New ballot measure would require California to provide high-quality public schools

Proponents of the ballot measure, including Antonio Villaraigosa, have been given the green light to start collecting signatures.

A new proposed ballot measure would  require California and its school districts to provide all public school students with high-quality public schools. 

The big picture: The proposal, which has been registered with Secretary of State Shirley Weber to start collecting signatures, was submitted by James Cowie of the organization Students Matter. 


  • Students Matter advocates for high-quality public education to be a Constitutional right. 
  • Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa leads the Students Matter coalition, according to the organization’s website. 

The ballot measure: The proposal would amend Article IX of the California Constitution to read as follows: 

  • “The state and its school districts shall provide all public school students with high-quality public schools, defined as schools that equip them with the tools necessary to participate fully in our economy, our society, and our democracy.” 
  • The measure does not define what “the tools necessary” means, nor does it provide any other information. 

What we’re watching: Proponents are required to submit at least 874,641 signatures to Weber’s office by June 16, 2024. 

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