Difference between revisions of "City of San Francisco "Children and Families First" City Funds, Tax and Administration Proposal, Proposition C (November 2014)"
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*English translation: ''Yes we can without government!''
*English translation: ''Yes we can without government!''
==Path to the ballot==
==Path to the ballot==
Revision as of 17:03, 22 August 2014
|Voting on Education|
|Not on ballot|
If approved, this measure approves the extension of the city's Children's Fund and Public Education Enrichment Fund (PEEF) for the next quarter century. The Children's Fund would be extended for 25 years and the Public Education Enrichment Fund would remain in operation for the next 26 years. The measure would also establish a new council to create a plan for the city to improve the condition of children and families, assessing city policies and programs and making general recommendations every five years. The final provision of the measure would divide the city's general Rainy Day Reserve into a City Rainy Day Reserve and a School Rainy Day Reserve.
Much of the money from the two funds renewed by this measure goes towards supporting public schools and public school programs. According to Supervisor Norman Yee, a backer of the "Children and Families First" measure, there are an estimated 109,000 children in San Francisco, with only about 56,000 enrolled in a public school.
The Children's Fund was established in 1991 and is set to expire on June 30, 2016. The fund receives revenue from the city's property tax. From 1991 through 2016, the fund was designed to receive revenue at a rate of $0.03 per $100 of assessed property value. City property owners paid a total of $1.1691 per $100 of assessed property value in the 2012-2013 fiscal year, which means 2.57 percent of the city's property tax went to the Children's Fund.
If this measure is approved, the Children's Fund would be extended for 25 years until June 30, 2041. Moreover, the measure would increase the portion of the city property tax that goes to the Children's Fund to $0.04 per $100 of assessed valuation. The increased revenue would be used to provide additional services for children under 18, including childcare, healthcare, job training, social services, out-of-school programs, recreational and cultural programs and delinquency prevention services.
The fund would also provide services to youths that fall into the "transitional age" of between 18 and 24, including help for the homeless, high-school drop-outs, the disabled or those leaving the foster care or juvenile justice system. The fund would be overseen by an 11-member administrative committee.
The Public Education Enrichment Fund (PEEF) was created in 2004 and is provided for through annual contributions from the city's budget. The 2013 city contribution to PEEF was $77.1 million. PEEF money is split three ways, with a third going to the San Francisco Unified School District's art, music, sports and library programs, a third going to the First Five Commission, which runs pre-school programs, and a third earmarked for the school district's general education fund. The fund was set to expire on June 30, 2015. This measure would renew the program for 26 years. Moreover, the measure would eliminate a provision that allowed the city to defer up to a quarter of the set contributions to PEEF in any year the city had a budget shortfall of $100 million or more.
Rainy Day Reserve
Under city code, if the city collects revenue that exceeds the revenue of the previous year by 5 percent or more, it is required to put half of the revenue in excess of the 5 percent increase into the city's Rainy Day Reserve fund. The city is not allowed to draw from the Rainy Day Reserve unless it collects less money than it did in the preceding year, except when the San Francisco Unified School District collects less money per student than in previous years, in which case the city can give up to a quarter of the reserve fund money to the school district. This proposal would further separate the city's reserve and the school district finances. Under the proposal, the same Rainy Day Reserve funding would be automatically divided into a City Rainy Day Reserve and a School Rainy Day Reserve, with three quarters going to the city and one quarter going to the school.
This proposal would also establish a new council to create a plan for the city government to "improve" the condition of children and families, assess city policies and programs, and make general recommendations every five years.
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and all eleven city supervisors have expressed approval of this measure.
Arguments in favor
Pointing out that only about 56,000 of the city's estimated 109,000 children are enrolled in public schools, Supervisor Norman Yee said, "The city must do better for our children and families."
Mayor Lee said that the programs renewed by the measure would invest money into one of the best school districts in the nation. At the same time, he encouraged families to send their children to public schools, rather than paying for them to attend private school. Lee said, "We are making sure all families that deserve our support get it."
Speaking of the city's education funds, PEEF in particular, Supervisor Jane Kim said, "This money truly makes a difference. Those dollars work to extend the support of our children." Kim also pointed out that, from 2009 to 2014, the state had cut $77 million from San Francisco School District funding. Kim stated, "If the state and federal government will not take responsibility for our children and families, the city and county of San Francisco will."
The following piece of satire was written by Starchild and filed by the Libertarian Party of San Francisco as the official ballot argument against Proposition C:
Thank you for coming out today to learn about why you need to vote for The “Children and Families First” initiative.
The title is a little cloying?
Yes, well, can’t be helped. What’d you expect us to call it?
The “Gays and Singles Last” initiative? Come on, that’s not good politics! A little sugar-coating never hurts.
No, NOT in sodas! Sugar-coating EXCEPT in sodas! See here, the important thing is --
What? Didn’t you read through the 50-page legislation? Right here, page 4, it explains this proposal is “essential in ensuring the health and success of every San Francisco child.”
You don’t really believe a slush fund cooked up in City Hall is all that stands between the children of San Francisco and the possibility of tragic illness and failure!?
Dear me, where’s your faith in government? Aren’t you a loyal, bleeding-heart constituent who always votes “yes” on any measure we kick down to you that has the word “children” or “schools” in the title?
Yes, we promise the money will be frugally spent.
We’re your Supervisors! When have we ever lied to you?
Yes, only for its stated purposes. Yes we pinkie-swear! No, I’m not crossing my fingers, I just like to keep my hands behind my back. Oh very well! No, that bump in my shoe isn’t me crossing my toes! I have a bunion. I do!
Look, why are you making such a fuss? This is routine. Six months from now you’ll have forgotten all about it. A year from now you’ll be ready to eat some more pork – er, I mean vote for another vital initiative to invest in our future.
But you MUST vote for the “Children and Families First” initiative. Why it’s... “For The Children!”™
In a more serious vein, the Libertarian Party also filed the following rebuttal to the proponents' argument:
Should people up to age 24 be treated as children? That's the direction sponsors of Proposition C are are headed. The measure labels 18 to 24 year old adults as "Transitional-Aged Youth".
The politicians behind this plan are in "handout" mode now, but labeling people as "Transitional-Aged Youth" could later be used to take away rights of young people.
It's not hard to imagine some future measure restricting persons designated in city programs as Transitional-Aged Youth from fully engaging in "adult" activities.
Let government treat you like a child so you can be eligible for more "free" stuff, and you may soon find them treating you like a child in ways that aren’t so nice.
Treating people like dependent children isn't only risky for those affected. There’s ample reason to doubt whether creating a new category of adults in San Francisco to be dependent on government services is really in the city's best interests.
Restricting the use of taxpayer money for decades to come isn’t such a hot idea either. If Proposition C passes, millions of dollars more will be removed from the discretionary part of the municipal budget. Does anyone really know what the needs of San Francisco or the city's economic situation will be in 2040?
Respect the dignity of young adults in San Francisco. Vote no on Proposition C. Young adults want more bottom-up solutions and reduced barriers to economic participation and entrepreneurship, not more top-down programs.
¡Si se puede sin gobierno! *
Libertarian Party of San Francisco
*English translation: Yes we can without government!
Path to the ballot
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- November 4, 2014 ballot measures in California
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