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 aim 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 over 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.

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.

wdf1 October 21, 2012 at 06:06 PM
"Once it passes we can get a voucher system on the ballot. In reality thats the only hope for education in Ca." And why do you think a voucher will provide enough money for adequate education? The whole strategy behind vouchers is to shrink the amount until it's nothing. This problem will not go away just because you change to a voucher system.
Greg Coppes October 21, 2012 at 06:33 PM
We have tried throwing money at it, tried to legislate it ie minimum standards and such. Why wouldn't vouchers set a minimum amount adjusted for inflation work.
Just Mom October 21, 2012 at 07:26 PM
Why don't we just call it for what it is : BLACKMAIL
Diane Brinkley October 21, 2012 at 10:05 PM
Well said Just Mom!
wdf1 October 21, 2012 at 11:21 PM
"Why don't we just call it for what it is : BLACKMAIL" It's not blackmail. If you don't have the money, you make the cuts.
wdf1 October 21, 2012 at 11:49 PM
"Vote No on Prop 30, 38, 32. Save Calfornia education for our school and university children." As applied to the K-12 and community college systems (which I am more familiar with), this statement goes in the same list as "War is peace," "Freedom is slavery," and "Ignorance is strength.".
wdf1 October 22, 2012 at 12:06 AM
"I wanted to clear-up SP response in regard to Sonoma Valley School District: Flowery Elementary: 90% Hispanic etc." "Hispanic" does not mean illegal. It also doesn't automatically mean that such a person is a fluent Spanish speaker, although there is a higher correlation.
Harold October 22, 2012 at 01:25 AM
I have already voted no on both of them, and mailed in my ballot. There is no way that I would trust ANY elected official in this state with any additional money. The blackmail tactics that they are using are despicable to say the least.
SP October 22, 2012 at 03:18 AM
@Rational, You specifically use the word "illegal." The use of that word is what I took issue with. I also noticed that you use the demographics of Sonoma. I could present equally staggering numbers if I were to use the demographics of Ross, Corte Madera, Tiburon, Novato, etc. Race versus immigration status must be kept separate.
Rational Ideas October 22, 2012 at 03:42 AM
@SP I would cut the rhetoric crap you know just as well as I know that the Hispanic population is the overwhelming majority of illegals in this state and country. These schools are teaching most of their classes primarily in Spanish. What does that tell you, and why do you think the Standardized Testing in California is one of the lowest in the country. Yeah, the children might not be considered illegal, but they are anchor babies, so basically the same thing; almost no other country recognizes anchor babies. In addition, these families use the system and this is exactly what will be gained from Prop 30 and Prop 38 passing. I do not know if you are current on the status of California's Welfare System, but we are paying taxes to feed them as well. The last time I was at the store, I was stuck behind a Hispanic woman with 4 children, and she payed for her groceries using three separate methods: EBT, Food Stamps, and Welfare Card. Only to load these groceries in a brand new Cadillac Escalade with 4000 dollar rims. This incident was witnessed 6 months prior, but the difference was a brand new BMW M5.... You tell me I am wrong on this topic, as first hand experience in the public educational system for my kids tells me exactly whats going on. The statistics are out there, and the numbers I cited were derived from them. As a Ph.D. researcher, I never make falsified claims that have not been factually backed up. You can spin it however you want SP
SP October 22, 2012 at 04:40 AM
@Rational - "Cut the rhetoric crap" or what? You need to take a breath! As a PhD researcher I would think that you of all people would understand why I would take issue with you using the term "illegal." synonymously with a race. Like you, I take great issue with our immigration policy here in this country. I also take great issue with those that take advantage of systems that are designed to help people that are temporarily in need as you mentioned. It sounds like your experience has led you to believe that this is true of all people of this race. As a white guy, I find that unfortunate. I have many Hispanic friends who are very hard-working, very well educated and very legal here in this country. So if you're in the emergency room one day and you look up and there is a Hispanic doctor, you might want to ask to check his papers and find out where his/her kids go to school and if they are anchor babies. Or if that Hispanic paramedic saves one of your family members' lives, you may want to do the same. Or when that Hispanic police officer responds to your house to protect your family after you call 911, you may want to do the same. Chances are, in some cases, they may even pay more taxes than you do. Just sayin You and I agree in principal, but I caution you on the use of your words and stereotypes.
