News Analysis: Parcel Tax in Jeopardy?

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Last night at the Davis City Council Meeting, I sat by School Board Members Sheila Allen and Gina Daleiden as they waited patiently for an extended period of time for the council to finish deliberations on a development agreement. I am still not certain who was more tired last night–them or me–we had all been up very late on Monday night and yesterday was not much shorter.

While this commentary is primarily focused on the parcel tax, I want to take a moment to criticize the council in the way they deliberated on the development agreement for a South Davis subdivision. One thing that was readily apparent last night was that the city council erred in attempting to deliberate on the finite details of such an agreement in public–they would have been better served having given staff direction and bringing the item back for approval as a consent item.

As it was, what appeared on the agenda to be a short meeting went well past midnight.

In the meantime by 10:45 or so last night, Board Members Allen and Daleiden presented information about the extension of the parcel tax.

The parcel tax represents roughly 5.5 percent of the district’s revenue. It is assessed at $166.90 per parcel in the past measure and the renewal would add an additional 20 dollars to this tax–a modest increase that represents a basic COLA increase.

The parcel tax is vital to the district. At the elementary school level it helps fund classroom size reduction and an elementary reading program. At the secondary level it funds the seventh period for the junior, extended hours for the library and help for at-risk kids. In addition it funds $20 per student for classroom supplies district-wide, technology, counseling, nurses, and training for teachers.

Without this parcel tax the district would be in serious financial jeopardy. The problems that the district faces now, pale in comparison to the problems that it would face if the parcel tax were to fail.

Board Member Keltie Jones became very alarmed when fellow Board Member Tim Taylor proposed a second parcel tax measure on the ballot tied to the passage of the first that would fund the nine school option. Jones was concerned that the second measure on the ballot would cripple the chances that the first measure would pass. Both of these measures require a two-thirds vote and that is a daunting task.

One thing that I think people do not understand is that the character of Davis has shifted somewhat and you have a large, fiscally conservative new development center in south Davis that will make passage of the original parcel tax much more difficult.

Introducing the second is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, having too many tax measures on the ballot–and there is a library tax measure as well–will make it harder for any of them to pass. On the other hand, Jones overlooks the grassroots energy that the Valley Oak and Davis OPEN parents would provide to help run a campaign to pass the parcel tax.

Without both measures on the ballot, the district does not have this already organized and strongly energetic parental base to rely on.

However, there are still serious concerns I have.

First, the parents at Davis OPEN were demoralized by the vote to close the school. Will they be able to get off the deck and organize for the passage of two measures?

Second, there is a resentment factor that I have already seen with the suggestion that the board is trying to win its campaign on the backs of its poorest and most vulnerable parents and students.

Third, what happens if the polling shows that the second parcel tax would doom the first? You may turn the Davis OPEN parents to work actively AGAINST the parcel tax. Then what?

This has the makings of a serious miscalculation. And it is a cumulative thing. First you have the superintendent issue–I think the board did the right thing, but to many, it looks unbecoming and questionable to pay for two superintendents even after you explain that it may save the district money even in the short run.

Second, you have a number of other “scandals” that this board is trying to deal with.

Add to those factors now a new hazard,very angry and demoralized base who is organized but exhausted and they are now in the position to go either way.

Looking at this landscape if I am on the board, I would be scared to death that the parcel tax is in jeopardy. Not because of the second proposed parcel tax but because of how this process has played out.

I understand that the board received pressure in both directions on the school issue with people threatening to vote no on the parcel tax is Valley Oak remained open, but this development cannot have helped it.

Right now the passage of the parcel tax appears to be in serious jeopardy. Are they going to get two-thirds of the public to back this? It looks very dicey right now.

—Doug Paul Davis reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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68 thoughts on “News Analysis: Parcel Tax in Jeopardy?”

  1. Dan

    You appear to be suggesting that VO parents might cut off their nose to spite their face. That is, they might be so mad at the BOE for voting to maybe close VO that they will either fail to support the general parcel tax or actually campaign against it.

    Is this a real fear? I mean, will VO parents, whose kids will presumably still be going to DJUSD schools, hurt their own kids just to use causing hurt to other kids as a way to send a message to the BOE?

    I don’t know. The folks I saw at the BOE meetings were caring, thoughtful people. I don’t see them sinking to that level.

  2. Dan

    You appear to be suggesting that VO parents might cut off their nose to spite their face. That is, they might be so mad at the BOE for voting to maybe close VO that they will either fail to support the general parcel tax or actually campaign against it.

    Is this a real fear? I mean, will VO parents, whose kids will presumably still be going to DJUSD schools, hurt their own kids just to use causing hurt to other kids as a way to send a message to the BOE?

    I don’t know. The folks I saw at the BOE meetings were caring, thoughtful people. I don’t see them sinking to that level.

  3. Dan

    You appear to be suggesting that VO parents might cut off their nose to spite their face. That is, they might be so mad at the BOE for voting to maybe close VO that they will either fail to support the general parcel tax or actually campaign against it.

    Is this a real fear? I mean, will VO parents, whose kids will presumably still be going to DJUSD schools, hurt their own kids just to use causing hurt to other kids as a way to send a message to the BOE?

    I don’t know. The folks I saw at the BOE meetings were caring, thoughtful people. I don’t see them sinking to that level.

  4. Dan

    You appear to be suggesting that VO parents might cut off their nose to spite their face. That is, they might be so mad at the BOE for voting to maybe close VO that they will either fail to support the general parcel tax or actually campaign against it.

    Is this a real fear? I mean, will VO parents, whose kids will presumably still be going to DJUSD schools, hurt their own kids just to use causing hurt to other kids as a way to send a message to the BOE?

    I don’t know. The folks I saw at the BOE meetings were caring, thoughtful people. I don’t see them sinking to that level.

