As Election Day draws near, the battle between Proposition 30 (the California governor’s tax plan to help balance the state budget) and Proposition 38 (Molly Munger’s education tax plan) is heating up – as is the ultimate impact on charter school funding in California. Munger has spent more than $30 million on her ballot measure and has started running commercials that are in opposition to the governor’s efforts. Meanwhile, the governor has also raised millions of dollars for his measure and has vowed to begin non-stop campaigning.
If this were not enough to make for an interesting finish to the campaign season, a few additional factors are at play. Munger’s brother, Charles Munger, Jr., is funding an independent expenditure committee that is also spending money against the governor’s ballot measure. With all of the dollars being spent on competing campaigns, both measures are polling below 50%, which means it’s possible that education could get no additional money from taxpayers, charter school funding will be impacted, and the state budget will still be wildly out of balance after the election. All of these factors have led to Carol Kocivar, the head of the PTA and backer of the Munger proposition, to try to broker a peace treaty between the governor and Molly Munger. The effort has not been successful in either camp.
In the backdrop of all of this is Proposition 32, which the state’s unions are heavily opposing. Prop 32 would place severe limits on organized labor’s ability to contribute to candidates and campaigns, and would restrict their ability to collect union dues for political purposes. Defeating the measure is the union’s number one priority, and the money spent to fund the opposition is money that would otherwise go to support the governor’s ballot measure.
For charter schools preparing school budgets, we suggest they budget conservatively with the assumption that neither Prop 30 nor Prop 38 passes. The general consensus in the world of political consultants is that with the campaigns deepening their opposition, it will be difficult for either measure to pass.
For more information on how the California state budget may impact charter school funding, see Understanding the California State Budget Impacts on Charter School Funding, a recent Charter School Capital post.
UPDATE: As of October 15, Molly Munger pulled one ad attacking Proposition 30, according to the LA Times.