Want to avoid a 15% pay cut?

Dear Colleagues,
Voters approved Proposition 30 in 2012, which helped put California back on the road to budget stability.  Because of Prop. 30, California began restoring funding for our public schools and restoring cuts to important vital services.
Prop. 30 helped public education recover some of the funds it lost during the recession. We’re only now just starting to get our schools and community colleges on track. We’ve hired more teachers, brought additional books and supplies directly to the classroom, expanded libraries and improved our community colleges, while at the same time helped to stabilize California’s budget.
BUT, Prop. 30 is due to expire over the next two years.  That would mean a 15% reduction to our District’s revenue!
We are currently gathering signatures for an initiative petition that would extend the Prop. 30 tax rate for 12 years on the highest income brackets ($250,000 for single filers, $500,000 for joint filers).  There is no sales tax component in this new initiative.  The sales tax increase which was passed in 2012 will expire this year as scheduled under Prop. 30.
What can you do to help?  Simply gather six signatures (in addition to your own) on the initiative petition we are sending to you via District mail and return the petition to us.  Is that asking too much to avoid a 15% reduction in your compensation?  If it is, please email me back and explain why gathering six signatures is too much to ask to avoid a 15% pay cut.  If you don’t believe what I’m telling you is true, click here, select your District, and look at line VIII D which states “Estimated EPA.”  EPA stands for Education Protection Act, which is the revenue from Prop. 30 that we are currently receiving.  You can quickly confirm that this amount represents approximately 15% of the District’s total revenue.
Below are some talking points, and signature gathering instructions.  Please don’t delay, time is short–we need all completed petitions back to the AFT office no later than Friday, March 25th.
Children’s Education and Health Care Protection Act Talking Points
The last recession caused more than $56 billion in cuts to healthcare, education and other critical services.
Prop. 30 also prevented devastating cuts to services for seniors and low-income children, along with health care programs.
Governor Brown’s budget forecasts show that unless we extend Prop. 30, our schools will come up nearly $5 Billion short in the first year, and our budget will face a nearly $3 Billion deficit. Without an extension, we risk going back to the days of massive budget cuts, teacher layoffs, and huge budget holes for our health care programs.
Temporarily extending Prop. 30 will only affect the top 2% of earners in the state, and will automatically expire after 12 years.  Prop. 30’s quarter-cent sales tax increase will expire on schedule in 2016.
The measure is expected to raise $8-11 billion a year.
Like Prop. 30, the money generated by the Children’s Education and Health Care Protection Act will go directly into a special fund that supports K-14 education, community colleges and increase state funds for seniors, low-income children health care and to invest in our Rainy Day budget reserves.
With this temporary extension, up to $2 billion a year will go to health care for low income children and their families
Like Prop. 30, this measure will not permit any of the funds to go towards bureaucracy or administrative costs. The funds will be used to help students by reducing class sizes, updating textbooks, hiring new teachers and keeping tuition costs from skyrocketing.
This initiative continues tough audit and disclosure requirements and independent oversight. It also continues accountability through www.trackprop30.ca.gov which allows the public to see how every dollar of Prop 30 funds have been spent. The money is also subject to audits by the State Controller.
Petition Circulator Instructions
  •  Only registered California voters may sign a petition.  Be sure to ask if the person is a registered voter.  Yes, students can sign the petition if they are registered to vote.
  •  It is not necessary for the circulator to be a resident of the same county in which the petition signers reside but the circulator must be at least 18 years of age.   The circulator does not have to be a registered voter.
  •  Circulators must personally witness all signatures.  Please don’t leave petitions unattended on a counter, for example.  Someone must be present to witness all the signatures on that petition and sign as the petition circulator.
  • Each petition form must include signatures from only one county.  Multiple petitions may be necessary if you are gathering signatures at events attended by voters from different counties.
  •  All information must be filled out in the signers and circulators own handwriting. You cannot fill in information for a voter, and no stamps, ditto marks (““), abbreviations, nicknames or labels are acceptable.  Initials are not acceptable.
  •  Signers must include their street addresses or the signature won’t count.  Post office boxes may not be used as a residence address.
  • Be sure to completely fill out and sign the “declaration of circulator” section at the bottom of each petition.
  •  Don’t cover the Title and Summary at the top of the petition. State law requires that this section be readable at all times.
  •  Use only blue or black ball point pens. Do not use pencils, or felt pens.
  • Make sure to sign the petition yourself if you are a registered voter in that county.
  • The signatures cannot be used for any reason other than to qualify the initiative for the ballot.
  • Turn in petitions with signatures to the AFT office via District mail as soon as possible.
  • The final deadline by which all petitions must be received is Friday, March 25th.