Author: Roger

California Proposition 28 and Proposition 31

California Proposition 28 and Proposition 31

Propositions 28 and 31 are the easiest ‘yes’ votes on the California ballot. They both benefit kids and the poor. I vote yes on both.

California Proposition 28 is about making schools safe and secure. It requires that teachers in schools with weapons be trained to neutralize weapons on the premises, and that any firearm found on school grounds will be confiscated.

California Proposition 31 is about promoting education in California public schools. It prohibits school districts from using federal funds they receive for the purchase of computers, cell phones, and other school supplies.

I’m sure we can agree that these are both important. And perhaps it’s not a surprise that these proposals are also popular with voters who feel their schools need extra resources and equipment to make the most of their students.

But neither Proposition 28 nor Proposition 31 would eliminate any state or federal money coming out of the state.

Proposition 28 would cost the state about $14 million in the first year. That’s not a lot of money. The money goes mostly to pay for the training and other costs of teachers wearing body armor, or whatever the system decides is the appropriate level of training for teachers. About $10 million is spent on other training programs, and $8 million on purchasing some classroom supplies that teachers already use.

Proposition 31 would cost the state about $35 million in the first year. Again, not a lot of money. What it would do is to require that the state give districts additional money from the federal government to pay for school supplies and computers if they use those items for more than the required amount of instructional time.

That’s about $18 million in the first year. That money, if it comes out of state general funds, isn’t used to help kids. It’s used to purchase more computers, or cell phones, or even iPads, or whatever the district decides is the most useful educational tool for their students.

Voters are given no choice between these two propositions. Proposition 28 and Proposition 31 are on the same ballot so voters must choose. They have a choice of school funding policies

Leave a Comment