Magazine article University Business

Voters Say Yes to Proposition 30: Higher Ed Ballot Initiatives Shown Support

Magazine article University Business

Voters Say Yes to Proposition 30: Higher Ed Ballot Initiatives Shown Support

Article excerpt

While voters across the nation were glued to their screens on election night counting electoral votes, the higher education community was holding its collective breath awaiting the answers on a number of important ballot initiatives, proving this year's election was truly about more than blue and red for higher ed.

Perhaps the most important ballot initiative passed was in California, where Proposition 30--which will raise sales tax by one cent for every $4 spent for four years and increase the income tax on the state's wealthiest for seven years--was given a nod by 53.3 percent of voters.

"I would say more than any other state referendum involving higher education, this one will have the most immediate and positive effect," shares Daniel J. Hurley, director of state relations and policy analysis at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.

It's a plan that Gov. Jerry Brown campaigned on two years ago, and one that will avert immediate cuts of $250 million from both the California State University and University of California systems and $300 million from the California Community Colleges System.

"While there was a lot of discussion from the presidential election on clown about class warfare, the voters didn't send the message saying 'tax the rich in the state'; they said even in dire economic times, they still want to see increased public investment in K20 education and they're willing to pay for it personally, and that's a heck of a message that I hope state lawmakers received."

Terry Hartle, senior vice president at the American Council on Education, says the approval of Prop. 30 is a good sign for public institutions across the country.

"I think everyone in American higher education who cares about the future of public colleges and universities is breathing a sigh of relief," he shares. …

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