Tomorrow, Pacifica voters will decide whether or not to extend and increase the Pacifica School District’s .
One Measure L campaign manager said community response to the proposal has been very positive.
“It’s been a long haul but we’re working hard and the community has been very responsive,” Lisa Davis, one of three chairs of the Measure L campaign, said.
The current parcel tax expires in 2013, but if Measure L is approved it would increase from $96 a year to $118 a year until 2017.
The tax would generate $1.2 million annually for math, science, reading and writing programs, as well as protect teachers’ salaries and funding for libraries, struggling students, and classroom computer instruction.
Davis said she believes the measure will need roughly 5,000 votes in order to gain the super-majority approval necessary to pass.
As of Oct. 26, the campaign had confirmed 4,300 ‘yes’ votes, Davis said.
The parcel tax that Davis and others are asking voters to extend was originally passed in 2008 by a single vote, but Davis said this is a close-call legacy the campaign is trying to escape on Tuesday.
“I think that a lot of things have changed since then (2008),” Davis said. “One of the goals we have is to rewrite the infamous “one vote” story because I think that by and large our community is much more educated about our school district and what has been happening with the state.”
For example, Davis said, since the passage of the original parcel tax in 2008, the state has cut $1.7 million out of the ’s budget.
Also, Davis believes public trust in how the school district will use the money has increased.
"People know more about schools, know why this is important, know what this money does and I think that more than anything we’re asking Pacificans to keep an already successful partnership,” she said. “That helps us.”
So, why is a local parcel tax important?
“It (the passage of Measure L) will mean lots in our community,” Davis said. “We don’t have a big voice in the capitol and we’re not going to because we are a small population. So I think what is happening in Pacifica and part of what has been contributing to the success of the parcel tax is that we’re rallying around our own.”
One opponent of Measure L, Todd Bray, wrote to Pacifica Patch that the school district needs to be more transparent about and rethink how it spends tax dollars before it asks for any more money.
"Clearly PSD, which is it’s own government body, needs to be more transparent to show it deserves more of our tax dollars, especially in understanding its obligation of openness to the public at large not just motivated parents who want us to further fund their children’s education," Bray wrote.