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Proposition 98: School Funding

November 04, 1988

Kudos to The Times for having the courage to risk being called against schools by coming out against Proposition 98, the unwise measure that would only complicate further the mess of school finance.

Freezing a certain percent of the state general fund for the purpose of schools freezes the funding of schools by income and sales taxes, the source of state monies. It would free forever any responsibility of the immense wealth of this state--land, mines, timber, skyscrapers, apartment complexes, industrial districts--for funding education.

The original formula for that largest of state expense was half state, half local--local being property tax. When the Serrano decision mandated equal quality of education in the state, it made education a statewide responsibility. A statewide education levy is needed.

A statewide wealth assessment, exempting lived-in homes, applying to all, foreign owners and national corporations included, and including all areas whether in school districts or not, could furnish enough money to finance the best schools in the nation at a minuscule rate. It would recognize that the basis of California's wealth and progress and the reason for it is in our people.

LOIS VINCENT

Panorama City

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