My View: Let’s Make Great Schools, the Case for a Higher Parcel Tax

Parcel-Tax-Chalk

Yesterday I found myself at an IEP (Individualized Education Program) for my nephew, whom we have raised since birth, at Marguerite Montgomery Elementary School.  Eight people were in the room – several from Valley Oak where he attended pre-school this year, and several more from Montgomery where he will go to transitional kindergarten in two and a half months.

Yesterday’s experience was reminiscent of my first experience in this district, nearly six years ago when – days after my older nephew moved in with us and started first grade – we were confronted with some harsh realities, but we were surrounded by dedicated professionals whose job it was to make sure my nephew had a chance at life.

My nephew is about to enter seventh grade this year, he has made tremendous progress and there is no doubt in my mind it is because the greatness of our local schools.

For people like me and my family, we have stayed in Davis in large part because of the schools and the academic culture of this community.

Unfortunately for much of the last decade, we have been hit by economic hardship.  We have been forced to make tough choices.  But the community has also stepped up time and time again to support its schools.

However, we also have to face reality.  Our per pupil take from the state is less than a lot of districts.  Unlike the district that I grew up in, we are not a basic aid district.  And on top of that, we are disadvantaged in the LCFF (Local Control Funding Formula) process.

So if we want our schools to be great, it has to come from the community.  I know a lot of people disagree with this but, to be great, we have to have the money to hire the professionals to teach our kids, the resources to bring into the classroom, and that costs money.

On Thursday, the school board was divided as to how to go forward.  Polling shows that they can pass a $620 parcel tax in their sleep.  Eighty percent would support it.  That’s basically what we are spending now.

The board was divided 3-2 on whether to go up to $750, with Barbara Archer and Tom Adams on the dissenting side.  Tom Adams was willing to go up to $700.  The difference between $620 and $750 is a little over $10 a month.

I think we should go at least to $750, but I really agree with Alan Fernandes that we should go to $960.  Crazy, I know.  But hear me out for a second.

We keep passing what we think we can pass.  We have never had a real professional campaign, like we saw on the water issue a few years ago and Measure A now, where you have a campaign consultant, a field team and you make the case to the community.

In 2012, it was Richard Harris who challenged the board as he was on his way out to pass a big parcel tax that would fund everything that we needed.  He didn’t get that, but, by pushing the issue, the board put another $200 or so parcel tax on the ballot for that November with a contingency to fund the district if Proposition 30 hadn’t passed.

Had Prop. 30 not passed, our parcel tax right now would be over $800 a year.  So we were willing to do it at that point, but not now?

I think Barbara Archer raised some important points.  Moreover, I agree with those who believe that the parcel tax is a horrible system.  It is regressive.  It taxes the $2 million mansion at the same rate as the $100,000 townhouse.  We need to change that system.  But we don’t have that luxury here.

We have to work within the given system and we can either accept the status quo in terms of funding or we can push for greatness.

While I respect Barbara Archer’s concern, I have to believe that for the most part there aren’t a lot of people in that boat that will be irreparably harmed by the parcel tax.  With the legal challenge, apartments are taxed at the flat rate for the entire parcel.  So even if landlords pass along the tax to their tenants, they are getting the $960 split x-number of ways.

Perhaps rental homes will have their tax passed on to the tenants, but again, most renters are students and will have that rent increase split several ways.

Then you have homeowners.  But remember, seniors have an exemption. So any senior who cannot afford the parcel tax, already can opt out.

That leaves homeowners who make sufficiently low income that an extra $10 to $30 a month will harm them.  I just do not believe that there is a huge number of people in that camp.  I could be wrong, but, given the cost of housing, I don’t think there are a lot of non-senior homeowners who are in the modest income category.

I would also point out that lower income people, and I would include myself in that category for most of my tenure here, even if we end up paying more in rent due to this parcel tax, our benefits in terms of the education for our kids will far outweigh the hardship.

I firmly believe that, if we challenge the community on the $960 – and we need to be fully transparent about the costs, our needs, and where this money will go and why we need it – that this community will step up.

In fact, the polling on this is far from discouraging.  Sixty-one percent of the voters in the poll said they would support a parcel tax at $960.  That is without a campaign.  And while that falls short of the threshold, that is why we need campaign to fight for our children and their future.

I believe we can do this and we can win.  We need to argue that this is for bringing greatness to schools, our children and our future.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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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101 Comments

  1. nameless

    While I respect Barbara Archer’s concern, I have to believe that for the most part there aren’t a lot of people in that boat that will be irreparably harmed by the parcel tax.

    You don’t know there aren’t a lot of people that would be hurt by a higher parcel tax.  Secondly, I think you underestimate the distrust in the community towards the School Board and how it has handled certain issues and how it has handled how funding is spent.  For instance, Volleyballgate, decreasing GATE, the MPR controversy, the closure of Valley Oak, etc.  We still have an achievement gap that seems intractable no matter how much money is thrown at the problem.  Thirdly, the economy is hardly out of the woods – in fact there is talk that we are headed for another recession.  Many folks have not recovered from the last recession.  Fourthly, a bird in hand is worth two in the bush, i.e. better to pass a parcel tax you know you can win than put forth one that very well may not pass.  IMO a $960 parcel tax is a nonstarter, and I certainly would vote a resounding “NO”.

