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The new No on Prop. 30 TV ad overstates the extent to which the initiative provides funds for non-education purposes.

Ad Watch: Anti-Prop. 30 ad misleads on school spending from proposed new tax

Published: Friday, Oct. 5, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 3A

Opponents of Proposition 30 – Gov. Jerry Brown's initiative to raise taxes for the state budget and avoid school cuts – launched their first television ad in California markets Thursday. The No on 30 coalition consists of anti-tax groups and has backing from Charles Munger Jr. and Charles B. Johnson, two of the state's wealthiest residents. Following is the text of the ad and an analysis by Kevin Yamamura of The Bee Capitol Bureau.

Narrator: Sacramento politicians want you to believe Prop. 30's $6 billion-a-year tax increase means more money for schools. But it's all smoke and mirrors.

The L.A. Times says the higher taxes aren't really earmarked for schools. And the independent legislative analyst says the money can pay for other budget programs.

And the former executive director of the California Board of Education says Prop. 30 provides no guarantee of new money for schools.

No on Prop 30. We'll never know where the money really goes.


By suggesting Proposition 30 offers "no guarantee of new money for schools," the ad exaggerates the extent to which the initiative provides funds for other purposes.

It is true that Proposition 30 funds will give lawmakers more money to spend on universities, prisons and social services. But it will also generate more money for K-12 schools and community colleges.

The California Constitution's school-funding requirement governs use of additional tax dollars, mandating that an outsized share of new money goes to education, especially after years of cuts.

The ad omits the legislative analyst's observation that Proposition 30 results in "raising the (school-funding) guarantee by billions of dollars each year. A portion of the new revenues therefore would be used to support higher school funding, with the remainder helping to balance the state budget."

The former executive director of the California Board of Education is Tom Bogetich, who served in that role from 1988-92 and has publicly opposed two tobacco tax initiatives since 2006.

Bottom line: Proposition 30 will free up some money for general budget purposes, but it will also provide more money for K-12 schools and community colleges. Suggesting that none of the money will benefit education – or that all of the money will, as the Yes on 30 campaign purports in its ads – is misleading.

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