  5. natalie

    As someone whose son may start at Valley Oak in the fall, I know that my initial gut reaction to Keltie Jones’ maneuvering on Monday night was to vote no on the parcel tax. That lasted for about two seconds before common sense prevailed.

    The parcel tax is important for the schools. It ensures smaller classrooms. It allows libraries to stay open longer. It allows for diversified programming at the secondary level. In essence, the parcel tax is what helps make the Davis school district one of the better ones in the greater Sacramento area.

    So sure, I resent the heck out of the fact that if I decide to send my son to VO next year, he realistically may only be there for another year. However I’ve also got the good sense to realize that for the Davis School District to remain vital, we need the parcel tax to pass.

  6. natalie

    As someone whose son may start at Valley Oak in the fall, I know that my initial gut reaction to Keltie Jones’ maneuvering on Monday night was to vote no on the parcel tax. That lasted for about two seconds before common sense prevailed.

    The parcel tax is important for the schools. It ensures smaller classrooms. It allows libraries to stay open longer. It allows for diversified programming at the secondary level. In essence, the parcel tax is what helps make the Davis school district one of the better ones in the greater Sacramento area.

    So sure, I resent the heck out of the fact that if I decide to send my son to VO next year, he realistically may only be there for another year. However I’ve also got the good sense to realize that for the Davis School District to remain vital, we need the parcel tax to pass.

  7. natalie

    As someone whose son may start at Valley Oak in the fall, I know that my initial gut reaction to Keltie Jones’ maneuvering on Monday night was to vote no on the parcel tax. That lasted for about two seconds before common sense prevailed.

    The parcel tax is important for the schools. It ensures smaller classrooms. It allows libraries to stay open longer. It allows for diversified programming at the secondary level. In essence, the parcel tax is what helps make the Davis school district one of the better ones in the greater Sacramento area.

    So sure, I resent the heck out of the fact that if I decide to send my son to VO next year, he realistically may only be there for another year. However I’ve also got the good sense to realize that for the Davis School District to remain vital, we need the parcel tax to pass.

  8. natalie

    As someone whose son may start at Valley Oak in the fall, I know that my initial gut reaction to Keltie Jones’ maneuvering on Monday night was to vote no on the parcel tax. That lasted for about two seconds before common sense prevailed.

    The parcel tax is important for the schools. It ensures smaller classrooms. It allows libraries to stay open longer. It allows for diversified programming at the secondary level. In essence, the parcel tax is what helps make the Davis school district one of the better ones in the greater Sacramento area.

    So sure, I resent the heck out of the fact that if I decide to send my son to VO next year, he realistically may only be there for another year. However I’ve also got the good sense to realize that for the Davis School District to remain vital, we need the parcel tax to pass.

  9. Doug Paul Davis

    Dan:

    I was trying to make two separate points. First, that if they decide not to go with the second parcel tax, VO parents and frankly others, may end up opposing the parcel tax.

    The second concern was whether the VO parents would be demoralized after this–and I saw it on the faces on Monday–it is going to take a huge and sustained effort to get two parcel taxes passed in addition to possible the library parcel tax.

  10. Doug Paul Davis

    Dan:

    I was trying to make two separate points. First, that if they decide not to go with the second parcel tax, VO parents and frankly others, may end up opposing the parcel tax.

    The second concern was whether the VO parents would be demoralized after this–and I saw it on the faces on Monday–it is going to take a huge and sustained effort to get two parcel taxes passed in addition to possible the library parcel tax.

  11. Doug Paul Davis

    Dan:

    I was trying to make two separate points. First, that if they decide not to go with the second parcel tax, VO parents and frankly others, may end up opposing the parcel tax.

    The second concern was whether the VO parents would be demoralized after this–and I saw it on the faces on Monday–it is going to take a huge and sustained effort to get two parcel taxes passed in addition to possible the library parcel tax.

  12. Doug Paul Davis

    Dan:

    I was trying to make two separate points. First, that if they decide not to go with the second parcel tax, VO parents and frankly others, may end up opposing the parcel tax.

    The second concern was whether the VO parents would be demoralized after this–and I saw it on the faces on Monday–it is going to take a huge and sustained effort to get two parcel taxes passed in addition to possible the library parcel tax.

  13. Anonymous

    Making the parcel tax passage contingent on passing an additional measure to ensure that Valley Oak stays open and meets this community’s needs gives everyone the incentive to vote for supporting the 9 Schools Open option. Keltie Jones exhorted Davis parents to support the enrichment bond measure by reminding them what private violin lessons cost. Her argument makes a strong case for making the enrichment bond measure contingent on the success of a measure that funds the All Schools Open option. It will save Davis parents money.

  14. Anonymous

    Making the parcel tax passage contingent on passing an additional measure to ensure that Valley Oak stays open and meets this community’s needs gives everyone the incentive to vote for supporting the 9 Schools Open option. Keltie Jones exhorted Davis parents to support the enrichment bond measure by reminding them what private violin lessons cost. Her argument makes a strong case for making the enrichment bond measure contingent on the success of a measure that funds the All Schools Open option. It will save Davis parents money.

  15. Anonymous

    Making the parcel tax passage contingent on passing an additional measure to ensure that Valley Oak stays open and meets this community’s needs gives everyone the incentive to vote for supporting the 9 Schools Open option. Keltie Jones exhorted Davis parents to support the enrichment bond measure by reminding them what private violin lessons cost. Her argument makes a strong case for making the enrichment bond measure contingent on the success of a measure that funds the All Schools Open option. It will save Davis parents money.

  16. Anonymous

    Making the parcel tax passage contingent on passing an additional measure to ensure that Valley Oak stays open and meets this community’s needs gives everyone the incentive to vote for supporting the 9 Schools Open option. Keltie Jones exhorted Davis parents to support the enrichment bond measure by reminding them what private violin lessons cost. Her argument makes a strong case for making the enrichment bond measure contingent on the success of a measure that funds the All Schools Open option. It will save Davis parents money.

