Since the passage of Prop 13 in 1978, the funding for California’s public schools has dropped dramatically per pupil. California went from having some of the best-funded public schools in the nation to some of the worst – and at the very time that we needed more investment.

Evolve California, who has endorsed me, is working to right the ship and fully fund our schools. Even though California voters are unlikely to repeal Prop 13 for homeowners, there is still a chance (small, but a chance) of repealing it for commercial property. And there are other ways of funding, too, that don’t require begging for charity or hoping that bond measures like South San Francisco’s Measure T pass.

When you don’t have fully funded public schools, you have fights about who “deserves” the money more – and that’s a tragedy. We should have great teachers in every school, great arts, music AND STEM programs at every schools, and additional supports for students with disabilities, English Language Learners and gifted and talented students.

I understand that Prop 13 has done a lot to keep families in their homes, and I appreciate that. It’s been a joy to talk to so many folks in South San Francisco who have lived here for 30+ years. But we do need a fairer funding system to help the students who will be here for the next 30.

I’d love to see school funding completely reformed and removed entirely from property taxes. In fact, my husband, who is from Poland, was shocked to hear that this is how we fund schools, and not from a central budget. But if we can’t do that – then let’s make what we have better.