At What Price Do We Save Our Schools

There is showdown fast approaching that will affect the future of our public schools for many years to come. Most school districts in San Diego County are operating at a deficit with major cuts that are needed immediately and even more cuts if Governor Brown’s tax measure fails. Brown’s measure includes a half-percent sales tax that would go into effect Jan. 1 and expire at the end of 2016. It also would impose a varying tax increase for high earners who make $250,000 or more in annual income. But not all of the taxes raised would go to the schools. Brown estimates his measure would generate about $7 billion in 2012-13.

Another initiative, the “millionaire’s tax” that has a group of supporters including the California Federation of Teachers (mostly community college teachers), is a measure that would increase those earning $1 million in annual income to pay a tax increase of 3% and those making $2 million or more an additional 5%. This initiative would bring in $6 billion to $9 billion.

Yet another measure has tax increases that start at those earning $17,500 ($11 annual increase) and continues to escalate as the income rises. Someone who makes $750,000 annually would pay $12,516 more. This initiative would raise about $10 billion.

So at what price do we save our schools? Here’s a thought: Let’s take a hard look at the school system itself to see what changes need to be made to increase student and teacher performance and what that will cost. Next, put funds where they are needed most to accomplish this and hold school boards accountable to manage the budgets. Once a sustainable plan is created, then let’s look at where the money comes from. Any tax increase should have a cap (ie: sales tax increase for so many years). Raising taxes to bail out a broken system makes no sense. We need to have a plan that makes sense, and so far I haven’t seen one.

Jeff Mitchell


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Posted by Karen Brainard on Feb 29 2012. Filed under Editorial. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

2 Comments for “At What Price Do We Save Our Schools”

  1. Gary Ravani

    You had better check your facts on the CFT being "mostly community college teachers."

    CA's funding for schools, in a major national report, is ranked at 47th of the 50 states in cost-of-living weighted dollars. That is a disgrace!

    There is always some reason why more revenue has to wait for something, anything to happen first. This is the "Wimpy" strategy, from the Wimpy character in Popeye cartoons: "Ill gladly pay you tomorrow for a hamburger today." The kids in school are here today, everyday and cannot wait for some endless list of demands to be met by those protecting the 1%. The kids need the funding now and into the future. It is thier future after all.

    Support the Millionaires Tax. It's time everyone paid their fair share.

  2. john

    One always has a good case until the other side is heard…the whole world is full of facts, outcomes rely heavily on the facts selected..Much like we can look a Jeffereson and find countless contradictions , but people select those facts(Jeffrson's pronoucements) that support their case…I believe our schools need a lot of help. Our public schools are much maligned(oddly enough by those that benifited from public education).The fact is no country does a better job at "mass "education than ours.. Our high schools graduate more qualified students than our great Colleges from Harvard to Berkeley have room for.

    90% of our kids are in Public schools , despite the fact of vourchers, charter schools and the like, most of our kids will be in public schools, by choice .

    Lets restructure where we must, embrace techonolgy and other efficiencies and get on with making our public schools better..go to my web site and make a comment on things I have to say…john Rajcic

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