For over 40 years, schools and communities across California have been starved of funding. Making compromises and cuts that short change students of a great education and working families of vital community services have just become everyday business. The Schools and Communities First Funding Act will put an end to this—it will end 40 years of disinvestment and allow us to start investing in our future.
Schools and Communities First will…
Help reclaim $12 billion annually for schools and local communities. Get involved.
How Public Education Funding Works in California
Tax Dollars Fund Education
The State of California gets revenue for funding education from different sources, with most of it coming from state funds (e.g. sales tax, income tax, Prop 98, etc.). As you can see, commercial property taxes are an unusually small portion of the overall funding. This is because of the Prop 13 loopholes, and is why California is 47th in the country in per-pupil spending.
Funds Are Distributed By the State
The California State Legislature and Governor determine what portion of the State Budget goes to education. From there, county offices of education throughout the state distribute funds to local school districts.
Schools Boards Decide How Funds Are Used Locally
At local school districts, budgets are set by the school board. The board decides how much money goes toward student services (e.g. food, transportation, equipment, supplies, staffing) and all the things needed to support student learning. Other expenditures, like employee wages and health care benefits, are contractually negotiated with employee unions.
Union Contracts Ensure Money is Used for Good Jobs & Improving Student Services
Wages, health care benefits, staffing levels and other working conditions are contractually negotiated between employee unions, like SEIU Local 99, and the employer. As a 30,000-member-strong union, we have the power to negotiate contracts that secure wage increases and improvements to the student services we provide. We also have an influential voice in local and state policymaking around education funding, and who gets elected to office. Quite simply: solidarity with your co-workers and taking part in contract bargaining and election campaigns is how we get our piece of the pie.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Schools & Communities First Initiative
Paid for by Service Employees International Union Local 99