Thom Bogue October 22, 2012 at 03:49 PM
Alright Darcie here we go. First you have to understand Prop 30 main goal is not to fund schools, it is to fund the Judicial system. Read the General Election hand book. 75% of the funds collected go to the Judicial system to be used in any manner they see fit, from pay roll and personnel to you name it. 25% goes to schools with guidelines and limitations regarding it's use. If the distribution of the "estimated" funds turns out to be incorrect, only the schools have to make up the difference out of the 25% they received. Inherently the schools will receive less and less as we know Judicial cost are going to increase, unless you know of some of our elected representatives who are willing to take the necessary steps to keep cost down.
Thom Bogue October 22, 2012 at 04:01 PM
This is also known as Tax the Rich or those making $250K or more. Here is what people tend to forget; Those making that much money also write off most of it in deductions, therefore their taxable income is usually well under the $250K. Which is why and what I believe is going to be the true source of revenue for Prop 30, the increase in sales tax! I find it almost amusing if it wasn't so sad, when I talk to supporters of this Proposition, how they believe this is all for schools. Here's your Quarter, oops, wait a minute I made a mistake, give it back, here's your Dime! READ THE PROPOSITION IN THE GENERAL ELECTION HAND BOOK!
Darcie Griffin October 22, 2012 at 05:07 PM
I have read the proposition, Thom, and I see nothing about the Judicial system. Can you provide some quotes with links to the source to support this? I would love to be fully informed and able to make the correct choice. Yes, our state is in a budget crisis. Yes, there was a ton of mismanagement, leading to a lot of mistrust. We have had a revenue decline because we've had a decline in the economy and an increase in tax cuts. Same thing is going on with our federal government. But when we have a budget shortfall, and we've made pretty much as many cuts as we can to education, maybe it's time to increase the revenues somehow. California wants to produce the best and the brightest, but they don't want to fund it. And frankly, I'm embarrassed to appear on a page with people who think that all Hispanic students in California are illegals or anchor babies. Get a grip on reality and stop hating people with a different color skin than yours. This is 2012! I can't even begin to understand why this level of intolerance is still around today. Your relatives weren't born here either, I'd guess. Give people a break. Wow.
JDoug October 22, 2012 at 05:17 PM
Voting yes on 32 is saying that you want the corporations to have even more influence over our political process. It is a total scam and they outright lie and mislead people hoping that they won't actually look at the proposition and just have an emotional reaction to the ads. It is an assumption that the voting public is lazy and unintelligent and will spend no effort on making careful and educated decisions.
M.Legison October 22, 2012 at 06:01 PM
Actually, JDoug, those who read the text of Proposition 32 would understand your statement to be completely false. There are no enhancements to "corporate contributions," only restrictions on direct funding to candidates and the same for unions. You may continue to choose your candidates individually. That is called choice. SuperPACS will *continue* to be allowed to fund candidates, as will IE groups be able to create ads in support of them or against them, as they are so allowed now. Both unions and corporations will have LESS influence, although union contributions and influence are about 3:1 times corporate now.
Milan Moravec October 22, 2012 at 08:36 PM
Einstein’s view of Prop. 30 Prop. 38 – “Spending more money doing what has been done in the past and hoping for a better outcome is insanity”.
wdf1 October 23, 2012 at 12:55 AM
Depends on your assumptions. You and I disagree on whether cuts to education matter. I think they do matter.
Milan Moravec October 23, 2012 at 01:06 AM
Einstein on Prop. 30, Prop. 38 – “Spending more money on doing what has been done in the past and hoping for a better outcome is insanity”. Have the innovative, thoughtful, insightful, creative teachers and faculty create methodologies to increase learning with significantly reduced resources $. Be American do more with less! No on 30, No on 38 and No on 32
wdf1 October 23, 2012 at 02:41 AM
And while we're waiting for that to happen, watch the education system fall apart more.
