Have You Done Your Homework on Prop 30 and Prop 38?

Here’s some links to where you can find some good factual summaries of the two education ballot initiatives and links to original source documents. Since this voter guide is my personal opinion and analysis, and you should balance it out by educating yourself on these basics. My posts will assume that you are familiar with the two cheat sheets and the two-page summary from EdSource; the rest is just for you to read if you feel so inclined.

If you feel overwhelmed as you go through the research, just know that you are not alone. Understanding how schools are financed in California is as hard as policy gets. Just take a peek at EdSource’s glossary of terms; it’s incredible.

So here’s my caveat: As I post to this voter guide series, know that like you I am a mere mortal trying to understand this stuff. Let’s get through it together. If we disagree or if you find other credible information that contradicts what I say, then let’s share it with each other in the spirit of fellow explorers in unknown territory. We will be more likely to get through to the other side by working together.

Mandatory Reading

There are many out there, but here are wo good cheat sheets by KCET, plus a look at what happens if they both pass:

A two-page summary of the basics of California Schools Finance System by EdSource

Optional Reading

The official text of the ballot measures:

The Legislative Analysts Office analysis of the ballot measures:

A one-page fact sheet about Prop 98 which was passed by voters in 1988 and is used to determine 70% of school funding:


  1. [...] As a parent who volunteers in the schools and has learned the hard way just how complicated school finance is, I want to share my personal analysis of the two education initiatives on this November’s ballot — Prop 30 (a.k.a. Governor Brown’s Initiative) and Prop 38 (a.k.a. Molly Munger’s Initiative). If you need some basic background about each proposition, you can find good links at my “homework” post. [...]

  2. [...] you are busy and care about the schools, too. My Voter Guide for Parents is now published. Go here for some important links and background reading or here for the Voter Guide [...]

  3. [...] A: The lottery was not a quick fix for the schools as it only generates enough revenue for 2% of the education budget. Prop 98 was sold to voters as a minimum funding guarantee for the schools. Unfortunately, in practice it has become a maximum funding guarantee since the legislature has not funded it more than it is required to by law. More information on Prop 98 can be found in the links on this page. [...]

  4. [...] Initiative). If you need some basic background about each proposition, you can find good links at my “homework” post.I based my analysis on one simple principle: Children should not be made to pay for the mistakes of [...]

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