In order to show support for local education, Redwood City elected officials and leaders are publicly embracing proposed by the , which is slated to go on the June ballot.
On Monday night, the City Council approved a resolution declaring the city's endorsement of Measure W, a proposed annual $67 tax to homeowners that would generate funds exclusively for use by the local elementary school district.
"Get behind this," said councilman John Seybert, who urged voters to approve the tax regardless of whether they have children currently enrolled as students in the district.
If approved, the tax stands to generate $1.7 million for K-8 schools in Redwood City over the course of the proposed five-year life span.
Last Wednesday the passed a similar measure that also encouraged local residents to pass the tax when it goes to voters on election day June 5.
"I strongly support the parcel tax and as a resident of Redwood City I will be voting in favor of the measure," said Sequoia Union High School District Superintendent James Lianides.
The Redwood City School District is responsible for generating 40 percent of the students currently enrolled in the high school district, said Lianides.
"The Board strongly supports their efforts to preserve valuable educational programs and instructional time," he said, referring to the high school district board of trustees pledging support for those in the elementary school district.
Local leaders are hoping that their public endorsement will persuade residents to show support for local education by opening their checkbooks. But history reflects Redwood City as a community that is reluctant to be so generous.
On three instances since 1990, voters have shot down similar parcel taxes proposed by the Redwood City School District.
But last year Redwood City voters approved , as well as , in order to stabilize the city's budget. This may be seen by local tax advocates as a beacon of hope for what is to come during the summer election.
In order to pass in the upcoming election, 67% of votes must be in favor of the tax.
According to councilwoman Barbara Pierce, the local school system should be viewed by the community as an asset because the quality of the school district has a significant impact on home values in Redwood City.
"It is critical for our families to feel proud of our schools," she said.
She also noted that the only school system feeding into the Sequoia Union High School District without a parcel tax currently is the Redwood City School District.
Proceeds from the parcel tax would allow district leadership to roll back on imposing further spending cuts. Over the course of the past five years, the Redwood City School District has laid off nearly 120 employees in order to shave $13 million from its budget, according to a district report.
And the local budget woes are worsened by the ongoing financial crisis taking place in the state legislature.
According to Seybert, voters should see the upcoming election as an opportunity to exercise local control by generating funds for public city schools that will remain in Redwood City.
"It is time to take funding back," he said. "Sacramento cannot be trusted with funding our education."
Then Mayor Jeff Ira explained that with this parcel tax revenue, money stays within the district and cannot be taken by the state.
"A dollar is a dollar," he said. "It stays right here in the district."
For more news about Redwood City and surrounding areas, including unincorporated San Mateo County, follow us on Twitter and "like" us on Facebook. Get Patched in daily by signing up for our newsletter.