Contact: Kevin Perez-Allen
Phone: (714) 499-4481
Email: [email protected]
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
California Teachers Association Endorses Schools and Communities First
(February 22, 2019) – The California Teachers Association (CTA), one of the largest teachers unions in the country, endorsed the California Local Schools and Communities Funding Act, also known as Schools and Communities First, joining over 300 community organizations, labor unions, business leaders, philanthropic foundations and elected officials.
The measure, which qualified for the November 2020 ballot last year, will reclaim $11 billion annually for schools and local communities across the state by closing a massive loophole that allows large commercial and industrial landowners to keep their property taxes artificially low.
“As we’ve seen with teacher’s strikes here in California and across the country, the time to address the massive disinvestment in our schools is now,” said Veronica Carrizales, Policy and Campaign Director for California Calls. “Closing the corporate property tax loophole in California will provide billions of dollars in funding for education in California, a crucial investment for our future.”
“This initiative is about ensuring everyone pays their fair share and ending a decades-old loophole that has kept our students, schools and communities chronically underfunded,” said CTA President Eric C. Heins. “Corporations have not only gotten an outrageous break at the expense of students and individual taxpayers, but many big companies have gamed the system to prevent fair reassessment when they transfer ownership of their properties.”
“Despite the fact that California is the 5th largest economy in the world, teachers in Los Angeles and now Oakland have had to strike for livable wages and smaller class sizes. This is unacceptable,” said Jessamyn Sabbag, Executive Director of Oakland Rising. “Teachers, students, school staff, and the people of California deserve better, and a big step towards fully funding education is by passing Schools and Communities First.”
If it passes in November 2020, the California Schools and Local Communities Funding Act would close the millionaire and billionaire corporate tax loophole in Prop 13 by requiring all commercial and industrial properties to be assessed at fair market value, putting California on par with how the vast majority of the country assesses commercial property. The measure will reclaim $11 billion every year, roughly half allocated for K-12 schools and community colleges, and the remaining allocated to counties and cities according to current property tax guidelines. The measure maintains Prop 13’s current protections for homeowners, renters and agriculture, and includes small business tax relief and oversight and accountability.
Now that the initiative has qualified early, the Schools and Communities First Coalition will spend the next two years expanding the coalition, building public support, and raising the needed resources to counter the opposition’s misinformation campaign, which has already begun.
About Schools and Communities First.
Schools and Communities First is a powerful, growing statewide alliance of 300 community organizations, labor unions, business leaders, philanthropic foundations and elected officials seeking create a California that works for everyone. Members of the coalition include California Calls, League of Women Voters of California, California Alliance for Retired Americans, Tech Equity Collaborative, Housing California, Alliance San Diego, Evolve California, Common Sense Kids Action, Policy Link, the California Federation of Teachers, Advancement Project California, ACLU of Southern California, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of California, Community Economics, Working Partnerships, USA, Oakland Rising, Bend the Arc for Justice, Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, PICO California, ACCE, Asian Pacific Islanders for Civic Empowerment, California Association of Nonprofits, Courage Campaign, California Partnership, the Parent Teacher Association, the San Francisco Foundation, APEN Action, and Power California.