This is an archive of a past election.
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League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Belmont - Redwood Shores Elementary School District
2/3 Approval Required
8,980 / 66.4% Yes votes ...... 4,551 / 33.6% No votes
Index of all Measures
|Results as of Dec 15 1:37pm, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (42/42)
|Information shown below: Yes/No Meaning | Impartial Analysis | Arguments | Full Text
To improve academic performance and student achievement, emphasizing reading, writing, math, science, and music; attract and retain experienced, qualified teachers; support small class sizes; provide reading specialists for at-risk children; and preserve school library services, shall Belmont-Redwood Shores Elementary School District collect $96/year per taxable parcel for ten years, with all funds staying in local schools, independent community oversight of all expenditures, exemptions for those 65 years and older, and no funds used for administrators' salaries?
By this measure, the Board of Trustees of the Belmont-Redwood Shores Elementary School District propose to levy a special tax for a period of ten years beginning July 1, 2005 and ending June 30, 2015. This tax shall be at a rate not to exceed $96 per year on all taxable parcels in the District.
A parcel shall be defined as any unit of land in the District which receives a separate tax bill from the County Assessor. All property which would otherwise be exempt from property taxes will also be exempt from the imposition of said special tax. Any property owner aged 65 years or older may qualify for an exemption from the special tax if the property owner occupies the parcel.
The stated purposes of the special tax are for supporting basic curriculum, including music and science programs and school libraries; maintaining class sizes; and retaining teachers and reading specialists. The Board of Trustees must file an annual report accounting for the parcel tax revenues collected and the manner in which they have been spent. A community oversight committee shall be appointed by the Board of Trustees to oversee all expenditures funded by the measure to ensure that said funds are used only for purposes approved the voters.
This measure would also increase the District's appropriations limit per fiscal year, in an amount equal to the levy of the special tax for that year, as permitted by Article XIIIB, section 4 of the California Constitution.
A "yes" vote on this measure would allow a special tax to be levied on property within the boundaries of the Belmont-Redwood Shores Elementary School District in an amount up to $96 per year per parcel for supporting basic curriculum, including music and science programs and school libraries; maintaining class sizes; and retaining teachers and reading specialists. It would also allow the appropriations (spending) limit to be raised.
A "no" vote on this measure would not allow the special tax to be levied and would not allow the appropriations limit to be raised.
This measure passes if two-thirds of those voting on the measure vote "yes."
News and Analysis
|Arguments For Measure G
|Arguments Against Measure G
|Top-quality schools are the backbone of our community and the foundation
of our high property values. Local elementary and middle schools offer an
excellent, well-rounded education to our community's children: thoroughly
grounded in the basics along with art, music, libraries and other programs.
High student achievement shows how well our local schools educate
children. Rising property values and our high quality of life prove that good
schools benefit everyone.
But today this valuable community resource is at risk.
Enrollment has increased 25% and state cuts are taking their toll. The Belmont-Redwood Shores Elementary School District has cut over $2 million in the last 4 years. Our schools have lost good teachers, reading specialists and librarians, reduced science and music, and increased class sizes.
These cuts have already impacted elementary school classrooms - and more cuts are on the way. We need to pass Measure G to preserve our excellent schools.
Measure G puts high priority on what matters most to a good education:
_ The basics - reading, writing and math
_ Elementary school science classes
_ Qualified, experienced teachers
_ Reading specialists to improve basic skills
_ Elementary school music
_ Small classes to ensure individual attention
_ Keeping school libraries open
All Measure G funds will stay in local K-8 schools to improve academics.
Funds cannot be taken by state government or used for administrative salaries.
Measure G is fiscally conservative and accountable. Independent community oversight and annual audits are required.
Measure G includes an optional senior exemption so that senior citizens will not bear a burden they cannot afford.
Measure G is an investment in our community that benefits us all, whether we have children in school or not. Measure G is good for children, good for property owners and good for our entire community.
Vote Yes on Measure G.
/s/ Helen Cross August 10, 2004
48 year resident of Belmont
/s/ George Metropulos August 12, 2004
Mayor - Belmont
/s/ Rosanne S. Foust August 5, 2004
Past Chair of Redwood City-San Mateo County
Chamber of Commerce
/s/ Jeffrey Gee August 10, 2004
President, Redwood Shores Comm. Assoc.
/s/ Helen Kauffold August 13, 2004
Retired Belmont 1st Grade Teacher
o Property valuations in the District doubled in the past decade--without any school parcel taxes. (In Burlingame, where the elementary school district passed 4 parcel tax measures during that time, valuations increased only 88%.)
o Schools are the beneficiaries of high property values--not the cause. High achieving parents bring high achieving students--and more taxes--to the community.
o The proponents have been yelping about imaginary budget cuts for years, but let's look at the actual data from the state's Ed-Data web site:
o The state's school funding formula does take student population growth into account. During the past decade, the teacher count increased by 48%, while the student population increased by only 23%. A bloated budget means a bloated payroll.
o The average teacher takes home between $60,000 and $70,000 in salary
and benefits (not bad for 186 work days!), and has taught in the District for
o A "citizen's oversight committee" appointed by the very trustees whom they are to supervise can hardly be called `independent'. We'd call it a `sham'.
o Working within a budget is fiscally conservative. Measure G is not.
