Students should support Prop. 30

With a million and one things swirling around in a student’s mind, upcoming ballot measures admittedly do not always make the cut. But they should. Especially one: Proposition 30.

Lener Jimenez | Daily Trojan

Prop. 30 is all about California education — it will not only prevent a possible $6 billion in cuts to public schools and colleges, but it will also provide billions of dollars in public funding that schools at all levels desperately need. The measure will do so by increasing the personal income tax of higher earning Californians by 1 to 3 percent for seven years. It will also up the state sales tax by 0.25 percent for the next four years.

Though USC, as a private university, and its students will not be directly affected by Prop. 30, what’s important is the principle at hand of supporting and improving our state education system. Private school students, faculty members and administrators are not separate from the problems in California public education. If USC students recognize that, we are uniquely positioned with not only the skills, but also the resources to launch a wave of awareness and action to propagate educational reform come election day on Nov. 6.

If Prop. 30 fails, the UC system will receive an immediate $250 million mid-year cut (translation: up to a $2,400 mid-year tuition increase for students), not to mention the loss of a $125 million tuition payback and a budget increase for the 2013-14 school year of $150 million. This comes out to a grand total of nearly $525 million, which means class cuts, spiking tuition rates, layoffs and innumerable students left with debt and without the high-quality education California owes them.

For the community college system, Prop. 30’s failure would result in a 7.5 percent budget cut. Thomas Fallo, president of El Camino College in Torrance, Calif. was quoted in his community college’s newspaper that class availability would be the first to go. Santa Monica College, a community college that many USC students transfer from, has already cut the entire winter session in response to funding cuts that were previously imposed. What will happen to SMC if Prop. 30 fails to pass in November?

Admittedly, it’s not a private university’s responsibility to fix the public school system. But are we really immune to these catastrophic changes just because we’re lucky enough to attend a private university? What about those of us who transferred from a UC school or used a state community college as a stepping stone to get to USC? What about the countless personal and academic connections between public and private colleges of which we are a part?

Students have to take a stand for these connections and for education by supporting Prop. 30.

Not to mention, Prop. 30 also impacts all students, whether public or private, by guaranteeing local public safety funding. Part of this funding keeps police on the streets to protect us, something USC students should especially appreciate. Prop. 30 also helps to balance the state budget, providing money that would ease the current debt crisis.

Unfortunately, according to a Policy Analysis for California Education and USC Rossier School of Education poll released in August, only 55 percent of voting Californians —  a slim majority over the 50 percent needed to pass the measure —  are in favor of the proposition. The poll also found that 36 percent strongly oppose Prop. 30, and 49 percent agree with the argument against it —  that the state should crack down on government spending before it raises taxes.

A group of students from the Claremont Colleges —  all private institutions —  launched a campaign in August called “Claremont College Students for Proposition 30,” complete with a Facebook page, info sessions, phone banking and more. They recognize that Prop. 30 needs everyone’s support, whether they’re a member of the public education system or not.

USC portrays itself and its students as trendsetting, as compassionate and committed to education. Let’s keep that image a reality by creating our own campaign — whether it’s a personal or group effort —  for Prop. 30.


Elena Kadvany is a senior majoring in Spanish. Her column “Beyond the Classroom” runs every other Thursday.

11 replies
  1. Alice Gheorghiu
    Alice Gheorghiu says:

    I can hardly agree with the comenters here that pretend they are smart. The less fortunate people need help. There may be bright individuals among them that were simply unfortunate to be borne in poor or dismembered families. Are you guys serious when you are saying you want to cut the money so they cannot go to school ? How moronic can that be. Of course the state is not entitled to touch the rich people riches. But how they will continue making their bucks without caring for the young generation by whose work they will be even richer, or maybe they’ll go to India and China to hire, right ? This is arrogance, and indecency. This is imbecilism and not wisdom on your site. I don’t care whose song you are dancing by, but for sure your behaviour is anti-American.

  2. North University Park
    North University Park says:

    The governor has been astute in his cuts.

    There indeed will be dire consequence if prop 30 fails. I will support it.

  3. Jax4usc
    Jax4usc says:


    I think it would be a dandy idea if you”d hold off telling us how to waste our money on more state and less individual until you’re earning your own keep.

    Fight On,


    • Red Cabbage
      Red Cabbage says:


      I think it would be a dandy idea if you weren’t a flaming a s s hole who qualifies the comments of others. “Elena” is spot on with her observations and deductions. You and your ignorant ilk (Liberty Minded, WCW, John ’94) on this page are clutching at straws. If you hate California so much do us all a favor and vacate. The state will be greatly improved by your absence.

