Published on August 21, 2007
The Passage of Prop 13: The Passage of Prop 13 What is it, and why was it so popular? What is Prop 13 : What is Prop 13 Prop 13 is a tax law voted on, and passed by 65% of the voters in June, 1978 Reduced taxes by 57% Dramatic reduction in amount of Property tax revenue available to citied, counties, and thus to schools Rolled back property assessments to the 1976 value and limited property tax to 1% of that value More effects of Prop 13: More effects of Prop 13 Put limit on property valuation to 2% per annum unless property is sold If property is sold, it will be reassessed at the value of the time it is sold at, and the 2% tax cap is applied to that value Also requires all state tax increases to be approved by 2/3 vote of legislature and local taxes must pass with 2/3 vote of the people Why is Prop 13 so popular: Why is Prop 13 so popular Often referred to as the first shot of the Reagan revolution 1980’s are a time of neo liberalist economic policies and conservative social values Serrano vs.. Priest case not only foreshadows prop 13 but also pushes voters towards a yes vote on the initiative Bottom line is that people saw this as a chance to pay fewer taxes and everything else be damned, 'we want lower taxes'. Howard Jarvis and the taxpayers association: Howard Jarvis and the taxpayers association Lead the push for prop 13 Taxpayers association website http://www.hjta.org/prop13.htm Saw taxes as being out of control Would compare prop 13 to the colonial era protest known as the Boston Tea Party Proponents are often quite defensive about prop 13’s effects Counter arguments against prop 13 by saying its absurd to blame prop 13 for all California’s woes Also seen as a symbol of the peoples’ control on government Blame lack of poor services on government growth Prop 13 Campaign messages: Prop 13 Campaign messages Pro side says existence of a growing surplus convinced voters that California’s government was too fat Jarvis says this is why Prop 13 passed so easily Taxes on property values so high elderly and young families could not afford homes Those opposing used the threat of worst case scenarios as well For example teachers unions warned that California’s educational system would be left behind and lacking funds Community Reaction Before the Vote: Community Reaction Before the Vote Rallying Against Proposition 13 Los Angeles Times editorials: Los Angeles Times editorials 'Californians will not accept poverty level educations for their sons and daughters—and that is what they will have if the initiative passes and deprives the schools of their principle sources of revenue' –May 7, 1978 Los Angeles Sentinel: Los Angeles Sentinel 'Proposition 13 will wreak havoc in this and several other communities.' 'Proposition 13 is being bandied about as though it were a basketball…. But the people of this community have far too much to lose to be placed in this position. Our children’s future is at stake… and please keep in mind that the trend is now, and has been, that black people are the last ones hired and the first ones fired.'—May 25, 1978 Opposition of the African-American Community to Proposition 13: Opposition of the African-American Community to Proposition 13 Los Angeles Times poll in March 1978 showed 68% of African-Americans against the initiative, with 22% for and 10% undecided. Consequences of Proposition 13 seen to affect minority and poor communities the most adversely. Los Angeles Urban League: Los Angeles Urban League 'We have long held forth on the value of education to reverse the trend of poverty and unemployment in the black community. The public school is the very foundation of our efforts. By advancing such a measure as Proposition 13, proponents are willingly depriving 1000’s of school children of an adequate education.'—early June 1978 No on 13 Committee: No on 13 Committee American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees The Association of California Community College Administrators The California Community Colleges The California Democratic Council The California Federation of Labor The California Federation of Teachers The California State School Boards Association The California State Employees Association The California State Firemen’s Association The California State PTA Common Cause The Federate Fire-Fighters of California The California Confederation of the Arts The California Democratic Party The Sierra Club Teachers Against 13: Teachers Against 13 Teachers were at center of struggle against Proposition 13 Key to fundraising efforts: One group in Burlingame, California raised $114,763 for the anti-13 campaign. After the Passage of Proposition 13 : After the Passage of Proposition 13 Community Reactions and Organized Responses Los Angeles Times Poll: Los Angeles Times Poll 'Devastating' 'Unbelievable' 'Catastrophic' 'Inhumane' 'Inconsiderate' A great suffering in morale' 'Poor public policy' Legal Challenges: Legal Challenges Petitions filed in State Supreme Court in San Francisco Plaintiffs included California Teacher’s Association, California Federation of Teachers, the State Council of Service Employees Union, the AFL-CIO, several big school districts, school officials, community colleges, and several city councils. Racism and Proposition 13: Racism and Proposition 13 The NAACP spoke of Proposition 13 as one of the 'signs of the continuing and nagging presence of racism among the voters.' 