Four years ago, CTA worked with Governor Brown to put forward Proposition 30 to increase funding for public education by temporarily raising income taxes on California’s highest wage earners and a small sales tax increase. Passing that initiative in 2012 has been a life saver for our students as money is being restored to our schools and colleges after years of budget cuts, layoffs, tuition hikes and furlough days.
Unfortunately, the additional revenues from Proposition 30 are coming to an end. It’s why CTA has been working with a coalition of education, labor, health care and community organizations to plan ahead and ensure our state stays on the road of economic recovery and doesn’t fall back to more budget cuts. State economic projections show a $5 billion hole for public education in just two years.
At our meeting on January 31, CTA State Council members voted to support a new initiative, The Children’s Education and Health Care Protection Act, which extends the income tax on the wealthiest Californians for 12 years. The sales tax increase of Prop. 30 expires as planned this year. The new measure is expected to raise $8-11 billion a year. Like Prop. 30, that money will go directly into a special fund to support education. By helping the state maintain education resources, the state has additional funding for other critical programs like health care for low-income children.
CTA and our coalition partners are now working to qualify this new initiative for the November 2016 ballot and is launching a signature gathering campaign. We must get 850,000 voters to sign petitions. In order to meet this statewide goal, we will all need to work together!
Just as you helped in 2012, we need your help now in circulating petitions and gathering signatures from members, friends and family. We just received petitions this week, and they are available at CTA offices across the state. Talking points and other information about the initiative and signature gathering effort are below. I ask you to work with your primary contact staff to get the petitions and other resources you need.
We have a relatively short window for signature gathering, as all petitions need to be returned by the first week of April. Keep an eye out for more e-mails and updates in coming weeks. Working together and with our coalition partners, we can get this initiative qualified to ensure California stays on the road to recovery and to protect our students, schools, colleges and communities from another round of devastating cuts.