      • Mike
        Mike says:

        Hypocrite, talk about qualifying others remarks, and NO, i’m tired of idiot liberals who have controlled this states budget, no more wasting our tax dollars,” but our public schools will suffer ”
        AT almost dead last in reading and math i have to say our schools are suffering pretty bad, why the hell should we put out more money for a complete and utter failure, CABBAGE, you need to crawl back under that rock, moron.

  4. gregory anderson
    gregory anderson says:

    Actually, the overall tax rate (combined property, transportation, income, etc) has gone down. Funding for education has gone down, and, of course, the miracle that made California a leader in education has been crumbling. Because of this underfunding, millions of kids are shut out of education, a human right that society should provide to all who desire it.

    This simple truth is that we need to fund education as an investment. The public good that educated citizens provide is of very high value, and a very good bargain for the small increase in taxes represented by Prop 30.

    Privileged children of wealthy parents probably find it hard to understand, but many in this society need a hand up, not a hand out. With a little education, they will spend the rest of their lives contributing to society.

    • North University Park
      North University Park says:

      Every dollar spent on education will return many times more in dividends. Thank you for your thoughful letter.

  5. Soquel Creek
    Soquel Creek says:

    Which state currently has the 2nd highest marginal tax rate in the nation? California top rate is 10.3%, second only to Hawaii at 11%.

    California’s second-to-top tax rate, 9.3%, is higher than the HIGHEST rate in 47 other states. The 9.3% rate starts at just $48,000 in taxable income.

    California’s state sales tax is already the nation’s highest.

    Yet, despite that our taxes are ALREADY among the nation’s highest, the California Legislature would like you to believe that we can only balance our budget by passing a $40-50 BILLION multi-year tax hike.

    If Proposition 30 passes, California will have the nation’s 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 5th highest marginal tax rates AND the nation’s highest state sales tax.

    California has low rating for business climate and tax climate, due to our high taxes, our high costs, and our ineffectual state government. Do you think Proposition 30 will help or hurt California’s ailing economy? We currently have the 3rd worst unemployment rate in the nation.

    Proposition 30 does NOTHING to address California’s STRUCTURAL budget deficit. It’s the WRONG MEDICINE to fix what ails California. VOTE NO ON PROPOSITION 30.

    Google search “California Proposition 30: Governor Jerry Brown’s Big-Government Tax Hike” for more information on the many flaws of Proposition 30.

  6. John '94
    John '94 says:

    No on 30. This is billed as a tax on the “rich” who Governor Brown says are “millionaires and billionairs” but defines as anyone making over $250k. There have been numerous studies and reports cited that most if not all of the revenue will NOT be used for schools, but for teacher pensions. Just use Google, you will find them.

    What is not talked about is how it also includes a sales tax increase on EVERYONE. California already has the highest if not close to the higest sales tax.

    The problem with California is it has a spending problem, not a revenue problem. This is just another cycle in the never-ending cycle where the Legislature spends WAAAAAYYY more than it takes in, then comes to the voters with hat in hand saying please give us more money or we are going to cut funding to schools, police, fire, etc. The Legislature needs to do what we all have to do, LIVE WITHIN OUR MEANS. Don’t succomb to the “but it’s for the children” mantra. It’s not.

  7. WCW - '08 and '14
    WCW - '08 and '14 says:

    There are a hundred places they could cut benefits, but the far left would rather create a false dichotomy, i.e. Our ONLY options are to raise taxes on the EVIL FILTHY RICH (also known as “the best and brightest”) or cut money from schools. Really? We can’t find cuts anywhere else? Gee, I dunno, maybe they could cut entitlement benefits for public unions or decrease welfare handouts or limit TV time for prisons or stop spending money educating children from other countries (who do NOT return the favor in the reverse situation) while American taxpayers watch American children fall further and further behind.

    What a crock of crap … eventually we’re going to run out of other people’s money.

  8. LibertyMinded
    LibertyMinded says:

    Yes, Students should vote to raise taxes on themselves and others because anything that shrinks the governments’ taxing spending ability would jeopardize our march to absolute state control over our lives and the lives of our fellow residents.

    The bigger the government the smaller the citizen. Our state can make every promise in the world, but in the end you personally must pay. The question remains – can you spend your money better or can the state employees spend your money better? No state employee works for free. Every state employee thinks they are overworked and deserve a raise. Will you give it to them?

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