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What does Proposition 30 mean for California public schools?


This election season, possibly the most talked about ballot item in California after the presidential race was Proposition 30. For all of 2012, we’ve been hearing people support or attack Governor Jerry Brown’s tax plan for education. On November 6, the people spoke in favor of the taxes. Now that it has passed, where does this money go and how will education truly be affected by it?

John Fensterwald is the editor of EdSource, an online K-12 & community college news site. Fensterwald spoke with KALW’s Hana Baba to explain how the funds raised from Prop 30 will affect the reality of California’s schools, now that the much anticipated race is over.

JOHN FENSTERWALD: Proposition 30 won’t have any effect this year in terms of additional money for programs. It will stave off the cuts that would have occurred if Prop 30 had failed. But, for this year, it won’t provide any money that schools will see in spending, and that’s important to understand because the governor has decided to pay off some late payments to schools. Schools are getting paid about ten billion dollars late, about a year late. That’s creating real cash problems for schools. So the governor has decided to begin using the first two billion dollars from Prop 30 to start paying off these late payments. In order to do that, there won’t be any additional money this year.  But in 2013-2014, having paid off the two billion dollars, that will potentially be available for schools. And that’s a significant amount of money.

Click the audio player above to listen to the complete interview.