BCSD supports Governor Brown's tax measure

School board unanimously passes a resolution in support of Proposition 30.

In a unanimous 5-0 decision, the Bakersfield City School District board voted to pass a resolution Tuesday night to support Governor Jerry Brown's tax measure in November.

School districts across the state are facing millions of dollars in cuts if the measure fails.

Proposition 30 could make or break many school districts next year, forcing some to shorten school years, trim staff, or face more cuts on an already shoestring budget, it if fails.

The Bakersfield City School District has an annual budget of $238 million. If Prop. 30 fails, the district stands to lose millions of dollars.

"It's approximately a $12 million cut to the district, about 5 percent cut to us. And, that's a mid-year cut so we would have to be able to respond to it immediately," said Dr. Robert Arias, BCSD Superintendent.

Some school districts are making next year's budget with the mindset that the money wont be there. Others are already stretched too thin to shave anymore off without cutting programs or even school days.

"Other school districts definitely will. Some of the surrounding districts that have negative qualifications, they probably will have to do that," said School Board President Bill McDougle.

Proposition 30 would temporarily raise income taxes on people earning more than $250,000 per year.

It would also increase the state sales tax by 1/4 cent.

The measure, if passed, would generate an estimated $8.5 billion in new state revenue.

If it fails, several billion dollars in mid-year spending cuts would become a reality for schools.

School districts that have enough money in reserves may choose to dip into it, if Prop. 30 fails to make up the difference, but others don't have that option.

Just to put it in perspective on how expensive it is to run schools, one BCSD board member said last month the district paid $500,000 for electricity alone, just for the month.

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