  17. Rich Rifkin

    The last time the school parcel tax was on our ballot, November 4, 2003, it passed easily, 77%-23%.

    It passed (by at least 2/3rds) in every part of town, save South Davis. I’m not sure why it didn’t do as well in South Davis, but maybe the opening of Montgomery (which relieved the overcrowding at Pioneer) has improved the popularity of the parcel tax, there.

    What I think most Davis homeowners understand is that the quality of our public schools increases the value of their properties. So voting down a parcel tax to save a couple of hundred dollars is penny-wise and pound foolish. If the result of a negative vote is that the schools are less effective and less capable of providing necessary programs to the point that the school district’s reputation degrades, the cost to homeowners will be far more than a couple of hundred dollars.

    What intrigues me, though, is the fact that more and more parents in Davis are sending their kids to private schools. (I don’t know the actual numbers, but I know that there are now quite a large number of new, private elementaries in Davis, not to mention homeschoolers.) Even though the property-math equation remains the same for them, I would guess that this grwoing constituency doesn’t like paying even more for schools that their kids don’t use. I would guess they will vote no.

  18. Rich Rifkin

    The last time the school parcel tax was on our ballot, November 4, 2003, it passed easily, 77%-23%.

    It passed (by at least 2/3rds) in every part of town, save South Davis. I’m not sure why it didn’t do as well in South Davis, but maybe the opening of Montgomery (which relieved the overcrowding at Pioneer) has improved the popularity of the parcel tax, there.

    What I think most Davis homeowners understand is that the quality of our public schools increases the value of their properties. So voting down a parcel tax to save a couple of hundred dollars is penny-wise and pound foolish. If the result of a negative vote is that the schools are less effective and less capable of providing necessary programs to the point that the school district’s reputation degrades, the cost to homeowners will be far more than a couple of hundred dollars.

    What intrigues me, though, is the fact that more and more parents in Davis are sending their kids to private schools. (I don’t know the actual numbers, but I know that there are now quite a large number of new, private elementaries in Davis, not to mention homeschoolers.) Even though the property-math equation remains the same for them, I would guess that this grwoing constituency doesn’t like paying even more for schools that their kids don’t use. I would guess they will vote no.

  19. Rich Rifkin

    The last time the school parcel tax was on our ballot, November 4, 2003, it passed easily, 77%-23%.

    It passed (by at least 2/3rds) in every part of town, save South Davis. I’m not sure why it didn’t do as well in South Davis, but maybe the opening of Montgomery (which relieved the overcrowding at Pioneer) has improved the popularity of the parcel tax, there.

    What I think most Davis homeowners understand is that the quality of our public schools increases the value of their properties. So voting down a parcel tax to save a couple of hundred dollars is penny-wise and pound foolish. If the result of a negative vote is that the schools are less effective and less capable of providing necessary programs to the point that the school district’s reputation degrades, the cost to homeowners will be far more than a couple of hundred dollars.

    What intrigues me, though, is the fact that more and more parents in Davis are sending their kids to private schools. (I don’t know the actual numbers, but I know that there are now quite a large number of new, private elementaries in Davis, not to mention homeschoolers.) Even though the property-math equation remains the same for them, I would guess that this grwoing constituency doesn’t like paying even more for schools that their kids don’t use. I would guess they will vote no.

  20. Rich Rifkin

    The last time the school parcel tax was on our ballot, November 4, 2003, it passed easily, 77%-23%.

    It passed (by at least 2/3rds) in every part of town, save South Davis. I’m not sure why it didn’t do as well in South Davis, but maybe the opening of Montgomery (which relieved the overcrowding at Pioneer) has improved the popularity of the parcel tax, there.

    What I think most Davis homeowners understand is that the quality of our public schools increases the value of their properties. So voting down a parcel tax to save a couple of hundred dollars is penny-wise and pound foolish. If the result of a negative vote is that the schools are less effective and less capable of providing necessary programs to the point that the school district’s reputation degrades, the cost to homeowners will be far more than a couple of hundred dollars.

    What intrigues me, though, is the fact that more and more parents in Davis are sending their kids to private schools. (I don’t know the actual numbers, but I know that there are now quite a large number of new, private elementaries in Davis, not to mention homeschoolers.) Even though the property-math equation remains the same for them, I would guess that this grwoing constituency doesn’t like paying even more for schools that their kids don’t use. I would guess they will vote no.

  21. Baki

    I would definitely NOT fight against the first parcel tax. I would vote for it. I believe in the parcel tax and its usefulness for our education system in Davis. But I am not sure whether I would go and actively campaign for it. We are all working people and have to pick our fights very carefully because we do not have a lot of time in our hands. And I am not yet persuaded whether the parcel tax as is conceived now deserves the campaigning energies of VO parents.

    As I wrote yesterday, the Board had a unique chance in its hand to tie the two taxes together which would motivate every parent in this town to work for passing it. The majority of the Board failed to utilize this opportunity to unite the city at a difficult moment.

    The second chance was to call the second tax a “nine elementary schools tax,” which would bring the Korematsu and Valley Oak parents together to pass both taxes. These two schools together would make a great coalition and set an example for the rest of the city to follow. But the majority of the Board failes us once again.

    What did the Board do? They decided to divide and rule: a special tax for a special neighborhood school. Why would anyone in town pay an extra buck if it is presented as a tax that will only benefit one neighborhood? The question to ask is why don’t we have a special tax to run Cesar Chavez which could easily be divided among two neighborhood sites? Why don’t we have a special tax for Fairfield which is a small school in the countryside? Why not a special tax for paying two superintendents? Why don’t we have a special tax for running three junior highs while our student population in junior high is not enough to fill them all? You could take any number of things and turn them into a special tax if you want to get rid of them. The idea of presenting Valley Oak as an extra burden to the people of Davis is divisive. It is not empowering for a disenfranchised neighborhood.