'One unmistakable factor in the approval of Proposition 13 was racism. Proposition 13 leaders were most outspoken against the use of public funds for welfare and other services that were targeted for the poor.'—The Seattle Skanner, June 1978 The Coalition to Survive 13: The Coalition to Survive 13 Alliance of community based organizations in Oakland, California Argued that Proposition 13 'would have a pronounced racist and sexist effect in California.' 'The corporate bonanza is predicated on the losses of children, unemployed youth, juvenile offenders and the mentally ill among others.' The Coalition to Survive 13 ctnd.: The Coalition to Survive 13 ctnd. Workshop at UC Berkeley in March 1979 included Bay Area Urban League, Mexican-American Legal Defense Fund (MALDEF), OCCUR (Oakland Citizens Committed to Urban Renewal) and the Policy Implementation Project. Goal to create concrete proposals to meet the needs of communities after cutbacks of Proposition 13. Continued Constitutional Struggles Over Proposition 13 : Continued Constitutional Struggles Over Proposition 13 Proposition 98 (1988) Guaranteed a minimum funding level from state and property taxes for California public schools and junior colleges. Proposition 39 (2000) Made passing of school construction bonds easier. In past years, a number of school bond measures have provided funding for new construction. California’s School Finance System: California’s School Finance System How Does It Work? CA vs. Other States : CA vs. Other States Sources & Distribution : Sources andamp; Distribution Proposition 98 & Revenue Limits : Proposition 98 andamp; Revenue Limits Revenue Limit District Funding: Categorical Aid : Categorical Aid Special Education School Lunch Program K-3 Class reduction Federal Funding Miscellaneous Aid less than 10% Little Restrictions Slide26: Slide27: Quasi Privatization : Quasi Privatization Other Local Revenues $171 vs. $1,862 Fundraising Orinda School District 2004-05: 2004-05 California I.O.U. to Education : California I.O.U. to Education Budget crisis Proposition 98 suspended 2.1 Billion Dollars Short Proposition 13:Implications Towards Privatizing Public Education: Proposition 13: Implications Towards Privatizing Public Education State Centralize Control: Prop 13 Paradox: State Centralize Control: Prop 13 Paradox Although property tax still continues to be assessed, levied, collected, and distributed at the local level, Proposition 13 made the state the final arbiter in deciding who receives the property tax and how much they receive, Thus the state controls this substantial source of revenue. Source: Research Brief: Public Policy Institute of California; March 1999 In other words…: In other words… 'Allowance Analogy' Allowance AKA 'Property Tax/Revenue' Kids can work hard to earn their allowance, but it’s up to the parents to decide how much they can get. One child may get more than the other. Slide34: The transfer of the property property tax allocation authority to the state has meant that subordinate governments have become more dependent on the state for the funds they need to fulfill their obligations. Locally Controlled Revenues: Locally Controlled Revenues The greatest decline in locally controlled revenues was experienced by school districts, as the property tax was shifted from the control of local school boards to the state legislature. Since school districts have lost much control over their finances they are more financially dependent on the the state. The state’s ability to pull on school districts’ purse strings supports the notion of privatizing public education by giving centralized control to the state Privatizing Public Education: Privatizing Public Education What is it? Utilizing public money in private sectors Voucher Movement Charter Schools Privatizing Public Education: Privatizing Public Education Who wants it? Some parents Certain political parties Certain conservative organizations Slide38: Privatization of Public Education: Privatization of Public Education Why? Quality education- ability of choosing a school Gain more control over curriculum For some religious groups, it is to prevent such notions as 'godlessness and homosexuality' to be taught in schools Teaching Darwinian Evolution vs. Teaching Biblical Creation Teaching Safe Sex vs. Teaching Abstinence Children’s Educational Opportunity (CEO)FoundationPutting Children First: Children’s Educational Opportunity (CEO)Foundation Putting Children First CRITICS SAY: Public schools will get less money SCHOOL CHOICE PARENTS SAY: Parents just want to send their kids to good, safe schools and taxpayers simply want the best education at the lowest cost. CRITICS SAY: tax dollars would go to support teaching religion in school. SCHOOL CHOICE PARENTS SAY: Since the 1940s tax dollars (GI Bill, Pell grants) have supported college students to attend any school they choose including religious schools. When parents are free to choose where their kids go to school then… Source: CEO Children First Magazine, January 1999 Prop 13 & The Privatization of Public Education: Prop 13 andamp; The Privatization of Public Education Changes in public finance since 1978 have significantly expanded the state’s role in the local arena As schools are being perceived as failures, more and more parental, community, and political groups are using the idea of a privatized public education as a solution.