FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 20, 2023
Proposed Initiative Enters Circulation
Requires State Funding of Religious and Nonreligious Private Schools.
Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute.
SACRAMENTO, CA – Secretary of State Dr. Shirley N. Weber announced that the proponents of a new initiative was cleared to begin collecting petition signatures on November 17, 2023.
The Attorney General prepares the legal title and summary that is required to appear on initiative petitions. When the official language is complete, the Attorney General forwards it to the proponents and to the Secretary of State, and the initiative may be circulated for signatures. The Secretary of State then provides a calendar of deadlines to the proponents and to county elections officials. The Attorney General’s official title and summary for the measure is as follows:
REQUIRES STATE FUNDING OF RELIGIOUS AND NONRELIGIOUS PRIVATE SCHOOLS. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT AND STATUTE. Requires state to provide yearly voucher payments ($17,000 initially, adjusted annually) into Education Savings Accounts for California residents in grades TK-12 attending religious and nonreligious private schools anywhere in the United States. Payments will come from General Fund and property tax revenues currently allocated to public schools (including charter schools). Eliminates constitutional prohibition on state funding of religious and nonreligious private schools. Prohibits state from requiring certain curriculum, disciplinary, or teacher credentialing policies as condition of funding. Creates privately appointed board to distribute payments of public funds. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local governments: Increased state costs, likely ranging from $6.3 billion to $10 billion per year, to provide funding for students currently enrolled in private schools. The state could pay for these costs with revenues currently reserved for public schools (or other programs in the state budget). To the extent public school students shift to private schools, the state would have additional costs—likely at least several billion dollars annually—that would be offset by lower spending on public schools. Over time, state costs for public school facilities probably would decrease by a couple hundred million dollars per year. Public schools would experience reductions in state funding and some federal and local funding—as well as reductions in various costs—based on decreases in their enrollment. All of these effects assume the state can legally implement the program to its full extent. (23-0026A1.)
The Secretary of State’s tracking number for this measure is 1968 and the Attorney General's tracking number is 23-0026A1.
The proponents of the measure, Kevin McNamee, Marion A. Marshall, Maria Flores, Cecilia Iglesias, and Benito Bernal, must collect signatures of 874,641 registered voters (eight percent of the total votes cast for governor in the November 2022 general election) in order for the measure to become eligible for the ballot. The proponents have 180 days to circulate petitions for the measure, meaning the signatures must be submitted to county elections officials no later than May 15, 2024. The proponents may be contacted at Info@EducationOpportunity.org and (818) 434-7234.