Can an apple a day keeps school funding cuts away?
That's what Castro Valley teachers will test Wednesday morning when they gather outside Chabot Elementary School to hand parents apples with stickers urging them to vote yes on Proposition 30 in the Nov. 6 election.
Backed by Gov. Jerry Brown, Prop 30 would:
- increase the tax rate on incomes above $250,000 per individual (or $500,000 per couple) by 1 to 3 percentage points for seven years, and;
- increase the state sales tax by a quarter of a cent for four years.
Most important to the teachers handing out apples Wednesday morning, passage of Prop 30 would stave off $4.8 billion in midyear cuts to public schools.
"Chabot is a great school and an asset to our community," said John Green, president of the Castro Valley Teachers Association, which is organizing the apple handout. "It's the epitomy of what we want our schools to look like and an example of what we might lose if Prop 30 fails."
A second measure on the Nov. 6 ballot addresses education funding. It is Proposition 38.
Prop 38 has been spearheaded Molly Munger, a former federal prosecutor, Stanford University trustee and public school advocate who is one of eight children of Charles Munger, the billionaire vice-chairman of Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway, Inc.
Prop 38 would raise about $6 billion to $8.5 billion annually for public K-12 schools for 12 years through a temporary increase in personal income taxes. The increases would come on a sliding scale, with the vast majority money raised coming from Californians at the top 5 percent of the income scale.
But Prop 38 would also mean small increases for those with taxable incomes as low as $7,316 a year, according to a Los Angeles Times editorial urging a yes on 30 and a no on 38.
Under the California Constitution it takes only a simple majority to pass either initiative.
If both tax increases should pass on November 6 the one that gets the most votes goes into effect.
Green said the Castro Valley Teacher's Association is neutral on Prop 38, but prefers Prop 30.