Governor Jerry Brown's Proposition 30 could result in $6 billion in either new money or drastic cuts for public schools. Brown went on a five-city swing to promote Proposition 30.
"Proposition 30 is about all of us," said Brown. "It's not about a candidate. It's not about any politician standing around here. It's about the kids. It's about our schools. It's about the California dream."
Prop. 30 would raise money with a quarter-cent sales tax increase, along with an income tax surcharge. The surcharge would apply to people earning more than $250,000 per year. Proposition 30 leads in some recent polls, but it still could be in trouble.
Douglas Boyd is a member of the Los Angeles County Board of Education. He opposes Prop. 30.
"This is a scam," said Boyd. "It's not about education. The money does not go to education. They put that $6 billion in their little program, they take $6 billion out the other end."
That's not true, says Brown and Proposition 30 supporters. But they warn that if Prop. 30 does not pass it would mean a reduction of about three weeks in the school year.
"Some people say, 'Gee, that tax. How do we afford that?' Well, it doesn't start until you make a half-a-million bucks. And you pay 1 percent," said Brown.
"This is to back-fill the hole in the governor's budget he and the politicians in Sacramento created in June, and they're trying to use schoolchildren to fill their hole," said Boyd.
The governor knows that initiatives that raise taxes are difficult to pass in California. The most recent polls give Brown some hope. They show Prop. 30 is leading by several points.