growth by about two-thirds of a percentage point annually." Please consider this. If Prop. 30 fails, education will be cut $6 billion. Schools in our state rank an abysmal 47th nationally in per pupil spending! We cannot maintain our standard of living if we continue to axe school funding. Vote yes on 30.
Proposition 32 will also affect California's economic future. If Prop. 32 passes, corporate interests will have more influence on policymakers while middle class public employees will be silenced. Prop. 32 is billed as "cutting the money tie between special interests and career politicians," but is in fact a sham, funded by the very people who it exempts! In the age of Citizens United, billionaires don't need more influence over our policies.
Don't let pro 32/anti 30 PACS use their "$11 million in secret money," the largest in California political history (Associated Press reported in the Times-Standard, Oct. 20), prevail! Please vote for economic growth by supporting education and the middle class. Vote yes on 30 and no on 32.
*Jennifer Dean-Mervinsky, Arcata *