    If my leaders single out my neighborhood, and separate it from the rest of the city, then I should be excused from campaigning for a city-wide measure — this, of course, does not mean that I will campaing against it. It does not even mean that I will vote “no” for it. I would just not campaign for it, that is all. Most probably this measure would not need our campaigning anyway; this city still believes in education even if it does not believe in its leaders.

    As for the second tax, my own feeling is that I should not be expected to beg for charity for my neighborhood by knocking the doors of the houses in the rest of the city (obviously, this view does not reflect the views of Davis OPENers, or the residents of the Valley Oak neighborhood–it is just my humble opinion). So my personal response to the second tax is “thanks, but no thanks.”

    I am inclined to sign my son up for kindergarten at Valley Oak anyway, though, because I still have some hope for Valley Oak to survive. There is a saying in Arabic, Persian, and Turkish: “When God closes one door, S/HE opens another one.” I do not know whether God would open a door for us even if S/HE existed, but we may find that door somewhere around Valley Oak next year.

    Baki

  22. Baki

    I would definitely NOT fight against the first parcel tax. I would vote for it. I believe in the parcel tax and its usefulness for our education system in Davis. But I am not sure whether I would go and actively campaign for it. We are all working people and have to pick our fights very carefully because we do not have a lot of time in our hands. And I am not yet persuaded whether the parcel tax as is conceived now deserves the campaigning energies of VO parents.

    As I wrote yesterday, the Board had a unique chance in its hand to tie the two taxes together which would motivate every parent in this town to work for passing it. The majority of the Board failed to utilize this opportunity to unite the city at a difficult moment.

    The second chance was to call the second tax a “nine elementary schools tax,” which would bring the Korematsu and Valley Oak parents together to pass both taxes. These two schools together would make a great coalition and set an example for the rest of the city to follow. But the majority of the Board failes us once again.

    What did the Board do? They decided to divide and rule: a special tax for a special neighborhood school. Why would anyone in town pay an extra buck if it is presented as a tax that will only benefit one neighborhood? The question to ask is why don’t we have a special tax to run Cesar Chavez which could easily be divided among two neighborhood sites? Why don’t we have a special tax for Fairfield which is a small school in the countryside? Why not a special tax for paying two superintendents? Why don’t we have a special tax for running three junior highs while our student population in junior high is not enough to fill them all? You could take any number of things and turn them into a special tax if you want to get rid of them. The idea of presenting Valley Oak as an extra burden to the people of Davis is divisive. It is not empowering for a disenfranchised neighborhood.

    If my leaders single out my neighborhood, and separate it from the rest of the city, then I should be excused from campaigning for a city-wide measure — this, of course, does not mean that I will campaing against it. It does not even mean that I will vote “no” for it. I would just not campaign for it, that is all. Most probably this measure would not need our campaigning anyway; this city still believes in education even if it does not believe in its leaders.

    As for the second tax, my own feeling is that I should not be expected to beg for charity for my neighborhood by knocking the doors of the houses in the rest of the city (obviously, this view does not reflect the views of Davis OPENers, or the residents of the Valley Oak neighborhood–it is just my humble opinion). So my personal response to the second tax is “thanks, but no thanks.”

    I am inclined to sign my son up for kindergarten at Valley Oak anyway, though, because I still have some hope for Valley Oak to survive. There is a saying in Arabic, Persian, and Turkish: “When God closes one door, S/HE opens another one.” I do not know whether God would open a door for us even if S/HE existed, but we may find that door somewhere around Valley Oak next year.

    Baki

  23. Baki

    I would definitely NOT fight against the first parcel tax. I would vote for it. I believe in the parcel tax and its usefulness for our education system in Davis. But I am not sure whether I would go and actively campaign for it. We are all working people and have to pick our fights very carefully because we do not have a lot of time in our hands. And I am not yet persuaded whether the parcel tax as is conceived now deserves the campaigning energies of VO parents.

    As I wrote yesterday, the Board had a unique chance in its hand to tie the two taxes together which would motivate every parent in this town to work for passing it. The majority of the Board failed to utilize this opportunity to unite the city at a difficult moment.

    The second chance was to call the second tax a “nine elementary schools tax,” which would bring the Korematsu and Valley Oak parents together to pass both taxes. These two schools together would make a great coalition and set an example for the rest of the city to follow. But the majority of the Board failes us once again.

    What did the Board do? They decided to divide and rule: a special tax for a special neighborhood school. Why would anyone in town pay an extra buck if it is presented as a tax that will only benefit one neighborhood? The question to ask is why don’t we have a special tax to run Cesar Chavez which could easily be divided among two neighborhood sites? Why don’t we have a special tax for Fairfield which is a small school in the countryside? Why not a special tax for paying two superintendents? Why don’t we have a special tax for running three junior highs while our student population in junior high is not enough to fill them all? You could take any number of things and turn them into a special tax if you want to get rid of them. The idea of presenting Valley Oak as an extra burden to the people of Davis is divisive. It is not empowering for a disenfranchised neighborhood.

    If my leaders single out my neighborhood, and separate it from the rest of the city, then I should be excused from campaigning for a city-wide measure — this, of course, does not mean that I will campaing against it. It does not even mean that I will vote “no” for it. I would just not campaign for it, that is all. Most probably this measure would not need our campaigning anyway; this city still believes in education even if it does not believe in its leaders.

    As for the second tax, my own feeling is that I should not be expected to beg for charity for my neighborhood by knocking the doors of the houses in the rest of the city (obviously, this view does not reflect the views of Davis OPENers, or the residents of the Valley Oak neighborhood–it is just my humble opinion). So my personal response to the second tax is “thanks, but no thanks.”

    I am inclined to sign my son up for kindergarten at Valley Oak anyway, though, because I still have some hope for Valley Oak to survive. There is a saying in Arabic, Persian, and Turkish: “When God closes one door, S/HE opens another one.” I do not know whether God would open a door for us even if S/HE existed, but we may find that door somewhere around Valley Oak next year.

