The California community college system has been struggling financially for some time, with state funding cuts totaling more than $8 million since 2008. Schools have been forced to cut back to the bare bones, with some cutting classes and others raising fees. The passage of Proposition 30 this November promises some relief for those floundering institutions, and community colleges are wasting no time finding ways to spend the extra dollars they are slated to receive in order to provide students with more classes and services they need to succeed.
What is Proposition 30?
Proposition 30, also referred to as the Sales and Income Tax Initiative, was a proposal by California Governor Jerry Brown to raise revenue for various needs throughout the state. The twofold proposal raised the state sales tax from 7.25 percent to 7.5 percent, while also increasing income taxes for those making $250,000 or more. The increases were temporary, with the additional sales tax continuing for four years and the income tax increase slated for seven years. Of the revenues generated by the Sales and Income Tax Initiative, 89 percent would go directly to California public schools. The other 11 percent would be allotted to the state’s community college system. It is estimated that the bill would increase state revenue by $6 billion annually through 2017, and then by smaller amounts through 2019. According to the Los Angeles Times, that calculates out to around $210 million in additional funding for the