It’s only been a week and a half since the election, and many of us have been consumed with news about President-elect Trump. But there’s a glimmer of hope in the Golden State because California voters passed three education related propositions.
Proposition 51 is a $9 billion school bond to improve facilities in K-12 and the community colleges. This is much needed in California, where some of our schools and community colleges lag behind in not meeting earthquake and fire safety standards. The money will also be used to remove asbestos and lead pipes. It’s disturbing that in a state as prosperous as California, some schools whose facilities are in a state of decline. Proposition 51 will help ensure that students are taught in facilities that are safe and conducive to learning.
The school bond also sets aside money to improve vocational training for veterans and to prepare students for the workforce. This will help our California Community Colleges. Investing in the California Community Colleges is important because some of our most vulnerable and high need students attend these institutions to begin their higher education journey.
Proposition 55 passed as well. This initiative extends the Proposition 30 income tax increases on those who earn $250,000 or more. Proposition 30 was approved four years ago and was championed by Governor Brown. A majority of the money raised from Proposition 55 goes to K-12 schools and community colleges with some going to Medi-Cal and health programs. That voters opted to extend the tax increases is indicative of public support for the funding of education. If these taxes had not been extended, they would have expired at the end of 2018, which would have put school funding in jeopardy. Continuing the tax increases on high income earners can bring in up to $11 billion per year.
And finally Proposition 58 was approved, which repeals the English only requirement of Proposition 227 that was passed in 1998. Now local school districts will be able to decide how they want to teach English language learners and implement other bilingual programs. The passage of this proposition is indicative of California’s changing and diverse electorate and the reality that we live in a global world where the need to interact with people who speak languages other than English is becoming necessary. Also, this proposition allows districts to decide how to best serve their English language learners because what might work for students in one part of the state might not necessarily be the best solution for those living in another.
This election California voters put students first, and we’re thankful that they did because our scholars need well equipped classrooms, adequately funded schools, and the ability to learn other languages to thrive in our global society.
We are all in this together with you. We want to be a resource for you and for all of the children you love. Whether you need some info or you have info to share, you know where to go…LA Comadre.
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