Schools & Communities First Is Critical To Our Recovery

California, along with local governments and school districts, including San Diego, face unprecedented budget shortfalls due to the health crisis. Communities are now facing devastating cuts to essential workers, local services, and schools. The Schools & Communities First initiative, which recently qualified for the November 2020 ballot after submitting a record 1.7 million signatures — couldn’t come at a better time. 

It would reclaim $12 billion a year to invest in our schools and communities by closing a corporate tax loophole while leveling the playing field for small businesses and protecting all residential properties. San Diego County alones is expected to receive more than $700 million  per year that would go directly into our schools and communities, helping to close the deep inequalities in our schools and communities.

Learn more below about how this initiative will benefit schools and communities in San Diego and beyond.

Benefits to San Diego County

Schools & Communities First is expected to generate up to $700 million a year for San Diego County into perpetuity! These funds are critical to San Diego’s recovery and future, and will go directly to local schools, services and infrastructure —  which helps everybody get ahead. With Schools & Communities First, cities across the county — from San Ysidro to Oceanside — will receive almost $125 million a year. Here’s a snapshot of how every school, every community college in every city in the county would gain:

  • Local K-12 schools (including charters) would gain over $300 million a year
  • Local community colleges would gain over $42 million a year
  • Local cities would gain $125 million a year
  • Local water districts and fire districts would gain $10 million a year
  • Local healthcare districts would gain close to $4 million a year
  • County services and libraries would gain over $150 million a year

Benefits to small businesses

Schools & Communities First supports small businesses by eliminating the business personal property tax on equipment, fixtures, and furniture up to $500,000. It also protects all residential properties from increased taxes, which is important given that half of all small businesses are home based. Most importantly, it levels the playing field, closing a corporate tax loophole for the top 10% of commercial and industrial property owners whose property is valued over $3 million. This allows small businesses to compete with bigger and older corporations who have been avoiding their fair share of property taxes such as Disneyland, Chevron and Wal-Mart and Home Depot. .

Learn more about how Schools & Communities First protects small businesses here.


This is one of the most important ballot initiatives in California in a generation. The opposition is already engaging in a disinformation campaign to confuse voters about what this initiative actually does. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions about Schools & Communities First.