Dee Baucher October 23, 2012 at 11:18 PM
The public education system in the US is failing because it is not possible to orchestrate a national school system in a country this large, with guidelines and standards from Washington (and state capitals), while unions and local politics are more committed to self-serving agendas. The only schools that are accomplishing significant achievement from students are the charter schools, where local parents and smaller administrations make decisions that are more realistic and directly responsive to the students and their education (and unions are not part of the equation). The problems with the public education system became grossly exaggerated when massive numbers of illegal immigrants (with children to be educated) flooded our communities, and our government refused to acknowledge what was occurring or to intercede. The priorities of our schools shifted to providing social services, Spanish language education, and simultaneously enhanced educational resources for those with "disadvantaged" backgrounds. This left little resources or attention for the average kids from the community, for kids with learning disabilities, for kids with gifted intelligence who need greater stimulation and advanced subject material, or kids with very artistic or creative styles of learning. The resources were usurped and changed to meet the large needs of a predominantly non-English speaking group of kids, and the others were left to fend for themselves. .....So they ultimately left the schools.
Thom Bogue October 24, 2012 at 05:46 AM
Darcie, I left my General Election Handbook at work, however it is all there as I have shown it to others to their shock! I know it is a long one to read, but between the beginning and the middle is where you will find it, since "it" is the source I have no where else to tell you to look. If you want to come over to my shop, I will show it to you. No debate or interpretation as none is needed.
Diane Brinkley October 24, 2012 at 06:06 AM
You can trace back when the public education system started to fail. It was when the Dept of Education came to be. Prior to that the states were responsibile for their own education plus it was a big draw for families to move to the states that had the best schools and look for jobs and buy houses. We need to stop federally regulating everything and allow the states to become competitive.
Milan Moravec October 24, 2012 at 06:41 PM
Wdf!...i love you too Best Hope to Fix California Education: teacher faculty never-say-die spirit of more learning for fewer resources. “All you have to do is spend more (Prop 30, 38) on education” should be ignored as Prop 30, 38 do not serve our state’s school and university children. Additional money (Prop 30, 38) is not the magic elixir. We are kidding ourselves by believing that education funding shortfalls disappear with Prop 30, Prop 38. Prop 30, Prop 38 levy significant taxes on each one of us. The wounds that Prop 30, 38 are to heal have been self inflicted largely by our elected Sacramento politicians who simply do not say no to any influential interest group be they teachers, University of California (29% increase in salaries last 6 years), public employees, business, or other unions or lobbyists. As election day approaches Prop 30, 38 are used by Sacramento politicians and lobbyists to blackmail us. Vote No on Prop 30, 38, 32. Save California education for our school and university children.
Thom Bogue October 26, 2012 at 02:32 AM
Ok Darcie I have my book. Pg 80 right column SEC 4 down I quote "Public Safety Services includes the following: Employing and training public safety officials, including law enforcement personnel, attorneys assigned to criminal proceeding and court security staff. Managing local jails"... This list goes on for awhile. For clarification this "is" the judicial system. Pg 82 right top of column before section c. I quote "the Controller shall transfer into the Education Protection Account one-fourth of the total amount estimated pursuant to subparagraph (A) for that fiscal year." This leaves three-fourths going elsewhere. I am not going to sit here and quote the entire Proposition considering it is 4 1/2 pages long, read it!
Katherine O'Boyle October 26, 2012 at 06:17 AM
Why don't we just throw the bum of a governor out that was so eager to put education on the chopping block? I don't know about you, but I already have school taxes on my property tax bill...called Mello-Roos. This goes on & on as they find they can take money designated for schools & spend it elsewhere, then say we need more money for schools (because we spent the school money elsewhere). Califnoria just got a HUGE tax boost from Amazon now required to charge state sales tax, they get the lottery money...government never ever stops trying to drain our pockets. I say NO NEW TAXES!!!!!!!!
John Herby Hancock November 02, 2012 at 08:39 PM
On the note of "keep the California dream alive......Vote NO Obama....NoBama!
Doug Strickland Is An Asshat November 06, 2012 at 01:57 AM
Yes on 30, No on 38.
Diane Brinkley November 06, 2012 at 03:33 PM
No on both!
Rebecca Fransway November 07, 2012 at 12:07 AM
I'm voting yes on both, in case one of them fails.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »