California Proposition 8, Class Size Reduction Funding (1998)
Proposition 8 would have made a variety of changes to California's K-12 education system, such as:
- Creating a state Office of the Chief Inspector of Public Schools.
- Increasing the responsibilities of school site councils and principals.
- Altering the state qualifications that must be met by teachers in California.
- Requiring teachers to keep lesson plans on the subjects they teach.
- Preventing the state from reducing funding for the existing kindergarten through grade three (K-3) class size reduction program.
- Mandating the expulsion of students possessing unlawful drugs at school.
Of voters who cast a vote in this election, 715,255 or 8.3% did not cast a vote on Proposition 8.
Text of measure
The ballot title was:
The official ballot summary said:
- Creates permanent fund for reduction of kindergarten through third-grade class size.
- Funding eligibility requires each school establish governing council of parents/teachers. Council consults with principal, makes all curriculum/expenditure decisions for school; principal responsible for personnel decisions.
- Pupil performance to be utilized for teacher evaluations.
- Teachers must pass subject matter examinations for credential and assignment to teach particular subjects.
- Immediate pupil suspension for drug possession.
- Creates Office of Chief Inspector of Public Schools to evaluate school quality.
The California Legislative Analyst's Office provided an estimate of net state and local government fiscal impact for Proposition 8. That estimate was:
- Creates up to $60 million in new state programs. A significant portion of the annual cost probably would be paid from within the state's existing education budget or be offset by increased fee collections.
- Potential costs to local school districts in the high tens of millions of dollars annually for new teacher testing requirements and various other provisions. The actual costs to districts could be significantly less, depending on how the state implemented the measure.
Supporters of Proposition 8 spent $2,269,777. The top contributors to pass the measure were:
- Governor Pete Wilson: $499,485
- California Republican Party: $175,879
- Southern California Edison: $140,000
- Oracle Corporation: $125,000
- Ron Burkle: $100,000
- E & J Gallo Winery: $100,000
- Jerrold Perenchio: $100,000
- Floyd Kvamme: $57,575
- L.W. Lane Jr.: $50,000
- Packard Bell NEC, Inc.: $50,000
Opponents of Proposition 8 spent $6,545,396. The top contributors against the measure were:
- California Teachers Association Issues PAC: $6,789,900
- California Federation of Teachers COPE, AFT AFL-CIO: $226,118
- American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO: $160,567
- California State Council of Service Employees - Political Action Issues, Defense, & Advocacy: $103,116
- PACE of California School Employees Association - Issues: $74,817
- Association of California School Administrators - Issues PAC: $37,500
- Consumers Attorneys Issues Political Action Committee: $25,000
- Democratic State Central Committee of California: $19,155
- California Congress of Parents, Students and Teachers (California PTA): $4,332
- California Association of School Business Officials: $443
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