55 percent support Prop. 30, 40 percent support Prop.

Beau Yarbrough, Staff Writer
Created: 08/26/2012 12:13:47 PM PDT

Special Section: Education

A new poll released shows tepid support for two November ballot propositions intended to fund California’s public schools, even before the ad campaigns opposing the propositions begin. And that has some local educators warning of potential dire consequences for local districts.

According to the poll, conducted by the Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE)/USC Rossier School of Education, only about 55 percent of Californians support Prop. 30, Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed quarter-cent sales tax and income tax increase on individuals making more than $250,000 a year.

Support for a competing ballot initiative, Prop. 38, which would raise income taxes on those earning more than $7,316, was even weaker, with only about 40 percent of Californians in favor of it, according to the poll’s results.

Both propositions – only the most popular of which would take effect, if both won – are aimed at funding education, according to supporters. (State revenue is the primary source of funding for California’s public schools.) If neither win, Brown has said there will be big cuts to the revenue the state provides to California’s 1,131 public school districts.

The poll was released Wednesday and surveyed 1,041 likely California voters between Aug. 3 and 7. The margin of error was plus or minus 3 percent. The weak results for the survey are in advance of any advertisements opposing the two ballot propositions, which can be expected to diminish support to some degree.

The survey suggests many Californians may be open to the arguments likely to be made against the propositions: Nearly half of respondents agreed with the statement that politicians should focus on cutting spending before raising taxes, compared to 35 percent who agreed with the statement that voters should “take a stand against further cuts to schools and public safety, make the wealthy pay their fair share and help balance the budget.”

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