SVTA Voter Guide for Santa Clara County

May 4, 2021 General Election

Our positions on Santa Clara County measure: A

Cupertino Union School District $398 Parcel Tax: Argument Against Measure A

To justify this latest “temporary” parcel tax, the Cupertino Union School District claims they need a tax increase in order to continue providing quality education.

The district wants a new 8-year $398 parcel tax, even though just last March, voters rejected a less distasteful, 5-year $125 parcel tax.

Has the district earned this extension that will cost us more than $3,184 over the next 8 years (on top of the taxes we are already paying)?

If you answered “no,” we encourage you to vote NO on Measure A.

This District is already spending $11,931 per student per year. That equals $326,909 per class at 27.4 students per class, on average. Yet, they want more of your hard-earned money to pad their above-average salaries (statewide) of ($90,146), and up to $24,933 annual benefits package plus fat pension plans.

[Source: California Department of Education Data Partnership – www.ed-data.org]

The measure says that none of the funds will be used for administration. But funds generated separately from this parcel tax CAN be used for administrative expenses — without limit. So, that is really an empty promise. Do not be fooled.

The number of administrators has grown from 41 in 2015 to 146 in 2019 — more than tripled — while the number of teachers has declined from 864 in 2015 to 790 in 2019 — down 9%.

That equals more bureaucracy and fewer teachers!

Don’t like that? Then vote No on Measure A.

They say there will be “independent community oversight,” but guess who gets to pick the oversight committee? You guessed it: the Cupertino Union School Board.

Tell the Cupertino Union School Board to be fiscally responsible by voting NO on_Measure_A.

High property taxes are driving middle-class parents out of California.

Just say No to High Taxes!

SVTA Voter Guide for San Mateo County

May 4, 2021 General Election

Our positions on San Mateo County measure: S

Portola Valley School District $471 Parcel Tax: Argument Against Measure S

Milton Friedman once said, “there’s nothing so permanent as a ‘temporary’ tax”.

With this latest “temporary” parcel tax, the Portola Valley School District claims they need a tax increase to continue providing “quality education”.

Voters in March 2020 rejected the district’s “temporary” parcel tax ($581), so they are back again for another bite of your wallet/purse. You said no, but they are not listening!

Have they earned this extension that will cost you over $3,768 over the next 8 years (on top of the high taxes you are already paying)?

Let’s look at latest academic performance:

2018-19 school year results: 13.48% below grade level for English.

2018-19 school year results: 16.63% below grade for math.

The District rewarded students, parents, and taxpayers for the passage of the 2013 parcel tax with a drop in math proficiency.

Source: California Department of Education Data Partnership – www.ed-data.org

It is clear to see why student enrollment is declining.

Should you, the voters, reward the district for dropping scores in math???

If no, we encourage you to vote NO on Measure S.

This District is already spending a whopping $30,529 per student per year, which is 229% ABOVE the statewide average ($13,924) yet providing average education. Yet, they want more of your hard-earned money to pad their salaries (averaging $106,876 plus up to $21,574 in benefits) and fat pension plans.

The measure says that none of the funds will be used for administration. But funds generated separately from this parcel tax can be used for administration expenses without limits. So, that is really an empty promise. Do not be fooled.

Tell the Portola Valley School Board to be fiscally responsible by voting NO on_Measure_S.

If you reward failure, you will get more failure!

Rebuttal to the Argument in Favor of Measure S:

• Portola Valley School District (PVSD) has 551 students in two schools:

o Ormondale School with 246 students in grades K-3

o Corte Madera School with 305 students in grades 4-8

o The PVSD student population has declined -12% in the past 4 years (from 627 to 551)

o The public high school (grades 9-12) for Portola Valley is Woodside High School, part of the Sequoia Union High School District (SUHSD)

• Portola Valley School District is among the best funded public-school districts in California:

o PVSD spends $30,529 per student versus the California average of $13,924

o According to the Portola Valley Schools Foundation, the average tuition for San Francisco Bay Area private schools is approximately $20,000

o The vast majority (~79%) of the PVSD budget is funded through local property taxes

o PVSD projects for the 2020-21 school year, property tax revenue to fund PVSD will increase 4.2% from the previous year

o PVSD also projects a budget surplus for the 2020-21 school year of $1.7 million (out of a budget of $16.4 million)

• Portola Valley School District and Sequoia Union High School District already supplement their funding through other significant taxes and bond measures:

o In addition to existing local property and parcel taxes, PVSD receives federal, state, and local funding in excess of $1 million per year (out of a budget of $16.4 million)

o Measure Z, passed in November 2018, authorized PVSD to borrow $49.5 million

o Measure A, passed in June 2014, authorized SUHSD to borrow $265 million

o Measure J, passed in February 2008, authorized SUHSD to borrow $165 million

• In March 2020, Measure P failed to pass:

o Measure P proposed that Portola Valley voters renew the existing $581 per parcel tax, with 3% annual increases, raising at least $1.2 million annually, for 8 years

• California is at a tipping point in burdening its residents and businesses with ever higher taxes:

o California has the highest marginal personal income tax rate in the U.S. (13.3%) and among the highest corporate tax rates (8.8%)

o According to the Hoover Institution, thousands of employers (such as Oracle, Hewlett-Packard, and Tesla) have recently moved their headquarters out of California in large part due to the high level of personal and corporate taxes in California

o According to the California Department of Finance, there was a net migration loss of 135,600 people moving away from California from July 1, 2019 to July 1, 2020

o Surveys indicate that this emigration process started to occur before COVID in large part due to the high cost of living and taxes in California and has accelerated since the pandemic began in March 2020

It is time to for us to accept our collective fiscal responsibility. Please vote no on Measure S.




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