California Proposition 82, Free Half-Day Public Preschool Program (June 2006)

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California Proposition 82 was on the June 6, 2006 ballot in California as an combined initiated constitutional amendment and state statute, where it was defeated.

If Proposition 82 had been approved, it would have created a free, voluntary, half-day public preschool program available to all 4-year olds. To pay for the program, the State of California would have imposed a new tax on high-income individuals. The new tax would have applied to individuals earning over $400,000 annually, and to couples earning over $800,000 annually.

Proposition 82 was proposed by movie producer Rob Reiner, leading to the opposition tactic of calling their campaign "Stop the Reiner Initiative - No on 82."[1].

Election results

Proposition 82
Defeatedd No3,036,28360.8%
Yes 1,958,243 39.2%

Constitutional changes

If Proposition 82 had been approved, it would have added three entirely new sections to three different articles of the California Constitution.

Specifically, it would have:

Text of measure


The ballot title was:

Preschool Education. Tax on Incomes Over $400,000 for Individuals; $800,000 for Couples. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute.


Proposition 82 2006.PNG

The question on the ballot was:

"Should the California Constitution and state law be amended to create and support a new, publicly funded, voluntary preschool program for children to attend in the year prior to kindergarten, to be funded by an increase in personal income tax rates for high income individuals?"


The official summary provided to describe Proposition 82 said:

  • Establishes a right to voluntary preschool for all four-year old children.
  • Funded by a 1.7% tax on individual incomes above $400,000; $800,000 for couples.
  • Administered by the state Superintendent of Public Instruction and county school superintendents.
  • Directs counties to prepare reports on curricula, outreach, facilities, childcare coordination, budgeting, teacher recruitment and pay.
  • Limits administrative expenses; requires program audits.
  • Requires state Superintendent to develop a preschool teaching credential with financial aid for credential students.
  • Excludes revenue from appropriation limits, Proposition 98 calculations.

Fiscal impact

See also: Fiscal impact statement

The fiscal estimate provided by the California Legislative Analyst's Office said:

  • Increased state revenues of about $2.1 billion in 2007–08, growing annually with the economy to around $2.6 billion in 2010–11, when the preschool program would be open to all 4-year olds in the state.
  • Revenues would be used solely for new state preschool program and would be spent to run the program, pay for facilities, train teachers, and provide an operating reserve.



In addition to Reiner, Proposition 82 was supported by the California Teachers Association, Service Employees International Union, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and the California Democratic Party, among others. Altogether, over $14 million was spent to pass the measure.[2]

The official voter guide arguments in favor of Proposition 82 were signed by:

  • Barbara E. Kerr, President, California Teachers Association
  • Steve Krull, President, California Police Chiefs Association
  • Edward Condon, Executive Director, California Head Start Association
  • Mary Bergan, President, California Federation of Teachers
  • Shelbi J. Wilson, 2006 California Teacher of the Year
  • Robert Black, MD, American Academy of Pediatrics, California


Rob Reiner, a leading donor to the "Yes on 82" campaign

A total of $16,007,809 was spent advocating for a "yes" vote on Proposition 82.[3]

Larger donors included:



The official voter guide arguments opposing Proposition 82 were signed by:

  • Dr. Tom Bogetich, Retired Executive Director, California State Board of Education
  • Pamela Zell Rigg, President, California Montessori Council
  • Patricia Armanini, Third Grade Teacher, San Rafael
  • Larry McCarthy, President, California Taxpayers Association
  • Thomas L. Sipes, Director, Montessori Schools of Petaluma
  • Chris Simmons, 2003 Teacher of the Year, Glendale Unified School District


Two campaign committees were formed to oppose Proposition 82 ("Stop the Reiner Initiative No on 82" and "Californians To Stop Higher Taxes") and together they spent a total of $10,820,024.

Larger donors to the opposition committees included:

  • Baron Real Estate: $700,000
  • William K, Bowes, Jr.: $500,000
  • California Chamber of Commerce: $451,000
  • Cypress Management Co.: $450,000
  • John J. Fisher: $403,041
  • John M. Pasquesi: $350,015
  • Charles B. Johnson: $300,000
  • Franklin P. Johnson, Jr.: $251,320

Path to the ballot

See also: California signature requirements

Proposition 82 got on the ballot through a paid petition drive conducted by Kimball Petition Management. As an initiated constitutional amendment, 598,105 qualifying signatures were required. The total paid to Kimball Petition Management for the petition drive was $1,616,569.[6]

See also: California ballot initiative petition signature costs

External links

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