News Release

Proposition 88 Targets Prop. 13 Loophole, Wouldn’t Improve Education

Reason Foundation analyzes current education funding and what Prop. 88 would add

Los Angeles (October 18, 2006) – Proposition 88 undermines Proposition 13, using the backdoor to impose a parcel tax on every piece of property in the state and would create yet another education bureaucracy that will hurt local schools, according to a new Reason Foundation report that analyzes the anticipated consequences of Proposition 88.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has increased education spending by over 17 percent over the last two years and the state’s K-12 schools and community colleges are receiving over $55 billion in 2006-2007. That’s a $5.1 billion increase over the 2005-2006 budget and the largest year-to-year increase in state history.

The Reason study finds Proposition 88, which would add $450 million a year in education funding (less than one percent of the annual education budget), lacks performance requirements and contains strict spending guidelines that would prevent local school districts from spending money where they need it most.

“Proposition 88 says schools have to spend a set amount of this new money on books. What if a school has books, but needs teachers?” asks Lisa Snell, director of education at Reason Foundation and author of the report. “Research shows schools make the biggest performance improvements when they have local control. Proposition 88 moves in the wrong direction, giving even more power to Sacramento.”

And more money will not rescue our failing schools anyway, according to the Reason study. It finds the state is already spending $1.8 billion per year on class-size reduction, with little to show for it, and says the additional $175 million that Proposition 88 provides won’t significantly reduce class sizes any further.

“California’s class-size reduction program has had little effect on student achievement” Snell points out. “Our education system is in need of fundamental reform, not more money.”

Full Report Online

The full study, Analysis of California’s Proposition 88, is available online at Reason has examined several other initiatives on California’s November 7th ballot and those reports can be found here:

About Reason

Reason Foundation is a nonprofit think tank dedicated to advancing free minds and free markets. Reason produces respected public policy research on a variety of issues and publishes the critically acclaimed monthly magazine, Reason. For more information, please visit


Lisa Snell, Director of Education, Reason Foundation, (951) 218-1171
Chris Mitchell, Director of Media Relations, Reason Foundation, (310) 367-6109