Video: Culver City Prop 38 Supporters Unite at Rally

A yes vote on Proposition 38 would guarantee over $6 million for Culver City Unified School District schools in 2013-14.

Culver City parents, students, and community leaders gathered Tuesday evening at Veteran’s Memorial Park to rally with the Culver City PTA and United Parents of Culver City to urge their friends and neighbors to vote yes for Proposition 38.

On the state ballot November 6, Prop. 38 is an education initiative that would guarantee that new income tax dollars go straight to every local school in California, restoring deep cuts to education throughout the state.

For Culver City, a yes on 38 vote would guarantee over $6 million for Culver City Unified School District schools in 2013-14, then increasing to approximately $15 million by 2023-24, according to the California State PTA.

Speakers at the rally included  rally organizer and parent and executive Vice President of the Culver City Council PTA Jody Reichel; parent and School Board member Laura Chardiet; retired teacher and school board member Nancy Goldberg; United Parents of Culver City (UPCC) president Steven Levin; Scott McVarish and Scott Kecken also of United Parents of Culver City; parent and legislative advocate and PTA member Ken Browning who emceed the event, and Culver City High School students Roy Gonzalez, Nick Guthman and Martin Beer.

“Folks, this is real. This can make a difference. This time it really counts. This is the single most important thing we can do for our kids this year,” said McVarish.

Proponents of Proposition 38 say that money generated could be used to reduce class sizes, add counselors and librarians restore art, music, math and science programs to Culver City Unified students as well as all students across California.

“When I was growing up, California’s public schools were among the best in the nation. Today California ranks 47th in per pupil spending,” said Jody Reichel, parent and executive vice president of the Culver City Council PTA. “In the last four years alone our state has cut $24 billion from our public schools.”

School board member Laura Chardiet explained how Culver City has survived the cuts thus far.

“Part of the reason we have excellent schools [in Culver City] is because our teachers, our administrators and our staff have taken furlough days to keep cuts away from our classrooms," she said. "We have an Education Foundation, PTA and boosters that year after year raise more and more money to plug the holes that are created from our lack of funding from Sacramento.”  

Proposition 38 raises money using a “fair share” approach, or a sliding scale tax.  The tax is based on the ability to pay, with the wealthiest Californians paying the most, about 2.2% more in taxes. Most people earning under $50,000 will not see their taxes increase.

To ensure that the money goes directly to the students, Proposition 38 guarantees that Sacramento politicians can’t touch it and the money can’t be used for any other purposes. Extra dollars are brought into the local schools on a per pupil basis, and each dollar raised will be spent with community input and evaluations. School districts must publicly disclose how the new funds were spent.  

“If proposition 38 passes, so will the students of today, so will the students of tomorrow,” said Culver City High School Junior Nick Guthman.

California has a second education initiative, Proposition 30, also on the ballot in November. Proposition 30 uses a sales tax increase instead of an income tax.

Since only one of the propositions can become law, the one with the most votes will win. The supporters at the Culver City rally asked that Culver City voters cast a yes vote for both 30 and 38.

McVarish pointed out that Proposition 30 simply prevents further cuts.

“If 30 doesn't pass our schools will have twice as many cuts as they suffered in the last five years. If 38 passes, we actually get new, additional money for the first time in five years," he said.

“If neither passes, our schools and our kids will be hit very hard,” said Reichel. “You may prefer one measure or the other, but if you care about giving our kids a chance to build a future as great as or better than our past, please don’t split the vote. Please vote for both Prop 30 and Prop 38.  We owe it to our kids to do all we can to stop the cuts.”

Culver City PTA and United Parents of Culver City announced that they are working together to help spread the word on voting yes on Propositions 30 and 38. UPCC’s Parents-to-Friends campaign will utilize social networking such as Facebook to personally connect to voters in the community. For more information on this effort, email pac@UnitedParentsCulverCity.com , go to Facebook.com/upccpac or visit http://www.UnitedParentsCulverCity.com.

For more information about the Yes on 38 campaign, including how much new funding Prop 38 sends directly to schools in your community, visit http://www.prop38forlocalschools.org

Be sure to like Culver City Patch on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and sign up for our free daily newsletter for email updates.

Kelly Hartog October 10, 2012 at 04:13 PM
Thanks guys. Actually, the word "supporters" was supposed to be originally be in the headline and somehow it got left out. I'm correcting it. As for the link to those who want to support Prop 38 - that's perfectly acceptable. The article clearly states that this is an initiative by UPC and the Culver City PTA and that's what the rally was about and who it was organized by. Nobody is being forced to go to the site. We'd be more than happy to accept a blog post or a letter to the editor from anyone who doesn't support Prop 38 or Prop 30.
Steve Levin October 11, 2012 at 04:08 AM
You can make whatever argument you like about taxes being too high, or it being the politicians fault, or the unions, or whoever you want to blame. The fact remains that funding for our schools has been cut year after year, and we simply have no way to reduce further without losing vital services. Parent volunteers and donations already pay for virtually all the "nonessentials" like field trips, art and music classes, computers, assemblies, and so on. Nearly every school district in the state has laid off teachers or shortened the school year to save money. There just isn't anything left to give. If neither prop 30 or 38 passes, our schools are going to fail, statewide. You can blame whichever politicians you like for that dilemma, and vote them out of office, but please don't destroy our children's future in the process.
Maddie Hopfield October 11, 2012 at 08:07 AM
Hmm. I'm a Culver City High School student, rallying for yes on prop 30 and no and prop 38 with the Culver City Democratic Party. Thought that was what most CC residents were for.
Ken Browning October 11, 2012 at 06:47 PM
Do the math on each, how much will go to PreK- 12. In the end probably less that $ 5 billion a year for 7 years with Prop 30, while with Prop 38, around $ 10 billion per year over 12 years. They'd each expire unless extended at those times. Prop 13 and other propositions over the years have the legislators bound at the purse strings to spend on certain things and not others, I am as bewildered as the next guy about this. Two simple points. Will it prevent cuts to education funding? Prop 30 will. Will it increase funding for preK through 12 th grade? Prop 38 will.
Ken Browning October 11, 2012 at 07:19 PM
One more thing. We should consider VERY carefully before passing ANY tax. My general rule of thumb on props is if it ain't ready, vote NO. That's just me. We should judge each on its merits, not knee jerk yes or no. Each one of us COULD do with less of certain government services, is education one of them? Careful how you answer that one, folks, we are 47th in the nation. While the tax cuts that we as Americans have enjoyed for the baby Bush era expire, we may return to funding some things the Feds have done, like cheap food and gas, higher ed and guaranteeing home loans that we all dip into. Check Michael Grunwald's article in Time magazine September 17 "One Nation Subsidized" http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2123809,00.html. Should we all shiver in caves until SOMEONE ELSE pays? Wake up Cali, it's a good thing life ain't cheap like in other states and countries around the world.


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