Vote ‘yes’ on Proposition 30

Jose Alvarez

There are only a few weeks left until the 2012 elections. As someone who was only fifteen or sixteen years old last presidential election, I am excited and eager to participate this time around. My voice can finally be heard! That’s why I want to urge all college students to help pass proposition 30 as it will greatly benefit us. According to the Official Voter Information Guide for the California General Election, Proposition 30 would increase personal income taxes for those who earn over $250,000 a year for seven years. It will also increasing the sales tax by a quarter of a cent for four years. The revenue collected would go toward educational programs. All of this revenue would amount to approximately $6 billion annually until about 2018 or 2019.

By no means I am trying to shape your political views, as I know that I am in no position to do that. But does voting for this proposal really give us college students anything to lose? Not to generalize or stereotype, but I doubt anyone at LMC makes over $250,000 a year or they probably would not be at a community college. Last time the state increased the sales tax, I didn’t even notice. I personally would not mind sacrificing another penny per dollar if it means we do not lose our educational privileges. A recent article from the Chronicle for Higher Education, “If Prop 30 Fails, What Then?” by Goldie Blumenstyk, gives some alarming numbers if the bill were not to pass come November. Because of the 2013 budget, “the state would automatically cut $338-million from community colleges, $375-million from the University of California system, and $250-million from the California State University system.” Blumenstyk also writes that public school cuts would be worse. That’s an insane amount of money to take from something that is beneficial to society and the economy.

For parents, it will greatly affect your child’s learning. Public schools need more money, not less. I would expect staff lay-offs, leading to larger class sizes. They may also lose valuable resources that help in their learning. For those who work late, after-school programs may take hits or disappear entirely if the bill were to not pass.

Some of the cuts made to public schools may have the same implications on us as college students. We may lose a great number of classes, leading to overpopulated classrooms with a larger student-to-teacher ratio. It is already questionable if we have enough classes for everybody. Do we really need to lose more? Some programs like the school’s sports programs would assumedly take big cuts since they generate no profit. I would hate it if the academic programs, took cuts and had privileges taken away for the amount of work we put in.

The $6 billion a year Prop 30 would generate is a lot of money our state could use for educational purposes. As alumni of Antioch High School, I yearned for better facilities and updated technology to broaden my learning. In AP Statistics, we had a limited amount of TI-83/84 calculators to use in class, which affected those of us who could not afford them. And as those of you who have ever been to a football or soccer game know, the AHS field is well below par — it was basically a mud pit during the winter. I am not saying that Antioch High is the only school that needs this sort of financial help, I am simply using this as an example from personal experience. As college students, I encourage us to vote for Prop 30. I ‘m not telling you what to vote for; I’m giving you my opinion on what I think should happen for our betterment. If we do not check the “Yes” on the ballot, we can only expect the worst as students. Imagine how the suffering you would go through registering next semester if you don’t.