On behalf of California’s educators, students, and communities, we are pleased Gov. Newsom joined us recently in supporting Proposition 15 on the November ballot. Gov. Newsom’s endorsement is a bold and historic step to right 42 years of a flawed policy that’s wrong for California.

We thank him for his commitment to our schools and communities and for his leadership during this election. Throughout this pandemic, it has become painfully obvious that our systems and structures are flawed in myriad ways and that our public schools, health care systems, and communities need additional resources.

It’s also clear that the scales have heavily tilted in favor of mega-wealthy investors and corporations that, for more than 40 years, have not paid their fair share. While their wealth increased exponentially during the first few months of the pandemic, Californians struggled to keep the lights on and food on the table.

Our schools and communities are facing unprecedented hardship right now and Gov. Newsom’s support for Prop. 15 reassures Californians that he is with each and every one of us and ready to prioritize equitable funding by reclaiming $12 billion every year to help fund our schools and strengthen local economies, to level the playing field, and to make wealthy corporations pay their fair share.

Prop. 15 is facing unprecedented opposition by those battling to protect their 40-year-old tax loophole that has kept hundreds of billions in funding from our public schools and local communities. The wealthy corporations have committed to spending more than $100 million to defeat this measure and protect their tax loopholes. That’s a lot of money they are spending on advertising riddled with intentional lies and scare tactics to fool voters. It will be up to all of us to stand up for our students and families by voting yes on Prop. 15.

Voting Yes on Prop. 15 to put schools and communities first will:

• Reclaim $12 billion per year for K-12 schools, community colleges and local communities.

• Close commercial property tax loopholes that corporations and wealthy investors use to avoid paying their fair share of property taxes.

• Protect all homeowners and renters by maintaining tax protections for ALL residential property.

• Level the playing field for all the businesses that already pay their fair share.

• Implement new tax relief for farmers and agricultural producers, and completely exempt agriculture and commercial agriculture from reassessment.

• Ensure strict accountability so that money goes directly to our schools and communities.

• Provide one of the largest tax incentives in a generation to spur new investment in small businesses.

The governor joins a long list of supporters including: Democratic Presidential and Vice Presidential nominees Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, Congresswomen Barbara Lee and Karen Bass, Legislative Leaders Pro Tem Toni Atkins and Speaker Anthony Rendon, and big city mayors including Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, San Francisco Mayor London Breed and Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs.

The choice is clear. Please join educators, first responders, elected leaders, and a broad coalition of working families in voting Yes on Prop 15.

(E. Toby Boyd is president of the California Teachers Association.)

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