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Full and Fair Funding Coalition Defers Ballot Measure to 2022

Group seeks to avoid conflict with alternative school funding measure


SACRAMENTO, Calif., (December 4, 2019) The Full and Fair Funding coalition announced that it will move its school funding measure to November 2022 in order to avoid conflict with other measures that aim to benefit public schools. In the meantime, the group will continue to advocate for legislative solutions to the school funding crisis ahead of the November 2022 ballot. The coalition’s Public School Progress, Prosperity, and Accountability Act would generate $15 billion annually to support learning in the state’s K-12 public schools and community colleges and raise California from 38th nationally in school funding to the national average.

“California’s education funding crisis has reached its fourth decade and our urgency to rectify this stain on our state’s legacy and impediment to its future is as great as ever,” said California School Boards Association CEO & Executive Director Vernon M. Billy. “After conducting a significant amount of polling and analysis, we have determined that having two measures on the same ballot that — at least in part — provide funding for public schools, risked a scenario where our measure would come up short. To avoid that outcome, we will move our Full and Fair FundingSM measure to the November 2022 ballot and concentrate our efforts on working with the Legislature and Governor to increase school funding, first to the national average, and then to the average of the top 10 states.”

The California School Boards Association, the Association of California School Administrators and the Community College League of California launched the Full and Fair Funding initiative to reverse 40 years of decline in school funding and raise the state’s per-pupil funding from 38th place nationally. While California’s school funding ranked in the top five nationally as recently as the 1970s, the state now provides approximately $2,500 per student less than the national average on a cost-adjusted basis.

“While the education community recognizes that Full and Fair Funding has the potential to fundamentally change the funding landscape for California schools, and consistent polling of likely voters shows it to be one of the most historically resilient proposals, ACSA and its members have no interest in jeopardizing initiatives that have already qualified for the 2020 ballot,” said ACSA Executive Director Dr. Wesley Smith. “We are withdrawing our filing and focusing our efforts on future ballots. In the meantime, we remain interested in working with the Governor and Legislature if there is the will in the state Capitol to deliver fiduciary resources that would allow California educators to better meet the academic, physical, social and emotional needs of California’s 6.2 million students.”

Given its wealth and the high needs of its student population, California’s investment in schools should be among the nation’s highest. Instead, California’s school spending lags the average of the top 10 states by $7,153 per pupil. If the state supported schools at simply the national average, funding would increase by $2,475 per pupil on a cost-adjusted basis. That’s an additional $61,875 for a classroom of 25 students and more than $1.2 million in added funding for a school of 500 students.

The 2022 Full and Fair Funding ballot measure would produce an unprecedented investment in California’s schools by:    

  • Raising $15 billion annually for K-12 schools and community colleges
  • Allocating 89 percent of the $15 billion generated to K-12 schools and 11 percent to California community colleges
  • Guaranteeing that the revenue goes to schools and can’t be diverted by the Legislature
  • Implementing strict fiscal accountability and public transparency provisions

The revenue to fund the measure would be generated by:

  • Increasing taxes on net corporate income over $1 million by up to 5 percent
  • Increasing personal income taxes on taxable income over $1 million by up to 2 percent and by up to 3 percent on taxable income over $2 million
  • Implementing strict fiscal accountability and public transparency provisions

“In an era when social mobility — long a point of pride in America — is declining, it’s more important than ever that we invest in community colleges as a bridge to strong careers and membership in the middle class,” said Larry Galizio, President and CEO of the Community College League of California. “California has a reputation as a place of opportunity and reinvention, but the rising cost of higher education is threatening that status for low- and middle-income families, for veterans and for workers seeking a career change. Full and Fair Funding would restore the promise of higher education for many Californians and provide the investment needed to offer equity, access and opportunity for all the state’s students.”

California’s schools suffered deep cuts during the Great Recession and the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) only recently returned revenue to 2007 levels. As a result, funding has not substantially increased, on an inflation-adjusted basis, for more than a decade, while the cost of educating students has risen substantially during that time. In order to prepare California students for college, career and civic life, the state’s leaders must demonstrate the will and the foresight to end underinvestment in public schools.

“The campaign has entered a new phase and we will intensify our efforts to ensure that every California student has access to a high-quality education that prepares them for modern society and the 21st-century workplace,” Billy said. “We have 6.2 million reasons to continue the fight for Full and Fair Funding.” 


CSBA is a nonprofit association representing nearly 1,000 PreK-12 school districts
and county offices of education throughout California.