Letters to the Editor

Flunking Prop. 87

Those worried about the future of our schools should be concerned about one particular measure -- Proposition 87 -- which will impose an oil tax that penalizes education. According to California's independent Legislative Analyst, Proposition 87 would decrease state and local tax revenues available for schools and public services. The initiative also skirts pre-existing education funding requirements passed nearly two decades ago through Proposition 98.

Proposition 98's author estimates that Proposition 87 could deny K-12 education funding of up to $1.9 billion over the next 10 years. Following the Legislative Analyst report concluding that the initiative will also reduce local property tax revenues, firefighter and police organizations have joined many educators in opposing Proposition 87. On top of robbed revenue, higher fuel prices resulting from a tax on California-produced oil will further strain school district transportation budgets.

While California's educators do not deny the need for alternative energy research, we believe that Proposition 87 is simply the wrong means for doing so. Despite ads presenting Proposition 87 as an opportunity to stick it to the oil companies, we'll be sticking it to our kids, our businesses and our local governments. Proposition 87 gets a well-deserved F.

Marian Bergeson

Past president

California School Boards Association