Polling data (here for example) consistently shows that K-12 education is Californians’ highest state budget priority. Indeed, Gov. Jerry Brown plans to put those beliefs to the test with a $7 billion tax initiative on the November ballot aimed at resolving the state’s chronic budget problems. This initiative will hold education funding hostage, threatening $5.5 billion in K-12 cuts if voters don’t approve the new taxes.
On top of the Brown tax initiative, Molly Munger’s initiative would provide $10 billion annually in new revenues for schools and preschool/early education programs. So voters will get to weigh in not once, but twice on how strongly they want to protect K-12 education.
While this year’s budget may prioritize K-12 education – on the condition that voters are willing to raise taxes – most past budgets have not. In fact, the budget that Gov. Brown signed last month basically left in place the damage done to school budgets over the last several years, and further back.