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Props 30 and 38 Explained - Which Do You Support?

Baffled by the two ballot initiatives seeking to send billions of dollars to public schools? Don't be. EdSource's new infographic makes it all clear. Which proposition do you support?

Ever since Hiram Johnson and his fellow Progressives made ballot initiatives a part of the California political landscape 100 years ago, the state’s voters have been obliged to grasp some fairly slippery policy issues before casting their votes. Propositions 30 and 38 on the November ballot are representative of the thorny problems other states assign to their legislators, but in California are punted to voters as popular referendums. 

Both propositions seek to send more money to the state’s public schools, but that’s pretty much where the similarities end. For typical voters, even those who care deeply about public education, deciphering the long-term consequences of a simple for or against vote could require hours sifting through the arcana of school finance.

Fortunately, the folks at EdSource did the hard work for us. They’ve prepared an infographic to explain the two propositions in a clear and illustrative format. As EdSource’s executive director Louis Freedberg noted in his accompanying blog, when voters are confused, they tend to vote against propositions—even propositions they might have supported had they possessed more knowledge.

See EdSource's infographic as a downloadable PDF attached to this article in the photos section.

Voters seeking yet more info on the initiatives can visit the Official Voter Information Guide, as well as analyses from the Legislative Analyst’s Office, the California Budget Project, the League of Women Voters, and the Silicon Valley Education Foundation. They can also go to the official campaign websites of Prop. 30 and Prop. 38.

Since 1977, EdSource has been informing Californians about challenges facing the state's public schools. 

So tell us in the comments: which Proposition(s) are you voting yes on? 


Open Mind November 05, 2012 at 11:56 PM
I'm voting NO on prop 30 because: 1) most of the funds raised can just go into the general fund. So calling it funding for schools is just marketing spin by Sacramento politicians who just want more money for business as usual and aren't willing to make hard budget choices. 2) The California prison system now takes up over 10% of our budget. That is double what it was in the 80's. Reform the prison system and we have plenty of money for schools. 3) California has the 8th highest tax burden of all the states (income+sales+property) but we are 47th in education spending. That shows that Sacramento politicians have prioritized way too many things above education. Cut spending elsewhere and give it to education. 4) No tax increases without reform. There is zero reform associated with this proposition. Just more money for business as usual.

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