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.