Top priorities Propositions 55 and 58 sail to victory in 2016

In a crowded field of 17 propositions on the statewide ballot, voters clearly saw the value of publicly funded education and passed CFT’s top priority, Proposition 55, with an impressive 24-point margin.

Prop 55 will ensure continued funding for schools and community colleges at the rate of roughly $8 billion a year by maintaining the existing income tax on the wealthiest Californians through 2030. Victory on Prop 55 was critical, and now districts and unions will be able to determine spending without the fear of layoffs, program cuts or eliminations, or student fee increases.

Proposition 55 effectively extends Proposition 30, which started as the CFT’s Millionaires Tax and which voters passed in 2012. It maintains the current income tax rates established in Prop 30 for individuals earning more than $250,000 and couples earning more than $500,000 a year, and extends them for 12 more years.

Another CFT priority was returning effective bilingual education to schools. With an impressive margin of 45 points, voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 58 to repeal 1998’s Proposition 227, which mandated English-only language education for most California students. With Prop 58 in place, parents and school districts will be able to work together to choose how best to teach English learners.

FAQ: All the facts about how Prop 55 will help education. (pdf, 4pp)

Video: The 6-minute CFT video Prop 55: Help our children thrive, explains why we need to maintain the 2012 tax on the state’s wealthiest

Summary Sheet:The Difference Prop 30 Makes, a two-page flyer makes the argument why the crucial tax in Prop 30 needs to be continued (pdf, 2pp)

Ballot summary: Prepared by Attorney General Kamala Harris. (pdf, 1p)

Understanding progressive tax policies: Discover the CFT’s topnotch library of tools and resources about progressive taxation. 

Protecting California: The CFT is a member of the coalition working to pass Prop 55. Get regular updates - sign up for email alerts. 

Track Prop. 30: How much money has your district received from Prop 30? Find out here.

Secretary of State: The state’s official election information. Register to vote and learn everything about General Election 2016.

Yes on Prop 58: Repeal Prop 227 and return successful language instruction to California classrooms.


Disclaimer: Paid for by California Federation of Teachers COPE Prop./Ballot Account. Not authorized by a candidate or a committee controlled by a candidate.


YES on 30: The Schools and Local Public Safety Protection Act of 2012

Ray Gaer.President ABC Federation of Teachers.2Ray Gaer, president of the ABC Federation of Teachers, helps launch the back-to-school portion of the Yes on Prop 30 campaign with Governor Jerry Brown in Hawthorne, at Ramona Elementary School. Cindy Ensworth photo

Proposition 30, the Schools and Local Public Safety Protection Act, is on the November 6 ballot.  Along with Proposition 32, it is the most important issue facing California voters among the many ballot measures.

State budget cuts to public education funding, totaling $20 billion over the past four years, have taken a terrible toll on our ability to deliver the education our students need and deserve.  Prop 30 will raise $9 billion in the first year, and $6 billion a year for six years after that, for public education and other services. It will also provide constitutional approval for the governor’s realignment of funding for local public safety services while protecting Proposition 98 school funding.

Prop 30 would increase income tax rates on individual incomes in excess of a quarter million dollars per year, and modestly increase the state sales tax by ¼ cent, to provide desperately needed revenues to rebuild our schools and services.

It is a progressive tax measure, with 90% of the revenues coming from wealthy taxpayers, and the other 10% from the small increase in the state sales tax.

Prop 30 will begin to restore cuts to school programs devastated by years of recession.  It will also prevent another $5 billion in “trigger cuts” scheduled to kick in January 1, 2013, if Prop 30 fails to pass.



Proposition 32, a measure appearing on the November statewide ballot, is not what it seems. While it claims to be about “stopping special interests” the measure actually exempts corporate special interests and Super PACs from its proposed rules. Instead, Prop 32 would give even more power to the wealthy and well-connected to influence elections, control government and weaken our state’s middle class, while drastically reducing the ability of unions to represent their members and address workers’ needs through the political process.

The millionaire backers of Prop 32 misleadingly call it “The Stop Special Interest Money Now Act,” claiming it would rein in campaign contributions by both unions and corporations. In fact, the deceptive wording of the initiative specifically limits the voice of union members like teachers and school employees, as well as nurses, firefighters and police.

This one-sided measure would make our post-“Citizens United” political system even more unbalanced. It does nothing to stop the flow of money from the wealthy in politics. According to non-partisan research, corporations already outspend unions in the political process by a margin of 15 -1.

At a time when schools and colleges need all the advocacy possible to protect access for students and the jobs of educators, Prop 32 must be stopped.