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.

We have the details about the fiscal impact each proposition could have on the Ross Valley School District.

But for typical voters, even those who care deeply about public education, deciphering the long-term and state-wide 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 above.

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? 


Other proposition related content on Patch:

  • Prop 30 vs. Prop 38: How They Could Impact Ross Valley Schools
  • Props 34 and 36 Would Make Major Changes to Punishment for Serious Crimes
  • Where Do You Stand: GMO Labeling and Prop. 37
  • Prop. 39 Seeks to Close $1B Tax Loophole for Multi-State Corporations
  • Are You Concerned About GMOs? Vote in Our Poll

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Open Mind November 01, 2012 at 02:40 PM
I'm having a bit of cognitive dissonance trying to square the numbers around the various ballot measure proposing tax increases. Setting aside the spin from all sides designed to scare everyone, I did some basic research and this is what I don't get. How is it that California has the 6th highest total tax burden in the country (income, sales, & property) but we are by some estimates 46th in education spending and have an Ed Week education ranking of 30th? At least New Jersey which has the highest tax burden in the U.S. has the 3rd best education. I wish we were like Massachusetts: 11th highest tax burden, 11th highest spending per pupil and #1 in education. Can anyone explain this to me?
Open Mind November 01, 2012 at 02:44 PM
My concern (especially with Prop 30) is that Sacramento will just take 60%+ of this and stick it into the general fund because they are not willing to make any reforms to the system. Sacramento has the ability, but not the will, to re-prioritize where it spends money away from things like the prison system (whose budget has doubled as a % of the budget in the last 25 years) and toward education. It seems to me that reforming the prison system so that the % of the budget it consumes resembles what it was like in the 80's would save several billion dollars a year that could be spent on education instead.
valeri hood November 01, 2012 at 04:41 PM
prop 3 is funded by a multimillionaire- prop 30 is not- it's not too difficult to read the language in your voters pamphlet to figure this one out
Rico November 04, 2012 at 03:23 AM
I voted no on 30 and 38, I don't trust either of them. There are many things in the small print that would negate anything good about these propositions.
RH Rawlin November 04, 2012 at 06:19 PM
I want to see the Super-Rich paying their fair share. 38 is disguised to look like it helps schools. What it really does is help the wealthy avoid the taxes they should pay if prop 30 passes.
Open Mind November 04, 2012 at 08:04 PM
California has the 2nd highest income tax in the country. So I don't get Rawlin's point. Seems like the rich in California are already paying their fair share. Also I completely disagree with Rawlin regarding prop 38. It's prop 30 that is disguised to help schools. Prop there is designed so that the majority of the funds can go into the general fund and be spent on anything.


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