A group of local parents, PTA members and even a few students assembled on the lawn of the South Pasadena Public Library recently to rally support for a proposition they say will boost the quality of public education.
Becky Rios, a parent and legislation chair at Arroyo Vista Elementary, told the crowd gathered Friday that at her school, there are no visual arts programs. Librarians and computer teachers have been cut to less than full time, she said. And for California schools to be ranked 47th in the nation in spending isn't acceptable.
"We need new and addtional money above and beyond what we have now,'' she said, voicing her support for Proposition 38.
The ballot measure would raise $10 billion a year for 12 years for public schools. Every school would receive new money on a per student basis, with the local districts controlling the disbursement of funds. Supporters say the money would reduce class sizes and restore classes such as art, math, music, science or whatever course was cut due to funds cut from Sacremento.
Deb McCurdy, a parent at South Pasadena Middle School and South Pasadena Council PTA legislation chair, said that $20 billion cut from the state education budget over the last four years have forced districts to make adjustments.
"And the arts, unfortunately, are the first to go,'' she said.
Opponents of Prop 38 argue that the measure foists a $120 billion tax hike on most Californians, according to the California voter information guide. The argument further states that the initiatve increases income taxes for taxable incomes above $17,346 and that there are no requirements to improve school performance.
Regarding the increase, Rios said, "Most middle income families will find it an incremental adjustment to what we're already paying in taxes.''
Calculated Benefits to South Pasadena Unified School District, according to supporters:
In 2013-14, Prop 38 will give SPUSD $3,743,536, in 2017-18 that amount increases to $6,512,063 and in 2023-24, the funds jump to $8,809,767. A calculation breakdown by school has been added to the media attached to this article.