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CSBA challenges Prop 98 manipulation in May Revise


Likely unconstitutional maneuver would undermine school funding for foreseeable future

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (May 10, 2024) – “Gov. Gavin Newsom’s 2024–25 May Revise presentation was mostly broad strokes, so we will reserve full judgment until we see the details when they are revealed on May 14. Still, we’re disappointed the Governor declined to back away from the unprecedented and likely unconstitutional Proposition 98 maneuver contained in his most recent budget proposals,” said CSBA President Albert Gonzalez. “Instead, he doubled down and the proposed Prop 98 manipulation would now take $8.8 billion in spending that was clearly allocated to schools — and reclassify it as non-education spending. This accounting gimmick would lower the baseline for calculating education funding in subsequent years, subjecting California schools to lower revenue for the foreseeable future. This sets a terrible precedent that potentially destabilizes education funding and undermines the voters’ intent when they passed Proposition 98 more than 35 years ago.

“While we understand the appeal of short-term fixes, they can’t come at the long-term expense of public school funding, nor run counter to the State Constitution and the will of the electorate. To serve California students, we must preserve Prop 98, avoid new pet projects, remain focused on the effective implementation of existing programs, identify resources to address staffing shortages and stop the growth of unfunded mandates that negatively impact existing initiatives and reduce local control.”


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