League of Women Voters of California
School Funding Tax
San Jose Unified School District
Parcel Tax - 2/3 approval required
13,343 / 60.1% Yes votes ...... 8,848 / 39.9% No votes
Index of all Measures
|Information shown below: Yes/No Meaning | Impartial Analysis | Arguments | Full Text|
To maintain quality education, avoid further reductions in essential programs, ensure adequate textbooks, instructional materials, and reduced class sizes, and retain experienced teachers and school library professionals, shall San Jose Unified School District be authorized to levy a tax for 5 years only of $98 per parcel, or, for multiple dwelling units on one parcel, $40 per unit with a cap, with a maximum annual 2% inflation adjustment and an exemption for principal residence owners age 65 or over?
The Board of Education of the San Jose Unified School District proposes levying a qualified special tax on each parcel within the district for five years. Each owner of a parcel in the district with a single family dwelling unit would pay $98 per year. For multiple dwelling units on one parcel, the owner of each parcel would pay $40 per unit up to a limit. For both single and multiple dwelling units, the special tax would be subject to a maximum annual 2% inflation adjustment.
The purposes of the tax are to (1) maintain up-to-date textbooks and other library and classroom instructional materials; (2) pay fully credentialed teachers more to help attract and retain the most qualified teachers; (3) maintain class size ratio at 20:1 for primary grades; (4) maintain libraries staffed with library professionals; (5) provide academic specialists at every elementary school for those students having difficulty with education basics, including reading, writing, and math; (6) restore art and music programs; and (7) restore maintenance and custodial services. The proceeds of the special tax would only be used for these specific purposes.
Owners of single family residential parcels or multi-family dwelling units who (1) are age 65 and over; and (2) occupy the parcel or unit as a principal residence may be exempt from the special tax upon annual application for exemption.
The proceeds of the special tax would be deposited into a separate fund. No later than January 1 of each year while the tax is in effect, the district would prepare and file with the Board of Education a report detailing the amount of funds collected and spent and the status of any project authorized to be funded by this special tax.
If the special tax is approved, the district's appropriations limit would be increased by the amount equal to the special tax collected for each year the special tax is authorized.
A "yes" vote is a vote to approve a qualified special tax on parcels within the San Jose Unified School District for a five year period of time.
A "no" vote is a vote not to approve the qualified special tax.
Ann Miller Ravel
By: Lisa Herrick
|Arguments For Measure A||Arguments Against Measure A|
|San Jose Unified School District has made significant progress in recent years improving the quality of education for our children. Student test scores are up. Many of the schools have been recognized as California Distinguished Schools, National Blue Ribbon Schools, or both. The District is now recognized as one of the best managed in the state.
To support student achievement San Jose Unified has: secured over $12 million in grants for local schools; established numerous business and community educational partnerships; improved financial management resulting in higher bond ratings and savings of over $2 million for local taxpayers; and set high school graduation requirements among the most rigorous in the state.
But San Jose Unified School District, like many others in California, is facing severe budget cuts due to the current state budget crisis. Without passage of Measure A, essential classroom instructional materials, funds for reduced class size, teachers, instructional specialists, librarians and others will be severely cut.
Measure A will:
All money raised by Measure A will stay in our community to benefit our local children. None of this money will go to pay administrators. Measure A will last for 5 years only.
Good schools are the foundation of a quality community. Good schools protect property values. Please join parents, teachers, labor and business leaders, and citizens throughout our community in supporting Measure A.
Please vote YES.
Martin A. Cohen
The crisis is the direct result of the carelessness and lack of foresight of the Governor and the Legislature. It would not be fair to blame the District for any of that. But, in a time of border line recession and 8 percent unemployment, it is even less fair to put this "trickle down" tax on the backs of a few property owners. The crisis is not their fault either.
The solution is to change attitudes at the State level. In February, the Governor argued that School Districts with a large basic property tax base have less need, and tried to use that as a reason to reduce their State funding. If Measure A passes, there is NO GUARANTEE that the State will not use that as an excuse to withhold an extra $98 from the District in the future. This would leave us no better off, but with a NEW tax that will be enforced for FIVE YEARS.
The solution is for all those interested in school funding to contact the Governor, their Assembly person, and their State Senator directly. Compel the Legislature to do its duty, and make major cuts somewhere else in every year's budget.
In this way, you can be FOR students, FOR schools, but still VOTE NO ON MEASURE A!
George M. Swenson
Jack E. Davis
Keith C. De Filippis
|This latest $30 MILLION parcel tax from the San Jose Unified School District tries to use the state budget crisis to grab unearned money. The tax is NOT based on a real analysis of the district's needs. Instead, the amount and the promised goodies are based on a POLL showing what would be most likely to get the 2/3 vote necessary to
Taxpayers already feel the pinch of difficult financial times. With the Santa Clara County unemployment rate at 8.6%, Measure A will hurt many who are not exempt.
If the district respected the needs and situation of taxpayers, Measure A would have been written differently. The tax should expire after 2 years. Instead it will be in place for FIVE YEARS. It should include a true oversight function. The best oversight is provided by citizen volunteers, such as was done for the $429 million dollar bond passed just a year ago. Measure A promises only a yearly report by the district, showing where the money has been spent. This is nothing new: they are ALREADY required to do an annual audit.
The expenditures should be limited to the gap caused by state cuts. Instead, EXTRA programs that were CANCELED decades ago are ADDED. Money raised by this new tax may be withdrawn by the state as not needed, leaving the district worse off.
An Education Task Force, created by the Santa Clara County Office of Education, is already working to improve teacher salaries across the entire county. This new tax for San Jose Unified School District undermines these efforts.
Hasty, poll-driven, badly planned, lacking in respect for the taxpayers, and failing to "work well with others" are just a few of the many reasons to "Vote NO on Measure A!"
You can be FOR students, FOR schools, and AGAINST Measure A.
For more information please visit us at
George M. Swenson
Jack E. Davis
Keith C. De Filippis
Here are the facts:
Don't be persuaded by people with no knowledge of San Jose schools or our local needs. The children of our community deserve good schools. Quality schools protect everyone's property values.
Please vote YES.
Patricia M. Dando
Albert L. Moreno
Martin A. Cohen
|Full Text of Measure A|
|To maintain quality education, avoid further reductions in essential programs, ensure adequate textbooks, instructional materials, and reduced class sizes, and retain experienced teachers and school library professionals, shall San Jose Unified School District be authorized to levy a tax for 5 years only of $98 per parcel, or, for multiple
dwelling units on one parcel, $40 per unit with a cap, with a maximum annual 2% inflation adjustment and an exemption for principal residence owners age 65 or over?
The purpose of the special tax is to improve the quality of education in the District by supporting the following programs:
An exemption may be granted annually on any single family residential parcel or multi-family dwelling unit owned by one or more persons 65 years or over who occupies said parcel or unit as a principal residence, upon annual application for exemption.
Pursuant to California Constitution article XIIIB and applicable laws, the appropriations limit for the District will be adjusted periodically by the aggregate sum collected by levy of this special tax.
The proceeds of the special tax shall be applied only to the specific purposes identified above. The proceeds of the special tax shall be deposited into a fund, which shall be kept separate and apart from other funds of the District. No later than January 1 of each year while the tax is in effect, the District shall prepare and file with the Board of Education a report detailing the amount of funds collected and expended, and the status of any project authorized to be funded by this measure.