    Baki

  24. Baki

    I would definitely NOT fight against the first parcel tax. I would vote for it. I believe in the parcel tax and its usefulness for our education system in Davis. But I am not sure whether I would go and actively campaign for it. We are all working people and have to pick our fights very carefully because we do not have a lot of time in our hands. And I am not yet persuaded whether the parcel tax as is conceived now deserves the campaigning energies of VO parents.

    As I wrote yesterday, the Board had a unique chance in its hand to tie the two taxes together which would motivate every parent in this town to work for passing it. The majority of the Board failed to utilize this opportunity to unite the city at a difficult moment.

    The second chance was to call the second tax a “nine elementary schools tax,” which would bring the Korematsu and Valley Oak parents together to pass both taxes. These two schools together would make a great coalition and set an example for the rest of the city to follow. But the majority of the Board failes us once again.

    What did the Board do? They decided to divide and rule: a special tax for a special neighborhood school. Why would anyone in town pay an extra buck if it is presented as a tax that will only benefit one neighborhood? The question to ask is why don’t we have a special tax to run Cesar Chavez which could easily be divided among two neighborhood sites? Why don’t we have a special tax for Fairfield which is a small school in the countryside? Why not a special tax for paying two superintendents? Why don’t we have a special tax for running three junior highs while our student population in junior high is not enough to fill them all? You could take any number of things and turn them into a special tax if you want to get rid of them. The idea of presenting Valley Oak as an extra burden to the people of Davis is divisive. It is not empowering for a disenfranchised neighborhood.

    If my leaders single out my neighborhood, and separate it from the rest of the city, then I should be excused from campaigning for a city-wide measure — this, of course, does not mean that I will campaing against it. It does not even mean that I will vote “no” for it. I would just not campaign for it, that is all. Most probably this measure would not need our campaigning anyway; this city still believes in education even if it does not believe in its leaders.

    As for the second tax, my own feeling is that I should not be expected to beg for charity for my neighborhood by knocking the doors of the houses in the rest of the city (obviously, this view does not reflect the views of Davis OPENers, or the residents of the Valley Oak neighborhood–it is just my humble opinion). So my personal response to the second tax is “thanks, but no thanks.”

    I am inclined to sign my son up for kindergarten at Valley Oak anyway, though, because I still have some hope for Valley Oak to survive. There is a saying in Arabic, Persian, and Turkish: “When God closes one door, S/HE opens another one.” I do not know whether God would open a door for us even if S/HE existed, but we may find that door somewhere around Valley Oak next year.

    Baki

  25. Anonymous

    Baki.. interesting.. we have an identical saying in English. Someone on this blog noted recently, “Politics is a contact sport”… I would add…with a lot of pushing and shoving and political muscle-flexing.
    I have always voted for the DUSD parcel tax even when it no longer served my family’s needs but I cannot support enrichment over singling out Valley Oak and its exemplary service to the Davis community for closure. There are MANY in this community,like myself, who now have no children in the system and don’t have to deal with the natural MY CHILD reflex. Like everyone,I struggled with this in the past and am relieved not to have to deal with this ethical challenge any longer.

  26. Anonymous

    Baki.. interesting.. we have an identical saying in English. Someone on this blog noted recently, “Politics is a contact sport”… I would add…with a lot of pushing and shoving and political muscle-flexing.
    I have always voted for the DUSD parcel tax even when it no longer served my family’s needs but I cannot support enrichment over singling out Valley Oak and its exemplary service to the Davis community for closure. There are MANY in this community,like myself, who now have no children in the system and don’t have to deal with the natural MY CHILD reflex. Like everyone,I struggled with this in the past and am relieved not to have to deal with this ethical challenge any longer.

  27. Anonymous

    Baki.. interesting.. we have an identical saying in English. Someone on this blog noted recently, “Politics is a contact sport”… I would add…with a lot of pushing and shoving and political muscle-flexing.
    I have always voted for the DUSD parcel tax even when it no longer served my family’s needs but I cannot support enrichment over singling out Valley Oak and its exemplary service to the Davis community for closure. There are MANY in this community,like myself, who now have no children in the system and don’t have to deal with the natural MY CHILD reflex. Like everyone,I struggled with this in the past and am relieved not to have to deal with this ethical challenge any longer.

  28. Anonymous

    Baki.. interesting.. we have an identical saying in English. Someone on this blog noted recently, “Politics is a contact sport”… I would add…with a lot of pushing and shoving and political muscle-flexing.
    I have always voted for the DUSD parcel tax even when it no longer served my family’s needs but I cannot support enrichment over singling out Valley Oak and its exemplary service to the Davis community for closure. There are MANY in this community,like myself, who now have no children in the system and don’t have to deal with the natural MY CHILD reflex. Like everyone,I struggled with this in the past and am relieved not to have to deal with this ethical challenge any longer.

  29. Anonymous

    I’m not at all sure that portraying the 2nd parcel tax as a “9 elementary schools tax” would help its passage. While the truth is that budget dollars are fungible, it’s also true that voters typically like to understand what their vote is buying. A 9 elementary schools tax vote leaves many possibilities open (Will boundaries be redrawn to spread students out across the district? Will we be supporting a small VO school with no other changes? Are magnet programs potentially on the table?).

    Maybe I’m wrong, but I’m not sure voters would appreciate that kind of uncertainty.

  30. Anonymous

    I’m not at all sure that portraying the 2nd parcel tax as a “9 elementary schools tax” would help its passage. While the truth is that budget dollars are fungible, it’s also true that voters typically like to understand what their vote is buying. A 9 elementary schools tax vote leaves many possibilities open (Will boundaries be redrawn to spread students out across the district? Will we be supporting a small VO school with no other changes? Are magnet programs potentially on the table?).

