By Dale Lendrum
Western Sun News editor
An USC Dornsife/L.A. Times Poll released last Thursday, Oct. 25, show that Proposition 30’s approval rating has dropped to 46 percent across the state with less than two weeks before the Nov. 6 election.
Polls further showed that those numbers fell to 44 percent when the respondents were provided with the arguments from both sides of the issue – including Governor Jerry Brown’s assurance that Prop. 30 would prevent school cuts.
California’s 2012 – 13 fiscal year budget was passed with the assumption that Prop. 30 would pass bringing some $6 billion in additional revenue to the state’s general fund from which education is funded.
Also written into the budget were trigger cuts to the budget that would take affect Jan. 1 if Prop. 30 failed.
With over half a billion dollars in trigger cuts to California’s community colleges slated for Jan. 1, 2013 if Proposition 30 does indeed fail, and recent polls show it will, the Coast Community College District, which includes Golden West, Orange Coast, and Coastline colleges, is preparing for the coming storm.
The Community College League has released it’s district, by district, impact report available at: www.ccleague.org/budget.
“For Coast, the failure of Proposition 30 would lead to an automatic cut of $10,740,000 on January 1, 2013. When the cut happens, the state will order Coast to reduce courses for the equivalent of 2,370 full-time equivalent students, which would eliminate 4,980 students.”
Another reduction in courses, or sections offered, will bring GWC’s enrollment numbers down to about 40 percent of what they were just four short years ago.
The Governor has come under fire in recent weeks for not having begun serious campaigning for his tax measure earlier than just a few weeks ago.
The Governor’s tax proposal would raise an additional $6 billion per year by increasing the state sales tax by a quarter of a cent for four years, and raising the personal income tax rate of those earning $250,000 a year or more for 6 years.
With just days before the election, and so much at stake, both sides are watching closely to see what the voters have to say come Nov. 6.