California State Lottery. Allocation for Instructional|
Materials. Legislative Initiative Amendment.
Arguments on this page are the opinions of the authors and have not been checked for accuracy by any official agency.
California has an alarming textbook shortage. A YES vote for PROPOSITION 20 will guarantee that California's students have a consistent source of funding for textbooks, without increasing taxes or expanding the lottery. When it comes to academic achievement, textbooks are second only to competent teachers.
Proposition 20, the CARDENAS TEXTBOOK ACT OF 2000, will guarantee that a portion of lottery revenues are used for the purchase of textbooks and other instructional materials.
- California is currently ranked at the bottom, 47th out of the 50 states, in per pupil textbook spending.
- 54% of California teachers surveyed say that they do not have enough books for students to take home for homework and test preparation, and nearly 25% of students have to share books in class.
- 40% of teachers say that they waste valuable class time doing activities to compensate for the textbook shortage.
- In most California schools, students are unable to take books home to study; often schools only have one set of textbooks to be used by many students.
Currently, 50% of lottery revenues go to prizes; 34% are allocated to the benefit of public education and 16% are used for the payment of administrative expenses and promotions. The education funds can only be spent for instructional purposes.
This Act would create a mechanism to ensure continuous funding for textbooks and instructional materials within the current education lottery revenues. Specifically, Proposition 20 would require that half of any increase in education revenue be reserved for the purchase of textbooks and instructional materials. The 1997-1998 fiscal year would serve as the base amount to determine each year's increase.
- When the voters approved the Lottery in 1984, the California Department of Education strongly recommended that districts use lottery funds for one-time costs such as textbooks, computers and field trips.
- The Department discouraged the funding of ongoing costs with fluctuating lottery revenues. However, districts continually spend Lottery funds for ongoing costs.
For example, if there were a $100 million difference between education revenues in 1997-1998 and 1998-1999 then $50 million would be dedicated to textbooks and instructional materials. The funds are to be distributed proportionally based on each district's average daily attendance.
Proposition 20 would guarantee additional projected revenues of $60 million in fiscal year 1998-1999, $80 million in 1999-2000, and $90 million in 2000-2001 for textbooks and instructional materials.
A recent statewide survey indicates that the majority of Californians support increased funding for textbooks.
A YES vote for PROPOSITION 20 will help ensure that students have the textbooks they need to succeed. We cannot expect students to meet our new high education standards without current materials.
- 72% of Californians believe it is "important" or "very important" that all California public school students have current textbooks.
- 65% of Californians believe that the state, not the local governments, should fund the purchase of new textbooks.
- 60% believe it is more important to provide funds for current textbooks than to fund class size reduction and new classrooms.TONY CARDENAS
California State Assemblymember, 39th District
California State Assemblymember, 61st District
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