SACRAMENTO – Senator Mark Leno today announced plans to introduce a state constitutional amendment giving local voters more power to approve school parcel taxes. The constitutional amendment, which would go to the ballot for approval by California voters if it passes both houses of the Legislature and is signed by the Governor, would allow local voters to approve school parcel taxes with a 55% vote. It would conform the vote requirement for approval of a parcel tax dedicated to local education to the 55% majority currently required for approval of local school bonds. The constitutional amendment would apply to measures introduced by local school districts, community colleges and county offices of education.
“Education funding across California has been decimated in recent years, with severe consequences for students and our local schools,” said Senator Leno. “Our per-pupil public education budget now ranks an embarrassing 47th among all states. Our students and teachers struggle with some of the most overcrowded classrooms in the nation and are hurt by a serious shortage of school librarians, nurses and counselors. This change in law would give voters the power to make decisions about public education at the local level, allowing schools much-needed flexibility to improve instruction, fund libraries, music, the arts or other programs, or hire more teachers to reduce student-to-teacher ratios.”
Senator Leno’s constitutional amendment will be introduced on December 3, the start of the 2013-14 legislative session.
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