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Smart Voter
San Diego County, CA November 2, 2010 Election
Proposition J
Emergency Teacher Retention/Classroom Education
San Diego Unified School District

2/3 Approval Required

Fail: 133,785 / 50.8% Yes votes ...... 129,737 / 49.2% No votes

See Also: Index of all Propositions

Information shown below: Yes/No Meaning | Impartial Analysis | Arguments |

To prevent Math, Science and English teacher layoffs, protect neighborhood schools from state budget cuts, prevent cuts to essential academic programs, job/college preparation, and preserve small classes, shall San Diego Unified School District levy a Temporary 5 Year Emergency annual tax that Sacramento can not take away of $98/single family home, and taxes on other types of parcels, exempting low income seniors, with independent audits and no money for administrators' salaries?

Meaning of Voting Yes/No
A YES vote on this measure means:
A "YES" vote is a vote in favor of authorizing the San Diego Unified School District to levy a special tax on parcels of land within the District.

A NO vote on this measure means:
A "NO" vote is a vote against authorizing the San Diego Unified School District to levy a special tax on parcels of land within the District.

Impartial Analysis from County Counsel
This proposition, if approved by two-thirds of qualified electors voting on the proposition, will authorize the San Diego Unified School District ("District") to levy a special tax on each parcel of land within the District. The special tax will be levied as follows: (1) $98.00 per single family residential parcel; (2) $60.00 per multi-family residential unit; (3) $450 per commercial or industrial parcel; and (4) $98.00 per vacant or unimproved parcel.

If approved by two-thirds of the qualified electors voting on the proposition, the special tax described above will be imposed annually for five years beginning on July 1, 2011. The tax will be collected by the San Diego County Treasurer-Tax Collector at the same time and in the same manner as ad valorem property taxes are collected. Any property owner aged 65 years or older may qualify for an exemption from the special tax if that property owner (1) occupies the parcel as a primary residence, (2) qualifies as a low income individual, and (3) submits an application with the District.

The proceeds of the special tax can only be used for specified purposes identified in the Full Ballot Text and such proceeds will be placed into a special account. An independent citizen oversight committee will be established to monitor the expenditures of the special tax revenues. State law requires the District to submit an annual report detailing the special tax revenues collected and the manner in which they have been spent. The District has made this ballot proposition subject to these requirements.

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Arguments For Proposition J Arguments Against Proposition J
Emergency Teacher Retention/Classroom Education Measure.
Proposition J helps prevent Math, Science and English teacher layoffs and protect neighborhood schools from massive budget cuts. In the past 3 years, Sacramento cut annual funding for San Diego schools by $300 million. Proposition J provides Neighborhood school funding Sacramento can NOT take away - $50 million a year for 5 years.

Fiscal reform came first. Before placing Proposition J on the ballot, San Diego Unified School District cut overhead and reformed business practices.

  • Eliminated 500 central office personnel.
  • Increased to 15 mandatory unpaid furlough days for administrators.
  • Imposed 5 mandatory unpaid furlough days/reduced medical benefits for teachers and support staff.
  • Eliminated millions of dollars in outside contracts/consultants.

Without Proposition J, neighborhood schools face massive teacher layoffs and devastating cuts to critical academic programs, including:
  • Reducing kindergarten to half-day.
  • Dramatically increasing class size (28-1 for K-3; 35-1 for 4-12).
  • Eliminating school police.
  • Cuts in Math, Science, English and key academic/college prep programs.
  • Nearly 500 layoffs of nurses, janitors, librarians and counselors.
  • Nearly 1,000 teacher layoffs.

By law, Proposition J can only be used for classroom learning.
The law forbids spending Proposition J funds for overhead/administration. Funds must be spent to relieve classroom overcrowding, prevent Math, Science and English teacher layoffs, and support classroom technology.

Taxpayer Safeguards.
Independent Annual Audits/Citizen Oversight Committee guarantee Proposition J funds are spent as promised.

California ranks 47th in per pupil student spending.
Per pupil funding in California dropped 20% in 3 years. Once a national leader in education funding, California today ranks 47th out of 50. The key to a strong economy is an educated workforce.

Proposition J helps our kids receive a quality education to compete for jobs in the global economy.

Save Our Schools.
YES on Proposition J.
Neighborhood School Funding Sacramento can NOT take away.

2010 High School Teacher of the Year
Principal, High Tech High
San Diego Unified Council of PTAs
President, San Diego Schools
Police Officers Association
Qualcomm Inc

Rebuttal to Arguments For
Don't believe false promises
You might think Proposition J will pay ONLY for critical classroom programs. NOT TRUE. The school district can spend the parcel tax on ANYTHING for "classroom learning" including "emergency teacher retention." That is code for INCREASED salaries and pensions. In fact, District employees will soon see a 7% salary increase plus additional perks that amount to an over 14% compensation increase in one year!

