Proposition 15, which adjusts 1978’s Proposition 13, would provide billions of dollars for education and other public services. (Screenshot)

Proposition 15, which adjusts 1978’s Proposition 13, would provide billions of dollars for education and other public services. (Screenshot)

Education-related measures on November ballot

A vote for these proposals would have a positive impact on SF schools


We have finally arrived at the eve of Election Day, an event that, as everyone knows, will have profoundly important consequences for our nation, state and community. Like many others, I have been urging members of our community to help shape the future by exercising the right and responsibility to vote. It is so encouraging to see voters here and across the country already breaking records by turning out in droves. For San Franciscans who haven’t voted yet, please make a plan today and look up your options as needed at

In a prior column, I mentioned two education-related measures on the ballot: Proposition J, which addresses a legal loophole to continue providing funds to San Francisco Unified School District and Proposition 15, which would increase revenue for public education and other services. I wanted to recap these and two other measures that will impact our schools and students.

Proposition G

This local proposition would amend the San Francisco Charter’s definition of “voter,” for the purpose of municipal elections, to be “any person who is at least 16 years old, meets all the qualifications for voter registration in accordance with state law other than those provisions that address age, and is registered to vote with the Department of Elections.” This would allow many more of our students to vote in local elections in the future.

Proposition J

Mayor London Breed placed Proposition J on the ballot to replace a tax which was passed by San Francisco voters in 2018 with a lower tax. The 2018 tax (which was also called “Prop. G” back then, not to be confused with the youth voting measure on the current ballot), passed with a majority, but not a supermajority, and taxpayers have been paying it ever since. However, a lawsuit challenging the majority voter threshold is keeping the money tied up until the case is resolved.

If Prop. J is passed, funds could be spent starting next year regardless of the legal challenge. The new $288 parcel tax would replace the $320 parcel tax approved in 2018. Funds would mostly be used to pay for raises for teachers and other educators and also help schools invest in technology.

Proposition 15

This state proposition would create a “split roll” property tax system and direct the resulting new revenue to public education and other public services. It would amend the state constitution to adjust the original “Prop. 13” from 1978, enabling commercial properties to be taxed at their fair market value, instead of the value at the time when they were purchased.

Prop. 15 would not affect property taxes for homeowners. It would apply only to commercial properties whose owners have more than $3 million in holdings, exempting small businesses and individuals who own their own property. Upon full implementation, this initiative would raise between 8.5 billion and 12 billion dollars each year for education and other public services.

Proposition 18

This state proposition would allow 17-year-olds who will be 18 at the time of the next general election to vote in primary elections and special elections. Like Proposition G on Tuesday’s ballot in San Francisco, this measure would allow voting at a younger age in certain elections.

Thank you for learning about these measures and remember to add your voice through your vote on Election Day!

Vincent Matthews is the superintendent of schools for the San Francisco Unified School District. He is a guest columnist.

educationsan francisco news

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at

Just Posted

Recology executives have acknowledged overcharging city ratepayers. (Mira Laing/2017 Special to S.F. Examiner)
Recology to repay customers $95M in overcharged garbage fees, city attorney says

San Francisco’s waste management company Recology has agreed to repay its customers… Continue reading

A construction worker watches a load for a crane operator at the site of the future Chinatown Muni station for the Central Subway on Tuesday, March 3, 2021. (Sebastian Miño-Bucheli / Special to the S.F. Examiner)
Major construction on Central Subway to end by March 31

SFMTA board approves renegotiated contract with new deadline, more contractor payments

(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Settlement clears path for all youth, high school sports to resume in California

John Maffei The San Diego Union-Tribune All youth and high school sports… Continue reading

Neighbors and environmental advocates have found the Ferris wheel in Golden Gate Park noisy and inappropriate for its natural setting. <ins>(</ins>
Golden Gate Park wheel wins extension, but for how long?

Supervisors move to limit contract under City Charter provision requiring two-thirds approval

San Francisco school teachers and staff will be able to get vaccinations without delay with the recent distribution of priority codes. 
SF distributes vaccine priority codes to city schools

San Francisco has received its first vaccine priority access codes from the… Continue reading

Most Read