    Maybe I’m wrong, but I’m not sure voters would appreciate that kind of uncertainty.

  31. Anonymous

    I’m not at all sure that portraying the 2nd parcel tax as a “9 elementary schools tax” would help its passage. While the truth is that budget dollars are fungible, it’s also true that voters typically like to understand what their vote is buying. A 9 elementary schools tax vote leaves many possibilities open (Will boundaries be redrawn to spread students out across the district? Will we be supporting a small VO school with no other changes? Are magnet programs potentially on the table?).

    Maybe I’m wrong, but I’m not sure voters would appreciate that kind of uncertainty.

  32. Anonymous

    I’m not at all sure that portraying the 2nd parcel tax as a “9 elementary schools tax” would help its passage. While the truth is that budget dollars are fungible, it’s also true that voters typically like to understand what their vote is buying. A 9 elementary schools tax vote leaves many possibilities open (Will boundaries be redrawn to spread students out across the district? Will we be supporting a small VO school with no other changes? Are magnet programs potentially on the table?).

    Maybe I’m wrong, but I’m not sure voters would appreciate that kind of uncertainty.

  33. 無名 - wu ming

    i agree that this will make things harder, on top of the way that mello-roos fees distribute the costs – and thus resentment about paying more than one’s fair share – unequally. hence the lower rates of previous parcel taxes in south and east davis.

    if they’d just put up a single parcel tax with 9 schools, and seen if the cuty would have supported it, my guess is that it would have passed even with a pay hike. but the bad blood from this process, and the structural disadvantage of putting the valley oak tax separately is going to make it a whole lot harder to get both of them passed, i suspect.

    ultimately, we need to get rid of prop. 13, the 2/3 tax hike rule, and the whole bizarre way this state funds schools, but that’s a long term issue.

  34. 無名 - wu ming

    i agree that this will make things harder, on top of the way that mello-roos fees distribute the costs – and thus resentment about paying more than one’s fair share – unequally. hence the lower rates of previous parcel taxes in south and east davis.

    if they’d just put up a single parcel tax with 9 schools, and seen if the cuty would have supported it, my guess is that it would have passed even with a pay hike. but the bad blood from this process, and the structural disadvantage of putting the valley oak tax separately is going to make it a whole lot harder to get both of them passed, i suspect.

    ultimately, we need to get rid of prop. 13, the 2/3 tax hike rule, and the whole bizarre way this state funds schools, but that’s a long term issue.

  35. 無名 - wu ming

    i agree that this will make things harder, on top of the way that mello-roos fees distribute the costs – and thus resentment about paying more than one’s fair share – unequally. hence the lower rates of previous parcel taxes in south and east davis.

    if they’d just put up a single parcel tax with 9 schools, and seen if the cuty would have supported it, my guess is that it would have passed even with a pay hike. but the bad blood from this process, and the structural disadvantage of putting the valley oak tax separately is going to make it a whole lot harder to get both of them passed, i suspect.

    ultimately, we need to get rid of prop. 13, the 2/3 tax hike rule, and the whole bizarre way this state funds schools, but that’s a long term issue.

  36. 無名 - wu ming

    i agree that this will make things harder, on top of the way that mello-roos fees distribute the costs – and thus resentment about paying more than one’s fair share – unequally. hence the lower rates of previous parcel taxes in south and east davis.

    if they’d just put up a single parcel tax with 9 schools, and seen if the cuty would have supported it, my guess is that it would have passed even with a pay hike. but the bad blood from this process, and the structural disadvantage of putting the valley oak tax separately is going to make it a whole lot harder to get both of them passed, i suspect.

    ultimately, we need to get rid of prop. 13, the 2/3 tax hike rule, and the whole bizarre way this state funds schools, but that’s a long term issue.

  37. Anonymous

    Anonymous, you’re right in the sense that voters do look for certainty when they are voting for something.

    I believe, however, that Baki’s point was slightly different: if they had called the tax “nine-schools tax,” then the well organized and well educated Korematsu parents, who had a lot of political experience recently as they worked for the opening of their school, would unite forces with the activist parents of the Valley Oak neighborhood to make the measure a success. This would be an exemplary coalition, something that would make Davis proud of itself.

    As for uncertainties, there are so many of them even with the current wording of the second tax: where will GATE go; if VO remains open, why should it remain as a small school and not have the GATE program; how could one transfer an EL Program if the parents sign up their kids to the neighborhood program they choose to go; how could you guess which neighborhood program the parents of EL kids will choose for their kids; where will the attendance boundaries be if VO is closed, etc., etc.

    In short, the voters will still not know what they are voting for with the current wording of the second tax.

    As it stands, the second tax is neither satisfactory in terms of offering a concrete option, nor is it enough of a teaser for the VO parents to feel included in this city. I would not be surprised if they were to go and start a charter school at Valley Oak.

  38. Anonymous

    Anonymous, you’re right in the sense that voters do look for certainty when they are voting for something.

    I believe, however, that Baki’s point was slightly different: if they had called the tax “nine-schools tax,” then the well organized and well educated Korematsu parents, who had a lot of political experience recently as they worked for the opening of their school, would unite forces with the activist parents of the Valley Oak neighborhood to make the measure a success. This would be an exemplary coalition, something that would make Davis proud of itself.

    As for uncertainties, there are so many of them even with the current wording of the second tax: where will GATE go; if VO remains open, why should it remain as a small school and not have the GATE program; how could one transfer an EL Program if the parents sign up their kids to the neighborhood program they choose to go; how could you guess which neighborhood program the parents of EL kids will choose for their kids; where will the attendance boundaries be if VO is closed, etc., etc.

    In short, the voters will still not know what they are voting for with the current wording of the second tax.

    As it stands, the second tax is neither satisfactory in terms of offering a concrete option, nor is it enough of a teaser for the VO parents to feel included in this city. I would not be surprised if they were to go and start a charter school at Valley Oak.

