Why I Voted No on Proposition 63

Yes to abortion rights and arts education: How I’m voting on California ballot propositions I recently voted in California’s Proposition 63, which would eliminate fees to attend public school, on the state’s November ballot….

Why I Voted No on Proposition 63

Yes to abortion rights and arts education: How I’m voting on California ballot propositions

I recently voted in California’s Proposition 63, which would eliminate fees to attend public school, on the state’s November ballot. Before the vote, I was confused and ambivalent about how I’d vote. For many years, I supported the right of our public schools to offer the arts — I believe them to be one of their strongest and most important assets of public education. Since the passage of the California Legislature’s budget bill, which included school cuts, including many for arts education, I hadn’t really thought about why I would want to vote no on Prop 63.

But on Election Day, I was angry — and I voted.

I know that the state budgets were not passed as a result of any single vote, but there is a sense that both Republicans and Democrats voted for the spending cuts. No, the budget bills were crafted by and for the Democratic Party, which has a majority of legislative majorities in both houses. In the Senate, at least, my party in the legislature is very nearly the same party as I am. And yet, despite such parity on our own measures, we were compelled to vote on bills from the Republican leadership, which are extremely draconian and could cripple our public schools for years to come.

I know that the state budget is a compromise, and the bill itself is not the ultimate aim. Instead, it’s the ultimate tool for the implementation of the governor’s proposals. But if Prop 63 passes, our public schools would be free of annual fees — even if our schools were forced to make cuts.

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If California voters approve Prop 63, which seems likely, I want my state to have the best schools, and I’ll likely vote to ensure that they do. Like most Californians, I believe that public schools should be open to art, music, and sports.

The other measure I’ll be voting for is Prop 64, which would provide $5 million

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