Ross Valley School District officials are breathing a $900,000 sigh of relief this week after California voters passed Proposition 30.
Mary Jane Burke, Marin County superintendent of schools, said she is thrilled “unthinkable trigger cuts” have been averted and current funding levels have been stabilized. “We know that fiscal issues will continue, but we also know that in challenging economic times and, in spite of a campaign where incredible resources were devoted to defeating Proposition 30, it is truly a tribute to the voters of our state that they would support the schools and help put our state back on the road to fiscal stability and sanity.”
If Prop. 30 didn’t pass, the Ross Valley School District , according to Jim Cerreta, Ross Valley School District business manager. It passed with a 54 percent majority. n Marin, 68.2 percent of voters were in favor.
Ross Valley School District would have been more affected than other Marin school districts if Prop. 30 had failed because it’s one of the county’s three "revenue limit" districts (the others are Novato Unified School District and San Rafael Elementary School District). Unlike all the other basic aid districts in the county, which are funded largely through property taxes, the revenue limit districts rely on a larger amount of funds from the state.
Marin’s basic aid districts won’t see any new funds from Proposition 30 but they could have felt a fiscal impact if Proposition 30 had failed in the form of additional so-called "state take-backs" in funding, Burke confirmed.
Prop. 30, a $6 billion-a-year package, is a combination of new taxes and an extension of some taxes that are about to expire. Backed by Gov. Jerry Brown, it raises the sales tax by one-quarter of one cent for four years while increasing personal income taxes for Californians who earn over $250,000 for seven years.
According to Cerreta, the failure of both Proposition 30 could have resulted in the following in the Ross Valley School District:
- Reduced number of instructional days by 20
- Increased class sizes
- Cut library staffing
- Reduced district ability to recruit and retain teachers
- Created cuts to classroom maintenance budgets
- Reduced the opportunity to implement technology in the classroom
Ross Valley School District Superintendent Eileen Rohan said she feels a “great sense of gratitude and appreciation” that voters supported children’s education. “We can at least now count on a stable funding source for this school year and hope the same for the near future.”
Proposition 30 and Proposition 38 were dueling tax measures on the ballot – and only one could have passed.
Proposition 38 was defeated by 72 percent of voters. It would have created new funding of approximately $1,000 per pupil to schools within the Ross Valley School District. Since the school district’s enrollment is around 2,230, Prop. 38 would have brought about $2.2 million to district schools.
If Proposition 38 had passed, it would have been offset by the $900,000 the district would have lost with Prop. 30’s failure.
For more coverage of the 2012 Election, see Patch's Marin County Election Results hub.
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