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Proposition 30 Passes: A Student's View

Gov. Jerry Brown's Proposition passes with 54 percent approval. What it means to a Laguna Niguel student and others.

(Editor's Note: Thanks to reader, resident, and student William Rhee for sending in this story.)

Amidst the fierce opposition presented by Californians’ reluctance to pay higher taxes and the Munger duo – which spent a combined $80 million in attacking Proposition 30 and promoting Proposition 38 –, Governor Jerry Brown’s Proposition 30 passed with a 54 percent approval on Wednesday, Nov 6.

Referred to as, “The Schools and Local Public Protection Act of 2012,” Proposition 30 will increase California’s sales tax by .25 cents for the next four years, additionally raising the income tax for individuals making more than $250 thousand annually for the next seven years.

Projections state that Proposition 30 will raise an average of $6 billion annually for California’s general fund and education, preventing the scheduled $6 billion trigger cuts on the state’s schools and colleges. Coupled with an expected growth in the economy, state general fund revenues are projected to improve 16.5 percent over the next three years. 

Proposition 30’s passing means that the length of the academic school year for K-12 districts will remain the same. The last day of school for Aliso Niguel High School students will not be May 31, rather, it will end as planned on June 11. The measure’s success offers an escape from more budget cuts, including teacher layoffs, decreased class time, and large class sizes. 

Also, as a result of Proposition 30, the University of California (UC) system will stand by their pledge to not raise tuition for the current school year. UC schools will not raise undergraduate fees in the fall, either. Prior to the ballot, the UC regents warned that Proposition 30’s failure would more than likely cause a midyear tuition hike of 20 percent – roughly $2,400 for undergraduates. That fee has now been dodged. However, the UC regents are looking towards the 2013-14 school year, and are considering raising the fees of graduate and professional school students. Costs for the pricier programs would increase between 1.2 to 35 percent, with the majority not falling above 7 percent.

The California State University (CSU) system will refund the $249 per semester tuition increase they inputted this fall, restoring undergraduate fees to last year’s rate of $5,472. On top of that, the CSU system will now restart the admissions review process – they had previously wait-listed a majority of the applicants for later consideration in fall 2013. Admission for the 2013-14 school year will continue, and 10 to 15 thousand more students are expected to join the CSU campuses next year.

Community colleges will receive nearly $210 million in funding, allowing them to service over 20 thousand more students. The UC and Cal State systems haven’t been the only programs suffering: the Community college system has had to turn away half a million of their 2.4 million students from taking full classes. A large chunk of the money will go towards increasing the number of class sections offered, a pleasant change considering the past years filled with program reductions and fee increases.

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