Why I'm Voting Yes on Proposition 55

Across the state, educators, parents and so many others are telling us why they support Proposition 55 and why it is so critical for our students and schools. The stories recall the pain of deep cuts, highlight the progress being made, and remind us what Proposition 55 is really all about – our children. 

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I have many close friends who are teachers… In order to provide basic education for their students they often already use their own money to buy basic supplies for the classroom. 

Anthony N, Los Angeles

I have been teaching for 29 years and I have seen the booms and the busts in CA. I have seen classes as large as 38 students. I have seen art and music cut. I have seen librarians and teachers’ aides cut. We can’t go back to cut even more. 

Kathy K, Bakersfield

I taught high school math for two dozen years in San Jose. During the recession, we endured deep cuts – libraries open a mere one hour per day, students losing an entire week of school, an extra three or four students crammed into each classroom. 

Don D, San Diego

I taught for 29 years. There is nothing greater than greeting brand new teachers into the profession that I dedicated my life too. Their eyes gleaming with expectation and their hearts full of hope. During the recession I witnessed four years of layoffs. We lost an entire generation of teachers and all of our schools now face shortages. 

Chris P, San Diego

In 2011 I was scraping to get by as a teacher and baseball coach at a high school in the San Gabriel Valley. I had more students than books, and more players than bats and balls on the baseball field.  In 2012, the voters passed Prop 30 to invest in my students. The revenue generated by this tax has helped to provide supplies in my class room, and helmets and umpires for our athletes. We can’t go back. Join me and the students who have benefited so much from by voting Yes on 55.

Shay L, Los Angeles

As a teacher I began my career teaching 6th grades in middle school. I taught in a lower socio-economic area. With our funding we were able to buy extra supplies, book, backpacks and fund bussing and field trips. Fast forward to 2008 and my class sizes increased. There were no extra funds for books or field trips. We also had to cut out bussing, art and music. When Prop 30 passed suddenly a light shone in our district. We were able to lower class sizes and hire new teachers. We brought back art, music, dance and technology. We can’t go back to the dark days. Our students deserve better. 

Barbara D, San Diego

I believe in the crucial role public education plays in our democracy. I have devoted my life to teaching as a patriotic duty. While the students have largely remained the same over 27 years of service, the money available to support my classroom has fluctuated wildly. As a science teacher, I went through a decade of having $60 in my budget to buy materials. I taught physics with paper clips and 2 liter soda bottles. Over the last 2 years, I have been able to buy modern equipment. I do not want to go back to $60 per year for my 160 students. I will work to support prop 55! 

Mike B, Merced

For me as an individual, school played such a large role in shaping who I am today. I have many memories of great experiences with teachers, lessons, sports, and many friends. As a teacher, I now see the other side of education, and we do our best with what we have for the future and well-being of our children.

Geoff M, Placentia

I’m a teacher approaching the end of my career. The great recession was the hardest. To watch budgets slashed, resources and support personnel disappear, class sizes grow, salaries freeze and even furlough days has been very agonizing. In the last few years however everything has been improving. Our students have been doing better and better. It is my fondest hope that as I leave my career I can watch our students continue to prosper. Vote YES on Prop. 55!

James M, San Jose

I am a science teacher in West Sacramento. Since Proposition 30 passed four years ago, my district has been able to add a number of programs that benefit children. We now have an art teacher at every campus, we have a new dual immersion bilingual program, and are starting a farm-to-fork program with partnerships with multiple local groups. If the funding provided by Prop 30 goes away, we will lose these great new programs.

Donald S, Sacramento

I saw multiple rounds of layoffs and may young, fresh, brilliant teachers leave the profession because we could not afford to keep them in our rural district. 4 years ago we found a temporary solution with a fair and appropriate tax funding level and were able to stop the bleeding. I have seen hiring return, programs improve and students given many more opportunities for a well-rounded education, in the way of art, sports and other enrichment program. We can’t go back. Please vote yes on Prop 55. 

Michael C, Bakersfield

From 2006-2011, I watched students ask year after year, “where is Mr./Ms (Blank)?” Our students don’t always have stable homes—but schools had always been stable for them. They knew things were bad when schools weren’t stable. The stability has returned since 2012. Please help continue to provide that stability for our students by voting YES on prop. 55 and allowing our students to thrive!

Dale M, Newport

In the last round of budget cuts I fielded call after call from teachers – many of them with years of experience – who were being laid off or whose programs were being cut. Class sizes grew beyond reason. Art and Music programs were slashed. Libraries closed. No one was unaffected.

George Y, Sacramento

I grew up in a low income family who were war refugees. Without public school, I would never have been educated.... never learned to read, never finished high school, gone to college, or gotten a law degree. Education is a right--not a privilege--of every child in this state. We must continue to make it a priority as the future of our community, our state, our livelihood, depends on it.

Xong L, Stockton

Cuts to the CSU during the Great Recession were unprecedented – class sizes boomed, faculty saw furloughs and stagnant wages, tuition increased and class availability decreased. Prop 55 is critical for all facets of public education. Gov. Brown has already said that without it, the state faces $4B in cuts. For the CSU, that means at least $250M cut from its annual base budget. Without 55, we face 2012 all over again, at a time when we have only just begun to rebuild and recover as a state.

Nora L, Sacramento

In past years, when the schools had money, teachers could attend various trainings about how to present topics in many ways. Sometimes when we teach, there are 1-2 kids who just don’t understand what you are presenting. I have found that for those students, showing them a different way to approach the problem makes them feel happy that they can understand. In the past years, there has not been money for trainings. All the new teachers need that training so that they can reach all the students, 100% not 95%. Vote Yes on Prop. 55!