  39. Anonymous

    Anonymous, you’re right in the sense that voters do look for certainty when they are voting for something.

    I believe, however, that Baki’s point was slightly different: if they had called the tax “nine-schools tax,” then the well organized and well educated Korematsu parents, who had a lot of political experience recently as they worked for the opening of their school, would unite forces with the activist parents of the Valley Oak neighborhood to make the measure a success. This would be an exemplary coalition, something that would make Davis proud of itself.

    As for uncertainties, there are so many of them even with the current wording of the second tax: where will GATE go; if VO remains open, why should it remain as a small school and not have the GATE program; how could one transfer an EL Program if the parents sign up their kids to the neighborhood program they choose to go; how could you guess which neighborhood program the parents of EL kids will choose for their kids; where will the attendance boundaries be if VO is closed, etc., etc.

    In short, the voters will still not know what they are voting for with the current wording of the second tax.

    As it stands, the second tax is neither satisfactory in terms of offering a concrete option, nor is it enough of a teaser for the VO parents to feel included in this city. I would not be surprised if they were to go and start a charter school at Valley Oak.

  40. Anonymous

    Anonymous, you’re right in the sense that voters do look for certainty when they are voting for something.

    I believe, however, that Baki’s point was slightly different: if they had called the tax “nine-schools tax,” then the well organized and well educated Korematsu parents, who had a lot of political experience recently as they worked for the opening of their school, would unite forces with the activist parents of the Valley Oak neighborhood to make the measure a success. This would be an exemplary coalition, something that would make Davis proud of itself.

    As for uncertainties, there are so many of them even with the current wording of the second tax: where will GATE go; if VO remains open, why should it remain as a small school and not have the GATE program; how could one transfer an EL Program if the parents sign up their kids to the neighborhood program they choose to go; how could you guess which neighborhood program the parents of EL kids will choose for their kids; where will the attendance boundaries be if VO is closed, etc., etc.

    In short, the voters will still not know what they are voting for with the current wording of the second tax.

    As it stands, the second tax is neither satisfactory in terms of offering a concrete option, nor is it enough of a teaser for the VO parents to feel included in this city. I would not be surprised if they were to go and start a charter school at Valley Oak.

  41. Baki

    Katherine, being cynical is perfectly legitimate, I must admit, especially under these circumstances we are in these days. So you may well be right actually.

    What you thought was what I was thinking exactly when I saw Keltie Jones jump in her seat upon hearing Tim Taylor suggest that the EL program may be moved to Korematsu.

    But then perhaps she was simply concerned about distances. Who knows?

    Baki

  42. Baki

    Katherine, being cynical is perfectly legitimate, I must admit, especially under these circumstances we are in these days. So you may well be right actually.

    What you thought was what I was thinking exactly when I saw Keltie Jones jump in her seat upon hearing Tim Taylor suggest that the EL program may be moved to Korematsu.

    But then perhaps she was simply concerned about distances. Who knows?

    Baki

  43. Baki

    Katherine, being cynical is perfectly legitimate, I must admit, especially under these circumstances we are in these days. So you may well be right actually.

    What you thought was what I was thinking exactly when I saw Keltie Jones jump in her seat upon hearing Tim Taylor suggest that the EL program may be moved to Korematsu.

    But then perhaps she was simply concerned about distances. Who knows?

    Baki

  44. Baki

    Katherine, being cynical is perfectly legitimate, I must admit, especially under these circumstances we are in these days. So you may well be right actually.

    What you thought was what I was thinking exactly when I saw Keltie Jones jump in her seat upon hearing Tim Taylor suggest that the EL program may be moved to Korematsu.

    But then perhaps she was simply concerned about distances. Who knows?

    Baki

  45. Anonymous

    Yes.. if they close Valley Oak, the entire EL program needs to be moved intact to Korematsu and the funding guaranteed not to be reduced when more site council moneys are directed towards “enrichment” rather than the EL program.

  46. Anonymous

    Yes.. if they close Valley Oak, the entire EL program needs to be moved intact to Korematsu and the funding guaranteed not to be reduced when more site council moneys are directed towards “enrichment” rather than the EL program.

  47. Anonymous

    Yes.. if they close Valley Oak, the entire EL program needs to be moved intact to Korematsu and the funding guaranteed not to be reduced when more site council moneys are directed towards “enrichment” rather than the EL program.

  48. Anonymous

    Yes.. if they close Valley Oak, the entire EL program needs to be moved intact to Korematsu and the funding guaranteed not to be reduced when more site council moneys are directed towards “enrichment” rather than the EL program.

  49. Anonymous

    I’m not sure if it makes sense to move the EL program straight to Korematsu. They should first examine where the EL kids are likely to be going. If they don’t move all of VO directly to Korematsu, most likely many of those kids will end up either at North Davis, Birch Lane or Montgomery. Korematsu would be a long way for Olive Drive kids to go, for example.

  50. Anonymous

    I’m not sure if it makes sense to move the EL program straight to Korematsu. They should first examine where the EL kids are likely to be going. If they don’t move all of VO directly to Korematsu, most likely many of those kids will end up either at North Davis, Birch Lane or Montgomery. Korematsu would be a long way for Olive Drive kids to go, for example.

  51. Anonymous

    I’m not sure if it makes sense to move the EL program straight to Korematsu. They should first examine where the EL kids are likely to be going. If they don’t move all of VO directly to Korematsu, most likely many of those kids will end up either at North Davis, Birch Lane or Montgomery. Korematsu would be a long way for Olive Drive kids to go, for example.

  52. Anonymous

    I’m not sure if it makes sense to move the EL program straight to Korematsu. They should first examine where the EL kids are likely to be going. If they don’t move all of VO directly to Korematsu, most likely many of those kids will end up either at North Davis, Birch Lane or Montgomery. Korematsu would be a long way for Olive Drive kids to go, for example.