/s/ John J. "Jack" Hickey August 19, 2004
Chair, Libertarian Party of San Mateo County
/s/ Harland Harrison August 19, 2004
/s/ Brian Holtz August 19, 2004
Candidate For Congress
/s/ Fred A. Graham August 19, 2004
/s/ Christopher V.A. Schmidt August 19, 2004
Retired Computer Professional
|Our schools are well funded.
Last year, District taxpayers (including renters) contributed $14 million in property taxes to the elementary school district, and other taxes brought the total to over $21 million.
(http://www.ed-data.k12.ca.us/dev/District.asp) $21 million for 2500 students amounts to $210,000 per classroom of 25 students. That's enough to pay teachers very good wages--and leave plenty for building maintenance and overhead.
Budget cuts?? Bull!
In 2001, they claimed financial doom was imminent if voters didn't approve a parcel tax. Their ballot measure failed, but the sky didn't fall. Chicken Little was wrong, and revenue increased from $14 million to $17 million--without any parcel tax.
In 2002 they tried again, and failed again. This time revenue increased from $17 million to $21 million--again without any parcel tax.
This was no surprise, since property taxes automatically increase each year by 2%, and typically jump still higher, whenever properties change hands.
ONCE MORE, they threaten to axe popular programs if you don't give them what they want. But, once more, they dissemble. We consider it bad taste to use teachers and school children as pretend hostages, when their budget situation is fine.
Meanwhile, many residents have real budget problems. Hitting them with a $960 parcel tax (even stretched over 10 years) will have a painful impact on their lives. Paying this tax could mean missing a critical mortgage payment, or a health insurance premium, or drowning in credit card debt. People who carry the balance on their credit cards will owe nearly $3,000 (with interest) in just 10 years.
Have a heart. Don't raise taxes on our most vulnerable residents. Vote against this greedy money grab.
/s/ John J. "Jack" Hickey August 13, 2004
Chair, Libertarian Party of San Mateo County
/s/ Harland Harrison August 12, 2004
/s/ Christopher V.A. Schmidt August 12, 2004
Retired Computer Professional
The facts speak for themselves:
State budget cuts aren't "bull" - they're a sad reality. Our schools are not "well-funded". Local enrollment has risen 25% and basic expenses continually outpace revenue. The result: over $2 million dollars has been slashed from the Belmont-Redwood Shores Elementary School District's budget over the last four years
That budget squeeze has caused the loss of qualified teachers, reading specialists and librarians, reduced science and music courses and increased class sizes. Rising enrollment coupled with decreased funding from the state will make more cuts inevitable.
Our local schools are great today + but we must invest in them to keep it that way.
Measure G will enable the Belmont-Redwood Shores Elementary School District to provide a high-quality, well-rounded education that puts a priority on what matters most to young students + small class sizes and high-quality teachers.
No Measure G funds can be taken by the state, guaranteeing our local schools a source of reliable funding. Not one dollar can be used for administrative salaries. Citizen oversight guarantees wise spending.
Measure G is not a threat. It is simply our local schools asking our community to invest in the district that keeps our property values high and our children academically on top.
Please support local elementary and middle schools by voting YES on Measure G.
/s/ Mary Morrissey Parden August 20, 2004
President/Belmont Chamber of Commerce
/s/ Kristine Brooks August 20, 2004
retired 1st. grade Teacher
/s/ Van Ton August 20, 2004
Redwood Shores Pre-School Parent
/s/ Allen C. Mueller August 20, 2004
35-Year Redwood Shores Homeowner
/s/ H.E. Mason August 21, 2004
Retired Belmont City Treasurer
|Full Text of Measure G
|To improve academic performance and student achievement, emphasizing
reading, writing, math, science, and music; attract and retain experienced,
qualified teachers; support small class sizes; provide reading specialists for
at-risk children; and preserve school library services, shall Belmont-
Redwood Shores Elementary School District collect $96/year per taxable
parcel for ten years, with all funds staying in local schools, independent
community oversight of all expenditures, exemptions for those 65 years
and older, and no funds used for administrators' salaries, by:
1. Supporting the teaching of the basics, including reading, writing and math;
2. Maintaining a well-rounded curriculum by restoring cuts to music, science programs and school libraries, and guarding against future cuts;
3. Maintaining small class sizes and retaining high quality teachers;
4. Maintaining reading specialists to help struggling students learn to read; and
5. Replacing part of the millions of dollars the State has taken from education in order to avoid even deeper cutbacks in our local schools
An exemption shall be granted for any parcel owned by one or more persons 65 years of age or over who occupies said parcel as a principal residence, upon completion of an application for exemption.
To insure additional accountability, an independent volunteer community oversight committee shall be appointed by the Board of Trustees to oversee all expenditures funded by the measure to ensure that said funds are spent wisely and used only for purposes approved by the voters. This volunteer citizens' committee shall monitor the expenditures of these funds by the District and shall report on an annual basis to the community on how these funds have been spent.