California voters have a choice: taxes or education?

An education analyst says the governor of California is allowing voters to make the tough choices in light of the state’s economic woes.

Governor Jerry Brown (D) is giving voters in The Golden State the option of either raising taxes or having funding cut from the state’s education system. The Democrat released his 2012-13 budget proposal, projecting that the state will have a $9.2-billion shortfall at the start of July. The budget proposal was released following an announcement that $1 billion in trigger cuts would be made to services in the state.

Brown said that if voters reject tax hikes, he would be forced to cut roughly $5 billion from public schools and slash funds from higher education and courts. Conservative commentators say the governor is placing children in the middle, dangling the carrot of education as an incentive for voters to pass tax hikes.

Lance Izumi, senior director of education studies with the Pacific Research Institute, discusses this under-handed tactic.

“He doesn’t really give voters or the public really any kind of reform proposal attached to that,” Izumi says. “Okay, so he wants to raise taxes. But is he going to reform the different areas where he is going to have increased funding?”

Governor Brown is currently seeking voter support for a November ballot initiative that would tax the wealthy, noting that recent budget cuts and cuts made last year are not enough to solve the state’s fiscal crisis. However, Izumi suggests that there is more involved than merely fiscal failings.

“Many people have the idea that the reason why schools are performing poorly is because they are underfunded,” he tells OneNewsNow. “You know, the thing of it is that there are other factors that are causing schools to perform poorly.”

Nothing contained in this blog is to be construed as necessarily reflecting the views of the Pacific Research Institute or as an attempt to thwart or aid the passage of any legislation.

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