Election - May 7, 2013

San Mateo County

Measure O:

Parcel tax INCREASE of $4,190 PER PARCEL in Portola Valley School District

Summary of the ballot measure:  To protect quality education in local elementary/middle schools, with funds that cannot be taken by the State and maintain quality science, math, reading/writing instruction; retain qualified/experienced teachers; minimize class size increases; support music/arts programs; develop advanced programs in engineering/technology, shall Portola Valley Elementary School District extend expiring school parcel taxes for eight years, increase rates by $123 annually[*], with senior exemptions, independent citizen oversight, no money for administrator salaries, all funds staying local?

* i.e., $123 higher in 2014, but $581 higher per year in 2015 through 2021.

SVTA recommends a NO vote against Measure O.

Here's why:

The proponents of Measure O think we don't pay enough taxes. Despite these harsh economic times, they think they can squeeze even more money out of us. They presume they can spend the money you earn, better than you can. Is this true?

This past November, Proposition 30 was passed by the voters to "fund the schools." Proposition 30 taxes have just started being collected yet school officials couldn't wait to seek even more money from us. Shouldn't we first see what state funds are restored before seeking additional funding from property owners, business owners, and tenants?

In 2004 and again in 2010, the district voters passed "temporary" taxes of $290 and $168 respectively that are still in effect today. why is the district incurring the extra expense of a special election now?

The two district schools have a population of 711 (the latest figures available: 2010-11), according to Education Data Partnership (www.Ed-Data.K12.ca.us). Ed-Data reports Average Daily Attendance (ADA) expenses of $11,386,981 for 666 students. That's $17,086 per student when the elementary school statewide average is $7,789. The district is spending over twice the statewide average - yet that still isn't enough money for them.

California teachers are the highest paid in the nation. This district's average teacher salary is $96,673 compared to the statewide average of $67,531.

Again, that still isn't enough money for them?! Even the lowest paid teacher gets $53,701 annually; 34% more than the statewide average of $39,983! the highest paid teacher gets $109,970 per year; 43.9% more than the statewide elementary teacher average of $76,391.

The economy is tough for most of us, but apparently not for district teachers. Let's insist they set a better example of monetary prudence for our children by voting No on Measure O.


You may read the Full Text, Arguments, Rebuttals, and Impartial Analysis of Measure O
at the web site of the County Elections Office, here.

Paid for by the Silicon Valley Taxpayers Association PAC.


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