  53. baki

    I am not quite sure whether it is possible to move the EL program altogether to any site because it is not like GATE, Spanish Immersion, or Montessori. It is an integral component of neighborhood programs at a number of schools. So the parents sign up their kids to the neighborhood school in their own attendance area, not to a specific EL program. Since you cannot enforce a Latino/a parent who lives on Olive Drive, for instance, to go to the school that is farthest away from her/his residence, there is no way that every single EL student could move to Korematsu. And I am sure there are some EL kids who will end up being closer to Korematsu than Birch Lane.

    In short, the idea that the EL program may be moved en masse to a site is not workable, unless one transforms EL into something like GATE.

    I am not quite sure whether every one of our Board members even know what English Language Program is. The way Tim Taylor made the suggestion to carry it to Korematsu made me think that he believes it to be something like GATE. The way Keltie Jones responded to him, suggesting that it may perhaps be moved to Birch Lane instead, was for me a confirmation of my suspicion that our Board members do not even know how the EL functions. Had they read the letter written by EL teachers to them, they would have a better understanding of the problem.

    I hope that I am wrong and that our board members know what they are doing.

  54. baki

    I am not quite sure whether it is possible to move the EL program altogether to any site because it is not like GATE, Spanish Immersion, or Montessori. It is an integral component of neighborhood programs at a number of schools. So the parents sign up their kids to the neighborhood school in their own attendance area, not to a specific EL program. Since you cannot enforce a Latino/a parent who lives on Olive Drive, for instance, to go to the school that is farthest away from her/his residence, there is no way that every single EL student could move to Korematsu. And I am sure there are some EL kids who will end up being closer to Korematsu than Birch Lane.

    In short, the idea that the EL program may be moved en masse to a site is not workable, unless one transforms EL into something like GATE.

    I am not quite sure whether every one of our Board members even know what English Language Program is. The way Tim Taylor made the suggestion to carry it to Korematsu made me think that he believes it to be something like GATE. The way Keltie Jones responded to him, suggesting that it may perhaps be moved to Birch Lane instead, was for me a confirmation of my suspicion that our Board members do not even know how the EL functions. Had they read the letter written by EL teachers to them, they would have a better understanding of the problem.

    I hope that I am wrong and that our board members know what they are doing.

  55. baki

    I am not quite sure whether it is possible to move the EL program altogether to any site because it is not like GATE, Spanish Immersion, or Montessori. It is an integral component of neighborhood programs at a number of schools. So the parents sign up their kids to the neighborhood school in their own attendance area, not to a specific EL program. Since you cannot enforce a Latino/a parent who lives on Olive Drive, for instance, to go to the school that is farthest away from her/his residence, there is no way that every single EL student could move to Korematsu. And I am sure there are some EL kids who will end up being closer to Korematsu than Birch Lane.

    In short, the idea that the EL program may be moved en masse to a site is not workable, unless one transforms EL into something like GATE.

    I am not quite sure whether every one of our Board members even know what English Language Program is. The way Tim Taylor made the suggestion to carry it to Korematsu made me think that he believes it to be something like GATE. The way Keltie Jones responded to him, suggesting that it may perhaps be moved to Birch Lane instead, was for me a confirmation of my suspicion that our Board members do not even know how the EL functions. Had they read the letter written by EL teachers to them, they would have a better understanding of the problem.

    I hope that I am wrong and that our board members know what they are doing.

  56. baki

    I am not quite sure whether it is possible to move the EL program altogether to any site because it is not like GATE, Spanish Immersion, or Montessori. It is an integral component of neighborhood programs at a number of schools. So the parents sign up their kids to the neighborhood school in their own attendance area, not to a specific EL program. Since you cannot enforce a Latino/a parent who lives on Olive Drive, for instance, to go to the school that is farthest away from her/his residence, there is no way that every single EL student could move to Korematsu. And I am sure there are some EL kids who will end up being closer to Korematsu than Birch Lane.

    In short, the idea that the EL program may be moved en masse to a site is not workable, unless one transforms EL into something like GATE.

    I am not quite sure whether every one of our Board members even know what English Language Program is. The way Tim Taylor made the suggestion to carry it to Korematsu made me think that he believes it to be something like GATE. The way Keltie Jones responded to him, suggesting that it may perhaps be moved to Birch Lane instead, was for me a confirmation of my suspicion that our Board members do not even know how the EL functions. Had they read the letter written by EL teachers to them, they would have a better understanding of the problem.

    I hope that I am wrong and that our board members know what they are doing.

  57. Anonymous

    In response to what our board members know or don’t know: I think it’s significant that the deputy superintendent of finance Bruce Colby, whom this board hand picked, didn’t know how Title One funds are used. He mis-stated how they’re used TWICE at the special board meeting, before G. Davis supplied the correct information.
    Has anyone ever heard him answer a question clearly and accurately?

  58. Anonymous

    In response to what our board members know or don’t know: I think it’s significant that the deputy superintendent of finance Bruce Colby, whom this board hand picked, didn’t know how Title One funds are used. He mis-stated how they’re used TWICE at the special board meeting, before G. Davis supplied the correct information.
    Has anyone ever heard him answer a question clearly and accurately?

  59. Anonymous

    In response to what our board members know or don’t know: I think it’s significant that the deputy superintendent of finance Bruce Colby, whom this board hand picked, didn’t know how Title One funds are used. He mis-stated how they’re used TWICE at the special board meeting, before G. Davis supplied the correct information.
    Has anyone ever heard him answer a question clearly and accurately?

  60. Anonymous

    In response to what our board members know or don’t know: I think it’s significant that the deputy superintendent of finance Bruce Colby, whom this board hand picked, didn’t know how Title One funds are used. He mis-stated how they’re used TWICE at the special board meeting, before G. Davis supplied the correct information.
    Has anyone ever heard him answer a question clearly and accurately?

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