Proposition 38, which would have increased taxes on the middle class to pump more money into California classrooms, lost resoundingly Tuesday, as expected.

Despite $44 million in personal donations, civil rights attorney Molly Munger's measure lost about 3-1 with all of the state's precincts reporting, according to the Secretary of State's Office. The margin on Wednesday evening was roughly 72.3 percent "no" and 27.7 percent "yes."

"Transformational change takes time and we are committed to staying the course until our state truly does truly does tackle this school funding crisis," Munger said in a statement. "So the fight will continue. Whether we are back at the ballot, in Sacramento working on legislation, or finding other, new innovative ways to tackle this incredibly important issue, you can count on us to be there."

Los Altos Hills parent Susan Canty was sad that the measure failed.

"It's a disappointment and it's problematic that California has trouble fixing its own budget issues and has trouble choosing to invest in kids," she said.

Proposition 38 would have raised income taxes on 60 percent of California earners, down to some people making as little as $7,455, for 12 years. The tax hike would have depended on how much you earn, with the increase ranging from 0.4 percent to 2.2 percent.

It planned to raise an estimated $10 billion annually. Depending on the year, K-12 public schools were to get 60 percent to 85 percent of the revenue, with pre-kindergarten schools getting 10 percent to 15 percent, and up to 30 percent going to pay off state debt.


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It was backed not only by Munger, the daughter of billionaire Charles Munger, but the PTA and most school districts.

Butshe faced an uphill battle from the beginning, and polls showed the measure didn't have much of a chance. She was not only asking Californians to tax themselves, a proposition they have routinely rejected, but she also was competing with Gov. Jerry Brown's Proposition 30, a separate tax-hike for education measure that mostly hit wealthy people.

Contact Mike Rosenberg at mrosenberg@mercurynews.com or 408-920-5705. Follow him at twitter.com/rosenberg17.