The Jefferson Union High School District Board voted unanimously Wednesday night to ask voters to approve a parcel tax on June 5.
The measure is JUHSD’s third try in less than two years, but board members, after reviewing polling data, have slashed the parcel tax rate down to $48 per household, just half the amount the district failed to convince voters to approve in and .
A majority of voters supported the parcel tax in November and May, but passage required super-majority, or two-thirds, support.
Staff and administrators say the parcel tax is necessary because of unpredictable, yet steadily diminishing, state funding for K-12 education.
“We can no longer rely on the state to provide the resources we need to adequately fund education in our community," said Sergio Robledo, English teacher and Daly City resident." The state’s repeated funding reductions threaten academic programs and classroom instruction. Our schools need this stable source of funding to protect our quality academic programs.”
JUHSD has had to cut $3.4 million annually out of its budget since 2008, when trouble with the economy and California public school funding began. That was about 8 percent of its budget in 2011. The district is looking at the possibility of cutting another $1.5 million out next year. Any money raised through a local parcel tax cannot be absorbed by the state, and will stay in area schools.
Some Pacifica civic leaders are getting behind the upcoming campaign, and the district has tapped one of the organizers of ’s recently successful to lead this one.
“This measure will not only support our high schools, but it is also fiscally sound,” said Pacifica City Concilman Len Stone. “Independent citizens’ oversight and annual audits will ensure that every dollar is used for voter-approved purposes and no funds can be used for administrators’ salaries. This is what our high schools need to continue graduating well-educated and well-prepared students in our communities.”
Kalimah Salahuddin, an Oceana and parent and organizer of PSD’s Measure L campaign, said she is confident she can make her record two for two.
“I have volunteered to chair the campaign to support this measure because I want my children to receive the best education possible. We have great teachers and academic programs in our schools, but we need stable funding in our classrooms so local students continue to succeed. I look forward to the work ahead to achieve a victory in June.”
Will you vote for this $48 parcel tax?
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