Elections: Decisions that Matter for Kids

by Carol Kocivar | September 22, 2016 | 0 Comments
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image: VOTE CC Theresa Thompson

Make time for election homework

With the November election approaching, it’s time to take a close look at state and local measures that affect our schools and our children. At Ed100, we want to give you the information you need to make informed decisions. Here are resources to make your homework a whole lot easier:

Ed100 Parent Leader Guide on Elections

Designed to help busy leaders, this ready-to-go guide gives you the background you need to understand state initiatives, school funding, school facilities and more…

We hope that this guide will help you create lively, informed conversations in your school community.

In many communities, your ballot may include a parcel tax to help fill education funding gaps and/or a bond measure to finance local school construction. Your ballot almost certainly includes a school board election for your district or county. Informed voters like you, dear readers, have an important role to play!

What’s on the state ballot in California?

Here is a quick tour of the education issues you need to be ready to vote on.

  • Proposition 51 School Bonds. This authorizes $9 billion in general obligation bonds for new construction and modernization of K–12 public schools and California Community Colleges. [Official Summary here]
  • Proposition 55 Tax Extension to Fund Education and Healthcare. This extends an existing temporary personal income tax increase on high income earners for 12 years. It is projected to generate between $4 billion to $9 billion annually. About half of this amount goes to schools and community colleges.
    It also supports state budget reserves and debt payments and could support health care for low–income children and families. If this tax is not extended, schools will not have this projected $4 billion in funding. [Official Summary here]
  • Proposition 58 English Proficiency. Multilingual Education. This supports programs for English language learners. It authorizes school districts to establish dual–language immersion programs for both native and non–native English speakers. It requires school districts to solicit parent/community input in developing language acquisition programs. It preserves an existing requirement that public schools ensure students attain English language proficiency. [Official Summary here]

(Just for fun: We thought we made these summaries brief -- Damian Carroll has taken it a step further by condensing the ballot to haikus!)

Find out more

Wondering about the pros and cons? Wondering who supports and who does not? Details are in the state voter guide. (Just click on the heading for each proposition above and it will take you there.)

For even more...check out:

  • The Voter's Edge from the League of Women Voters and Ballotpedia. Both of these non-partisan sources give lots more details.
  • These children’s advocacy organizations, which have taken positions on the initiatives: California State PTA and Common Sense Kids Action.
  • Local organizations like the League of Women Voters and the PTA often conduct forums to help you find out more about local issues and candidates.

Ready to vote?

Comments or suggestions? Just send us a note at Carol@ed100.org

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