As you probably know, 2016 is going to be the World Series of elections. With an intense presidential election taking center stage, many voters will be paying close attention to other races as well. ACSA members have an important stake in both the national and state elections this year. With November on the horizon, here are some things to keep in mind:
California Ballot Measures To Watch:
Children’s Education and Health Care Protection Act (Proposition 30 Extension)
Voters approved Prop 30 in 2012, which helped put California back on the road to budget stability. Had Prop 30 not passed, California would have faced another $6 billion in cuts in 2013 alone. Instead, California began restoring funding for our public schools and reversing cuts to important vital services. Proposition 30 raised the state sales tax rate through 2016 and personal income tax rates on high-income taxpayers through 2018, providing a projected $7.9 billion in state fiscal year 2014-15 and $8.0 billion in 2015-16. However, the Legislative Analyst's Office believes that Proposition 30 revenues will decline after 2015-16. By extending only the personal income tax portion of Proposition 30, and letting the sales tax expire at the end of 2016, only the wealthiest Californians are affected.
ACSA’s Governmental Relations and Political Affairs teams are working diligently with all of the stakeholder groups involved in the Extension campaign. One way ACSA members can support these endeavors is to help tell the story of Proposition 30. Every district and every school has been impacted differently, and those stories need to be told. Please send your tangible and anecdotal stories about how Proposition 30 impacted you and your district to firstname.lastname@example.org. For further details about the Extension language and function please reach out to Adonai Mack at email@example.com.
California Public Education Facilities Bond
This general obligation bond would fund school facilities improvements and construction of new California schools (including a portion for Community Colleges). Coalition for Adequate School Housing (CASH) and California Building Industry Association (CBIA) are the primary proponents of this measure. ACSA’s board will take a position on this bond in July. This measure provides $9 billion in resources for K-12 school facilities and community college facilities. This bond will continue the focus on four types of projects: new construction, modernization, CTE facilities, and charter school facilities. The underlying requirements and funding formulas for these project types would be based on the existing School Facilities Program.
Open Seats to Watch In the California Legislature:
Assembly District 12
ACSA Friend of Education award recipient Assm. Kristin Olsen is terming out of Assembly District 12 (ACSA Region 7). In this Republican district, there are two Democratic candidates and three Republicans vying for a place in the general election in November. Ken Vogel (R) leads the pack in fundraising, with both other GOP candidates (Heath Flora and Cindy Marks) trailing behind. Both of the Democratic candidates (Harinder Grewal and Virginia Madueno) have raised moderate amounts of funding for their candidacies, however neither seem to be on track to catch Vogel. Several candidates have backgrounds in education: Marks (R) is the former President of the California School Boards Association, Grewal (D) was a Turlock School Board Trustee, and Vogel (R) is a former teacher, vice principal and principal.
Senate District 27
Senator Fran Pavley (D) is termed out of this Democratic Los Angeles district (ACSA Region 13) after serving there since 2008. There are five Democrats and one Republican who have filed Statements of Intent with the Secretary of State. The highlight from ACSA staff’s perspective is David Pollock (D), who is a former Moorpark Unified School District’s Governing Board member. The fundraising front runner is Henry Stern (D), who is the senior policy adviser to outgoing Senator Pavley. Stern has also been endorsed by Senator Pavley. While Janice Kamenir-Reznik (D) was a late-comer to SD 27, she has raised considerable funds and received endorsements from Sen. Dianne Feinstein and State Sen Hannah-Beth Jackson, among others. The lone Republican running is Steve Fazio, who a small business owner, LAPD reserve officer and has raised more money than Kamenir-Reznik.
Senate District 29
Republican Bob Huff is terming out of his Senate seat after serving as the Republican Senate leader, leaving in his wake large shoes to fill. With only three candidates running in this highly contested seat, every vote will count when it comes down to the General Election. SD 27 covers the cities of Cypress, Fullerton, La Habra, Placentia, Brea, Yorba Linda, Diamond Bar, Walnut, Rowland Heights and portions of others in Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino Counties (ACSA Region 17). With recent voter registration showing almost equal parts Republicans and Democrats (36.92% and 33.74% respectively) and a high percentage of No Party Preference (25%), it is likely that it will come down to the wire in SD 29.
Republican Ling Ling Chang has given up her Assembly seat to run for Senate, reporting a highly-developed fundraising campaign to support her efforts. Endorsed by outgoing Senator Huff, Asm. Young Kim and former Sen. Dick Ackerman, Chang is the only Republican running. Democrat Sukhee Kang, former Mayor of Irvine, has also shown good marks in fundraising, however he trails Chang by several hundred thousand dollars. Kang has been endorsed by the California Democratic Party and the majority of the state’s Democratic leaders, though, which reflects the importance of this race. Both candidates have their work cut out for them in SD 29.