How Current Tax Laws Impact School Funding

No More BakesalesIn 1978, voters approved Proposition 13, decimating our school funding.  The two major impacts on our schools due to Prop. 13:

(1) Severe cuts to school funding, as counties’ property taxes dropped by one-half (taxes declined from $10.3 billion in 1977-78 to $5.5 billion in 1978-1979) and

(2) A two-thirds vote required to raise revenues at the local or state level, making it virtually impossible to restore our school funding.

First to Worst!  The end result of our inability to restore property tax funds reduced due to Prop. 13?  California schools dropped from “first to worst” – from the top 5 in per student funding and performance to 49th in per student funding and bottom performing.

Prior to Prop 13, local revenues provided nearly half (47.1%) of California school funding, as found in most top performing states.  Today, most California schools rely on Sacramento for funding.

Prop. 13 reduced the per student property tax revenue by more than half.  Prior to the passage of Prop. 13, California’s schools were in the top five.  Since 1981-1982, California has consistently spent below the national average.  The current California state goal, in the new Local Control Funding Formula, only aims to spend – by 2021 – less than half the amount spent by top performing states today.