Proposition 2 says the money gets saved, and then it is given to schools in a bad year. Isn't that a good thing?

A:

Well, the state may 'save' money (that it was constitutionally obligated to give schools), and then (eventually, actually) give it to schools.  But as soon as it has saved a nickel, schools will be forced to spend over $5 billion of THEIR savings.

What kind of deal is that?

School districts have saved money and used it in bad years themselves.  The most current data show schools saving 16.2% of their annual expenditure -- without demanding a Constitutional Amendment to force them to do it.  Yet the state is so incapable of actually saving money that it rushed to create a trigger to force schools to cut their savings to the bone.  School districts would never have survived the last seven years of cuts if they had not prudently accumulated savings.  This is backroom politics at its worst. 

And, there is a second problem. The way this legislation is written the Governor and Legislature can declare a ‘budget emergency,’ which allows them to use Rainy Day money to fund the *first dollar* of school funding – thus effectively moving it back into the General Fund, in which case it has simply let the State off the hook … again!

And, if you're brave enough to read this far -- a third!  Constitutionally, the state is supposed to catch schools up quickly when it takes advantage of Proposition 98's "Test 3" in down years to cut school spending.  The catch-up amount is called "maintenance factor" -- and is currently about $6.6 billion, about 10% of schools' funding that the state has promised to pay ... when it can.

This amount will be paid down (eventually, we hope).  But the LAO forecasts that the state will be in Test 3 from 2016-2020!  Any new maintenance factor goes to the very back of the line, after payments to the school PSSSA.  Will schools ever see it?  Doubtful.

We are saying, ENOUGH shenanigans, Sacramento!  It's time to stop putting children LAST.  Two bad for kids.  NO on 2.

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