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Education advocates today began the process to place on the ballot a tax on oil extraction to fund education.

The initiative proposes that California put a 15 percent tax on each barrel of oil extracted from the state, raising $3.6 billion a year at current prices. Revenue from the tax would be divided among the state's public education systems, with K-12 schools receiving 30 percent of the funds, community colleges getting 48 percent of the funds and the California State University and University of California each getting 11 percent.

"This will reduce college and university tuition fees, and restore cut class sections. The funding increases will pay to rehire professors, laid-off teachers, and reduce K-12 class sizes," proponents of the ballot measure wrote in a news release.

The attorney general has 40 days to produce a title and summary. Then petition gatherers will have to collect 504,760 signatures to get the proposition placed on the ballot.

Proponents said they have already begun gathering signatures on college campuses.


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