Rosalind K, Santa Ana

My mother and aunt were both teachers, and my father instilled a love of history in me. My natural career choice was to….teach history. I was fortunate to get hired at a phenomenal school, but because of budget cuts, I was kept as a long term sub all year long. I watched for years as my friends & colleagues were also given pink slips. Fortunately, with the passage of prop 30, those came to an end in our district—but without the passage of Prop 55 we will be right back to those days again. Vote YES on Prop. 55

Jeremy K, Orange County

I am a 2nd generation Eureka native. My husband is 4th generation. We both benefitted from an excellent public school education. Our children were also educated and graduated in Eureka City Schools. While they were in grade school, the latest cuts to education began - we saw schools close and programs cut. As a mother, I was very concerned…because I saw first-hand how devastating the cuts were to our kids. I support Prop 55!

Susan J, Arcata

I teach 6th grade and also hold a CA school library credential. I looked forward to being full-time in a school library, the hub of the school, welcoming ALL learners; reluctant readers and gifted readers. My school district was forced to remove school libraries due to budget cuts during the crisis. Libraries strengthens student achievement—we must pass Prop. 55 so we don’t go back to cuts!

Kathryn I, Bakersfield

Passing Prop 55 means bringing back and continuing the programs that matter most in developing the WHOLE child. When I write my report card comments for my kindergarten and 1st grade students, I report on more than just reading, writing, and math grades. I need to be able to point out the skills of our future painters, musicians, engineers, architects, mechanics, therapists, mothers, and fathers. Those skills matter and the “extras” allow children to showcase them. These skills make us human. Prop 55 allows us fund those things that remind us of this approach for our precious children. Vote yes!

Shari H, Vacaville

I want to ensure that California’s students have the best possible opportunities to thrive. When I started teaching, six years ago, I had close to 40 students in my classroom. The school day has been cut by 10 days to “save money.” I remember being limited to 100 photocopies per semester. 100 copies—for 180 students—just doesn’t work and our students deserve better. Prop 55 is a way to ensure that vital student services are funded. This revenue goes directly to local schools where it’s needed. We can’t go back! Please vote yes on 55!

Lauran H, Chino

Education, from one generation to another this is the first step in becoming a productive human being. Without the funding to keep the schools operating at a quality high standard and we will lose many children who could be our next President, our next world leader. 

Joy H, Fresno

As a child of migrant farm workers, education was my opportunity to escape the trap of poverty. I was fortunate enough to attend the public school system in California, and break the poverty cycle for me—and my children. We must continue to provide to our future generations the same opportunity! It is imperative we pass Prop 55! 

Rafael G, Bakersfield

My brother, six years my junior, just started his first teaching job. I’ve watched him work hard to become a teacher—this is his dream job. I fear that without the critical education funding that Prop 55 would provide, he’d be a talent lost if once again, there are cuts to education in California. He wouldn’t be the only one to suffer. The dozens of students he’ll mentor and inspire would suffer too. It’s about more than just education funding – this proposition would create and maintain quality education, teachers and guarantee that thousands of our kids get the type of education that is their civil right. Vote yes on Prop. 55

Niesha F, Sacramento

I am a grandparent to children attending public schools. I am concerned that if we do not pass Prop. 55, they will feel the impact. This measure is NOT a tax increase and temporarily maintains income tax rates on the wealthiest Californians. With the mandatory audits and accountability requirements in place, we can be assured that Proposition 55 will prevent cuts to education because the money collected goes directly to local schools.  VOTE YES ON PROP. 55

Ed F, Granite Bay

Both of my parents were educators. When I was young, I went to my father's school where he was the principal. My father would tell me that over 27 languages were spoken at the school. He always told me how important public school was because it was the "great equalizer" in which every child had an opportunity to learn. I support Prop. 55 because I want every child to have the opportunity that my father talked about. I don't want to go back to cuts that deny children the opportunity to learn and be part of a better future.

Lori E, Sacramento

I worked with youth who slipped through the cracks--LGBTQ youth and many marginally housed and homeless. Passing Prop. 55 is an important step to support our schools and help with funding for necessary resources--including support staff, counselors, educators, diversity trainings, art and music, and other spaces VITAL for LGBTW kids to express themselves. Access to healthcare is also deeply important to me--I saw firsthand how young people who did not have their basic needs met (food, clothing, shelter) have an impact on their health. 

Sammy D, San Francisco

I was an elementary school principal during the late 2000’s and early 2010’s. I vividly recall sitting with my school site council on a cold and windy February evening in 2007 wrestling with the decision on what programs we were going to cut for the following year. It was a sober and unpleasant conversation.

Michael D, Eureka

My son’s school now offers a music class. He gets excited for this class. This attitude toward school has changed just by him experiencing the music class. As a mother I feel overjoyed that his school is able to provide this class, and his overall attitude about school has changed.

Monica B, San Diego

One of the reasons I feel so passionately about Prop. 55 is because some of the monies raised will go toward increasing access to quality health care for Low-income families. My students come from low-income families, so this will directly impact my classroom. Let me give you a little example. At my school, when a class spells out “perfect attendance” by gaining one letter each day all students are present, that class then gets a huge treat. It took my class all year to receive this treat since there is limited access to health care. Vote YES on Prop. 55!

Lisa B, Bakersfield