Written by Natasha Cougoule, SF Latina Giving Circle Member
42 years ago, Prop 13 positioned itself as a means to protect homeowners and businesses from excessive taxation. Today, it’s entrenching wealth inequality and strangling state and local budgets, where education is the first to suffer. As of 2019, California is ranked 29th in per student spending and tuition at California public colleges has grown significantly beyond inflation.
Luckily, we have an opportunity to change course by voting Yes on Prop 15 in November. Prop 15 will increase funding to K-12 schools and California public colleges and empower the next generation of business leaders.
Prop 15 will enrich our schools and communities with $11.5 billion dollars, which directly funds public services and schools. Spending per student at the University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) has declined steadily as the share of Latino students in California public schools has increased. Latinos represent a majority of California’s K-12 public school children and a plurality of CSU students. The UC just admitted a majority Latino class for the first time ever. Our students urgently need and deserve a reinvestment in their education; as the fifth largest economy in the world, we should rank higher than 29th in per-student spending.
Importantly, Prop 15 keeps protections for residences, agricultural businesses, and small businesses in place, and Latinos are the fastest growing group of small business owners in California. This measure will ensure not only that our current business owners are protected and enabled to compete with large corporations, but that those students who graduate from those better-funded schools have a stronger chance of being successful in their own businesses when they graduate. If we give students a fair chance, we put California in a position to reduce wealth inequality and empower the next generation of Latino business leaders.
As my dad would say, é simples. If we want to create a more equal state, increase funding for our kids, and empower current and future business leaders, we need to unite behind Prop 15 and vote YES in November. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to influence the direction of our state and our community. Vote YES on Prop 15 in November.