The Importance of School Parcel Taxes

Former School Board Candidate and parent, Bob Poppenga speaking to the board in July 2015
Former School Board candidate and parent, Bob Poppenga, speaking to the Board in July 2015

by Bob Poppenga

I have served on the Davis school district’s Parcel Tax Oversight Committee for the past two years. The committee is charged with ensuring that the district spends parcel tax monies in accordance with the wishes of the Davis community as outlined in the voter-approved ballot measures.  The committee recently verified that the district was spending parcel tax monies as intended by the voters.

Funding provided by the parcel taxes is crucial to many district programs. Funds from Measures C and E contribute 12 percent of the district’s overall budget and support 50 to 75 percent of the cost of math and reading programs, elementary science instruction, reduced class sizes for K-3 grades, secondary school foreign language programs, librarians, our world-class music programs, and athletic and co-curricular programs.  Parcel taxes also partially support many other programs.

While there will be modest increases in state funding for K-12 education over the next several years, the Davis school district will not benefit to the same extent as many other districts which have higher populations of underserved students.

In addition, it is important to point out that California lags far behind many other states in per-student spending for public education. Thus, to prevent a devastating blow to our schools, it will be essential to renew, at a minimum, existing levels of funding if a measure is placed on the ballot in November. Our children, teachers, and community deserve it.

Parcel Tax Pie Graph

About The Author

Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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  1. Greg Brucker

    Mr. Poppenga,

    Thank you for speaking up and out about the importance of our schools’ parcel taxes. I appreciate your leadership here, completely agree with your sentiments, and I thank you for taking your time to be a volunteer on the parcel tax oversight committee, as it is not a simple, but very important job to ensure that our parcel tax funds get spent properly.

    -Greg Brucker

  2. Napoleon Pig IV

    Mr. Poppenga,

    Thank you for your informative and persuasive commentary. It is very good to learn that there is independent oversight of the use of parcel tax funds since I have lost trust in senior administrative officials of DJUSD – and we have a major problem with the three stooges on the board of trustees. I was planning to vote against the parcel tax unless Ms. Lovenburg announces her retirement, but you have convinced me to at least reconsider my decision.

  3. Tia Will

    Mr. Pig

    My hat is off to both you and Mr. Poppenga. To him for posting an evidence based article as well as for his public service. To you for being willing to consider factual evidence over personal distaste and animus when such a reconsideration is warranted and for being willing to state as much publicly.

    1. Napoleon Pig IV

      Thanks Tia. Mr. Poppenga’s short and clear discussion of facts may have had a bigger ripple effect than one might initially think. In my case, since I’m the one in my family who sort of pays attention to local politics, one changed vote is probably more like 3 to 5 even without any effort to influence friends.

      It’s a subtle shift in that I still do not trust DJUSD administration or a majority of the Trustees to tell the truth, but independent oversight helping to assure the funding of important educational programs that might otherwise suffer means we can (perhaps) drive the roaches out of the house without burning the house down.

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