No accountability for YOUR tax dollars
Don't be fooled by terms like "Taxpayer Safeguards." Prop J has NO safeguards to hold the School Board accountable to spend your tax dollars as promised. The School Board has a track record of wasteful spending, and recently TURNED AWAY millions of dollars in federal "Race to the Top" funds to help students. Despite increasing per pupil spending by about 34% since 2003, HALF of District students are still not reading at their own grade level. Without reform, throwing more money at the problem will not improve performance.

School districts need to live within their means. Reject HIGHER TAXES.
Homeowners already pay plenty in property taxes to fund our schools. The $2.1 billion Prop S bond was approved only two years ago. The City of San Diego also wants to increase the sales tax: two tax increases in the middle of a recession! Voting NO on Prop J holds their feet to the fire and demands the reforms needed to help our students.

Opposed by the San Diego County Taxpayers Association.


California State University Trustee Emeritus
Business Owner
Retired Teacher
Certified Small Business Owner
San Diego Tax Fighters
San Diegans Against Government Waste
Worst possible time to increase taxes
The School Board wants to increase your taxes when working families are struggling to make their mortgage payments and unemployment is in the double-digits. The School Board should learn to live within its means, just like the rest of us.

Tax Increase would mainly go to pay salary increases
Promises that the money from this tax increase will "only" be spent on certain programs are false. The School Board has already approved a 7% salary increase for District employees in 2012, and nothing prevents them from approving further salary and pension benefit increases after the tax is approved.

Don't reward financial mismanagement with more of your hard-earned money
San Diego property owners already pay plenty in taxes to fund local public education. The School Board has a poor track record of fiscal responsibility and leadership. If the School Board can't manage the money they have now, how can we trust them to use new tax revenue prudently?

This parcel tax hits lower-income residents hardest
The people who can least afford this tax increase will be hurt the most because the same fixed dollar tax is applied to owners of both modest condominiums and extravagant mansions. The tax is even imposed on struggling "mom & pop" shops and vacant properties.

The school board needs to get its own house in order
If the School Board would demand reasonable concessions from labor union bosses and administrators, it wouldn't need to hit taxpayers with yet another bill. The District can save millions through modest reforms. This tax is a simple money grab - the District has no plan to balance its budget after this "temporary' tax ends.

Vote NO on Prop J.

Visit for more info.

Tierrasanta Community Council
President and CEO
San Diego County Taxpayers Association
Property Owner
President National Association of
Industrial & Office Properties (NAIOP) San Diego

Rebuttal to Arguments Against
The opponents have their facts wrong.

Reform came first. Before Proposition J, San Diego Schools implemented sweeping fiscal and budgetary reforms.

  • Led California in establishing Independent Citizens Oversight, Annual Audits and strict accountability.
  • Reformed budgeting. Cut 500+ administrators. Eliminated millions of dollars in outside consultants and contractors. In fact San Diego Taxpayers Association has given San Diego Schools 3 GOLDEN WATCHDOG AWARDS to recognize San Diego Unified School District initiatives that cut bureaucracy, overhead and waste.

Teachers and Staff have taken PAY CUTS/INCREASED WORKLOADS.
  • All administrators: Medical/benefit cuts. 15 mandatory unpaid furlough days/yr.
  • Forced early retirement and attrition for 1,000+ teachers increased class sizes and increased teacher workloads.
  • All teachers/school staff: Medical/benefit cuts. 5 mandatory unpaid furlough days/year. In hundreds of neighborhood schools, under difficult circumstances, teachers work hard and care about our kids.

Sacramento's cuts have slashed neighborhood school budgets nearly $300 million. More cuts are coming. If Proposition J fails:
  • Up to 1,000 teacher and 500 school staff layoffs,
  • Elimination of school police and vice principals,
  • Severe cuts to academic programs, jeopardizing our students' opportunities to learn and succeed. Proposition J helps prevent massive teacher layoffs and funding cuts to neighborhood schools with School Funding Sacramento can NOT take away.

Taxpayers Safeguards required by law.
  • Oversight. Audits.
  • No funds for administration/overhead.
  • All funds must support classroom learning.

Proposition J is a local proposition. By law, Sacramento can NOT take these funds away.

Vote Yes on Proposition J
Save our Schools Neighborhood School Funding Sacramento can NOT take away.
www.SaveOurSchoolsSanDiego com

Parent Institute for Quality Education
Committee Member
Independent Citizens Oversight Committee
Dean, College of Education
San Diego State University
Small Business Owner
Board Member
San Diego Tax Payers Advocate

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Created: January 6, 2011 15:00 PST
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