California Proposition 38, School Vouchers (2000)

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California Proposition 38 was on the November 7, 2000 ballot in California as an initiated constitutional amendment, where it was defeated.

If Proposition 38 had been approved, it would have authorized annual state payments of at least $4,000 per pupil for attendance at private schools, including private religious schools.

Election results

Proposition 38
Defeatedd No7,422,03770.6%
Yes 3,101,193 29.4%

Constitutional changes

California Constitution
If Proposition 38 had been approved, it would have:

Text of measure


Proposition 38 2000.PNG

The ballot title was:

School Vouchers. State-Funded Private and Religious Education. Public School Funding.
Initiative Constitutional Amendment.


The summary of the ballot measure prepared by the California Attorney General read:

  • Authorizes annual state payments of at least $4000 per pupil for private and religious schools phased in over four years.
  • Restricts state and local authority to require private schools to meet standards, including state academic requirements.
  • Limits future health, safety, zoning, building restrictions on private schools.
  • Requires release of composite test scores of voucher pupils.
  • Permits Legislature to replace current voter-enacted constitutional funding priority for public schools (Proposition 98) with minimum formula based on national per-pupil average, as defined by terms of this measure.

Fiscal impact

See also: Fiscal impact statement

The California Legislative Analyst's Office provided an estimate of net state and local government fiscal impact for Proposition 38. That estimate was:

  • Short-term (first several years) state costs averaging between zero and $1.1 billion annually.
  • Longer-term (within five years to ten years) net fiscal effect on state funding of K-12 schools is largely unknown. Annual impact likely to range from costs of about $2 billion to savings of over $3 billion, depending on the number of pupils who shift from public schools to private schools.
  • Debt service savings to the state and school districts potentially in excess of $100 million annually after 10 years to 20 years, resulting from reduced need for construction of public schools.
  • Potential loss of federal funds in the hundreds of millions of dollars annually.

Campaign spending

Proposition 38 attracted huge sums on both sides. $31,131,121 was spent in favor of the measure, while $32,335,808 was spent opposing it.


Donors supporting the measure included:


Donors opposing the measure included:

See also

External links