PLEASANTON -- With millions of dollars on the line for public education funding come November, the Pleasanton school board is still unsure which statewide funding proposition to tell voters to support.
At their meeting Tuesday, trustees held off on a recommendation until they too can read more on the propositions.
Both Proposition 30 and 38 could directly affect how much money the state can allocate to public school districts, but each proposition has its pros and cons.
Prop. 30 is a sales and income tax increase that for local public schools will temporarily allocate tax revenues to K-12 schools and to community colleges. The proposition doesn't allow the use of funds for administrative costs, but it does allow local school governing boards discretion to decide, in open meetings and subject to annual audit, how funds are to be spent.
Prop. 38 would raise the income tax rate on most Californians through 2024. The amount of the increase would depend on the individual's tax bracket. The revenues would go into a special fund called the California Education Trust Fund, or CETF. The money would be used for three purposes: to pay for schools, to pay for early care and education programs and to pay down state debts.
It all hangs in the balance, however. The propositions will not go into effect if Gov. Jerry Brown's tax initiative does not pass in November.
At the Pleasanton school board meeting Tuesday, trustees discussed just how "frightened" school boards across the state are when it came to the possibility of losing more money. They want voters to approve some measure to keep state monies trickling to public schools, but choosing which proposition to get behind has been a dilemma.
That struggle was apparent at Tuesday meeting.
While trustees Jamie Hintzke and Valerie Arkin pushed for the board to wait to make a decision about whether to support one proposition or both, trustee Jeff Bowser wanted the board to come to an agreement about where to place their allegiance that night.
"The bottom line is that our school system is under dire fiscal constraints," he said. "We should be in support of either proposition that passes."
Trustee Chris Grant, however, was on the fence.
He said he didn't know the difference between the two propositions, but he also agreed that some decision in support of one of them must be made soon.
"The public gets confused over two initiatives and chooses not to vote for either," said trustee Chris Grant. "We will benefit from either one. The public needs to vote for funding. Sixteen school days are what is really at stake if something is not done."
Ultimately, with only Bowser opposing their decision, the board agreed to put off any decision until its next meeting on Sept. 11.
"We have got to be smart about how our money is spent," Bowser said. "I'm not sure sides need to be taken here."
Contact Katie Nelson at 925-847-2164 or follow her at Twitter.com/katienelson210