LIST OF LOCAL MEASURES SPECIAL ALL-MAIL BALLOT ELECTION MAY 5, 2020

SCHOOL MEASURES

The Silicon Valley Taxpayers Association recommend a NO vote on the following:

Palo Alto Unified School District Parcel Tax 2/3 Vote <POSTPONED BY PAUSD>

To preserve excellence in academic programs, including science, math, reading, writing, arts/music with local funding that cannot be taken by the State; attract/retain qualified teachers; support at-risk students; keep class sizes small; shall Palo Alto Unified School District's measure be adopted, extending its current $820 parcel tax for six years, increasing the rate by $48, raising approximately $17,000,000 annually with senior exemptions, 2% annual inflation adjustment, independent citizen oversight, all funds benefiting local students

The followinig argumentn against Measure A was submitted by the Silicon Valley Taxpayers Association

We all want to honor our teachers and support our schools, especially in Palo Alto.  We can, without saying that money is no object. 

 

Palo Alto Unified School District (PAUSD) has proposed an increase above its current $820/year parcel tax, despite the fact that PAUSD's property tax revenues have significantly increased, and student enrollment has decreased. Moreover, our tax dollars have not always been well utilized.  Palo Alto Unified should rework its parcel tax proposal to reflect current circumstances, and place it on a later ballot.  There is time; the current parcel tax does not expire until July 2021.

In the last decade, assessed property values increased by 82% in PAUSD’s district.[1]  Meanwhile, PAUSD student enrollment declined (7% for the 5 years since 2014-15),[2] and is projected to decline 17% from 2013-14 through 2023.[3] Inflation remained subdued, increasing 19% over the same period.[4]

Due to high Palo Alto property tax revenues, permitting high concurrent spending, PAUSD’s current expenditures are more than $20,500/student, the highest in the state for a comparable district.[5]  According to PAUSD, staff salaries and benefits represent 86% of PAUSD expenditures.[6]  According to the Daily Post, PAUSD Trustees Ken Dauber and Jennifer DiBrienza agree that PAUSD doesn’t have a problem attracting or retaining teachers.[7]

Administrative errors in 2016 and 2017 cost PAUSD $7.7 million;[8] while legal noncompliance cost $2 million from 2017-2018.[9]   Newly created PAUSD administrative positions require further resources.[10]  

We do want to honor our teachers and support our schools, but without saying money is no object. PAUSD, please revise your parcel tax proposal: No on Measure A.

For more information: www.svtaxpayers.com


[1] https://www.sccassessor.org/index.php/forms-and-publications/annual-report

https://www.sccassessor.org/edocman/Annual%20Report09.pdf

[2] https://go.boarddocs.com/ca/pausd/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=AK8PBB63CC40

[3]https://go.boarddocs.com/ca/pausd/Board.nsf/files/AK8ULP7C9B27/$file/092413_pkt.pdf

https://www.pausd.org/sites/default/files/pdf-faqs/attachments/60148FinalReport.pdf

[4] https://www.statbureau.org/en/united-states/inflation

[5] https://www.ed-data.org/Comparisons

[6]https://www.pausd.org/sites/default/files/pdf-faqs/attachments/2016-17%20Budget%20Book.pdf

[7] https://padailypost.com/2019/11/07/school-board-flip-flops-on-teacher-housing/

[8] https://www.paloaltoonline.com/news/2017/09/01/the-6-million-blunder https://www.paloaltoonline.com/news/2016/07/15/palo-alto-school-district-stunned-by-tax-shortfall

[9]https://www.paloaltoonline.com/news/2018/06/07/school-board-member-criticizes-legal-spending

https://www.paloaltoonline.com/news/2019/01/16/school-district-settles-title-ix-case-for-190k

[10] https://paloaltoonline.com/news/2018/12/05/school-board-approves-new-general-counsel,

https://palyvoice.com/142963/news/board-approves-contract-for-deputy-superintendent/


Also endorsing a NO vote:

Brian Holtz, - Purissima Hills Water District Board of Directors

Libertarian Party of Santa Clara County


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