In California, the education funding ballot initiative Proposition 30, launched by Governor Jerry Brown and supported by Arts for LA and education advocacy organizations statewide, passed with nearly fifty-four percent of the vote. Proposion 38, funded primarily by civil rights attorney Molly Munger and endorsed by Arts for LA, failed to secure a majority with only twenty-seven percent of voters approving the proposition. Often perceived as “competing” propositions because they both raised taxes in order to fund education over a seven-to-ten year period, the two campaigns waded into negative campaigning territory in the weeks leading up to the election.
While Proposition 30’s funds do not go directly to schools (as they would have under Proposition 38), 30’s passage does end the threat of disastrous “trigger cuts” to K-14 education and makes some funding for public safety more certain. The cuts triggered by Proposition 30’s failure were built in to California’s current year budget by the Governor and state legislature and were widely thought to shorten California’s school year by up to three weeks.