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Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Proposition 38 Fails

Matt Pressberg |
November 6, 2012 | 10:00 p.m. PST


(Dawn Megli/Neon Tommy)
(Dawn Megli/Neon Tommy)
On a night when its competing school-funding ballot initiative Proposition 30 was rejected at the polls, attorney Molly Munger’s Proposition 38 was soundly defeated Tuesday. With nearly a fifth of ballots counted, three in four voters rejected the measure.

Gov. Jerry Brown’s Proposition 30 intended to bolster school funding by increasing revenues that would go into the state’s budget and then out through normal distribution channels. Proposition 38, on the other hand, was designed to fund a new entity, the California Education Trust Fund. 

This fund would distribute 60 percent of its money directly to schools, 30 percent toward paying down the state debt and 10 percent to early childhood education for the first four years it would be in effect, according to the state’s legislative analyst. For the eight years following, it would divide its money 85 percent to schools and 15 percent to early childhood education. Notably, it would not fund community colleges and public universities.

In ideological contrast to Proposition 30, which restricted its income tax raises to earners over $250,000, Proposition 38 comprised a graduated income tax increase over a 12-year period that began with an 0.4 percent bump for taxpayers earning only $7,316. For incomes over $500,000 per year, Proposition 38 contained a tax increase topping out at 2.2 percent, while Proposition 30 bumped rates by 3 percent.

Molly Munger, son of billionaire Charles Munger, was not only the architect but also the major funder of Proposition 38, having contributed $44 million, according to Ballotpedia. There was no serious opposition financing, as most of those resources were dedicated to supporting Proposition 30.

An October 24 Public Policy Institute of California poll, which had only 39 percent of Californians approving of the measure, foreshadowed its big defeat Tuesday night.


Prop 30 Vs. Prop 38: Why Teachers And Parents Are Divided

Prop 30 And Prop 38: Dueling Plans To Save California's Schools


Read more of Neon Tommy's coverage of the California Propositions here.

Reach Editor-at-Large Matt Pressberg here.



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