Three Statewide Ballot Measures That Will Impact Schools

There are 12 propositions on California’s November 3 ballot. At least three of them would directly impact students or schools. With just a few more days to go, we’re running through some of the basics.

Proposition 14 

Authorizes $5.5 billion state bonds for: stem cell and other medical research, including training; research facility construction; administrative costs. Dedicates $1.5 billion to brain-related diseases. Appropriates General Fund moneys for repayment. Expands related programs. Fiscal Impact: Increased state costs to repay bonds estimated at about $260 million per year over the next roughly 30 years.

The University of California Board of Regents is supporting this measure. The UC system would be one of the biggest beneficiaries of Proposition 14.

Proposition 15 

Taxes such properties based on current market value, instead of purchase price. Fiscal Impact: Increased property taxes on commercial properties worth more than $3 million providing $6.5 billion to $11.5 billion in new funding to local governments and schools.

Also known as “split roll,” this initiative would mean a tax hike on large businesses. 60% would go toward cities, counties, and special districts. Schools and community colleges would get 40%.

The measure is supported by a number of school districts, the California Teachers Association, and the Los Angeles and San Francisco county boards of supervisors. It is opposed by business groups, taxpayer groups, and former L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

Proposition 16

Permits government decision-making policies to consider race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in order to address diversity by repealing constitutional provision prohibiting such policies. Fiscal Impact: No direct fiscal effect on state and local entities. The effects of the measure depend on the future choices of state and local government entities and are highly uncertain.

Proposition 16 would not create racial quotas in university admissions, but it would allow race to be taken into account. Lack of minority access to the University of California system was a driving force behind this proposition and supporters say it will increase diversity at California’s public colleges.

The measure is supported by California Community Colleges and the California State University, Gov. Gavin Newsom, and the University of California. It opposed by the Chinese American Civic Action Alliance amid fears it could hurt Asian American students.

Read more about how California’s propositions would impact students here