Ballot Arguments and Rebuttals for Measure W have been filed. Those supporting the Measure are attached as image PDF files. Those opposing are appended below.
Rebuttal to Argument In Favor of Measure W
In 1993, 2005, and 2009, proponents promised dire consequences if voters didn’t pass parcel taxes. All failed—and student achievement, test scores, etc., improved anyway. WITHOUT A PARCEL TAX, general fund revenue grew 4.9% per year on average; from $33 million in 1993 to $81 million today.
Are we alone?
Hardly. The vast majority of California school districts do NOT levy a parcel tax.*
$13 million in cuts??
Since 2007/2008 general fund revenue increased from $78 to $81 million.**
Of the 9 comparable elementary school districts in San Mateo County*****, RCSD ranked #3 in per student funding (and #2 in average teacher pay).*****
Only $4972 per student??
That’s just one component of general fund revenue. Revenue from all sources totals roughly $90 million, or $10,160 per student.***
50% class size growth??
Between 2001 and 2011, average class size increased from 23.1 to 25.5 students.******
A fixed-size surtax can’t reduce year-to-year variability in the budget.
But you can prevent a 1½ % drop in funding 5 years from now by voting against Measure W today...
** Second Interim Budget Report 2011-2012 projection, p 13. http://www.rcsdk8.net/Page/81
*** ibid, pps 8, 81; RCSD Average Daily Attendance (ADA) = 8902 **** with ADA exceeding 2500 students
***** using “Compare Districts” tool for 2009/10. http://www.ed-data.k12.ca.us/
****** using “District Profile” tool for 2000/01 and 2010/11. http://www.ed-data.k12.ca.us/
Argument Against Measure W
Do the math: That’s $335 in new parcel taxes over the next 5 years! Many people need that money to pay their bills.
Or eat dinner. 64% of students in our district come from low-income families qualifying for free or reduced-price lunch programs.
For a miniscule increase in the District’s budget (roughly 1½ % —a fraction of administrative spending), Measure W would force them to skimp on necessities, or pile up credit card debt.
Wouldn’t it be more efficient to spend $335 on your children yourself, rather than turn it over to a faceless bureaucrat who might do something worthwhile with it? Not counting state taxes we pay, annual property taxes to support the RCSD* already exceed $1,600 per parcel on average. Renters can’t deduct property taxes, even though their rent pays for them.
Just what is this parcel tax for?
Some board members . One responded “Some people might not be interested in P.E. fields”. ** Given the vague language that evolved, who knows what they will do with this money.
Independent Oversight Committee? Ha!
The Board itself would determine its “composition, duties, funding…formation, and operation”. Did you spot the part about funding? Just what we need—more yes-men in the bureaucracy, doing nothing of real value. Remember when the San Mateo Community College District board built a health club with bond money, right under the nose of their “Independent Oversight Committee”?
Our community is an island of relative affordability, surrounded by California’s most expensive school districts. Please, vote NO, and help keep Redwood City affordable.
* Note: a complex ERAF/State Aid funding swap arrangement obscures reporting of property taxes.
Read the Arguments. Demand the facts! Post your comments.