    1. David Greenwald

      Part of Alan Fernandes’ plan is to create a contingency fund that would store money away to avoid having to layoff people during lean times.

      On point two, while I grant you there is some distrust, the polling found 80% at $620 and 61% support at $960.

      I grant your point one that I don’t know how many people would be hurt by the higher parcel tax, but given the cost of housing and senior exemption, I think it is mitigated.

    2. Tia Will

      nameless

      IMO a $960 parcel tax is a nonstarter, and I certainly would vote a resounding “NO”.”

      What would your upper limit be and on what district needs are you basing that amount ?

    3. wdf1

      nameless:  Secondly, I think you underestimate the distrust in the community towards the School Board and how it has handled certain issues and how it has handled how funding is spent. For instance, Volleyballgate,…

      The poll taken in preparation for discussion of the school parcel tax showed, in answer to the query, “The job the Davis Joint Unified School District is doing” is:

      April 16: 70% said good or excellent

      May 16:  82% said good or excellent

    1. wdf1

      The board of supervisors is going in that direction.  It looks like there are probably two votes in favor, Provenza and Saylor.  I don’t think it’s clear if there is a solid qualifying majority yet.

  2. Barack Palin

    Go fo $960, it will make it so much easier to defeat.  So far the citizens have been voting on smaller chunks at a time, but when they see it all put out there in one big bill they’ll have second thoughts.

    1. zaqzaq

      If they go for $960 the no camp will be talking about the thousand dollars a year parcel tax for schools on top of an already existing parcel tax.  The counter argument will be do you really want to give this board a thousand dollars to play with after volleyball gate, MPR, the AIM fiasco, and other missteps.  Davis residents are subsidizing large numbers of out of district students who get a free ride.  The Brown funding formula forces districts like ours to self tax to get the same amount of money as other districts which is not fair.  If our board makes the mistake of making this parcel tax about closing the achievement gap they already get funding from the state to address this issue and should not need more from the local residents.  The bottom line is if I vote no I save myself $1,000 a year.  That is a lot of money that I can use for private school tuition for my child.  On top of that hell will freeze over before I vote to give any of my money to that school board with the unethical liar Archer on it.  If your household income is $100,000 before taxes you are voting to give up 1% of your take home pay for the school district due to a flawed state funding formula.  That is insane.

  3. hpierce

    The ‘senior exemption’ is just wrong… the correlation of age and discretionary income is more mythic than real… long-time residents pay less in RE taxes, due to prop 13, and generally do not have mortgages.

    I’ll not support any increase if there is a ‘senior exemption’.

  4. Tia Will

    hpierce

    I agree that there should not be a “senior exemption”. I would however support an exemption based on financial hardship. Owning a home does not in and of itself mean that you do not have financial hardship. But there is no way that people in my economic group should be exempted solely on the basis of our age.

      1. hpierce

        And, they (senior exemptions) should not be legal… but, they currently are… supported by seniors, obviously… irrespective of their financial resources…

        Now here is something you should investigate and report out on, David… if the ‘senior exemption’ was eliminated, what would the increase in DJUSD revenues? How many (%-age) seniors apply for the exemption? Does the exemption apply for seniors owning rental property?

        1. David Greenwald

          True, but seniors have to opt out. Most people who opt out are people who truly are hindered by the tax.

          I think there is a decent argument for a senior exemption: seniors often have homes that they purchased when they made a much higher living, the make far less on a fixed income, the added tax creates a hardship for some. Will some opt out who can afford it? Probably. But the opt out list has always been fairly small when I have requested it.

    1. hpierce

      Why an exemption, Tia?  That’s BS… I might be persuaded to look at a ‘sliding scale’ model (if it is even legal) based on income, but you propose an exemption for what is already a ‘fait accompli’.  There is no “financial hardship” provision today!  Do you seriously propose an increase for those in the middle and above (and even a higher increase to make up for the ‘exemption’ you propose) to give ‘relief’ to those currently paying (directly or, arguably, indirectly) the existing assessment?  For renters, do you really believe landlords will reduce rents if lower income folk are ‘exempted’?  How measured… income of the property owner, or that of the tenant?

      C’mon, get real…

      1. David Greenwald

        Hpierce: I find it interesting you’re choice to go after the exemption, which has been in place for every parcel tax I’ve been covering rather than what I thought would be the controversial part of my proposal, the $960.

        1. hpierce

          I find it interesting that you appear to support the exemption, irrespective of financial resources.  There are a lot of things that have been in place ‘forever’, and yet you seek to change a lot of them… attitudes towards racial issues is just one.   Discrimination is discrimination, yes?

          C’mon…

          BTW, I’d fully support a dwelling unit assessment (which is currently not legal), IF the proceeds actually were focused on outcomes, and not a general pay increase to DJUSD employees irrespective of performance.

          1. David Greenwald

            I’d prefer a law change, but we can’t do that locally. I think the parcel tax is regressive and the senior exemption is problematic for the reasons you state, but given the state of the law, having a senior exemption is better than nothing because there are some homeowners who are seniors on a limited income.

  5. WesC

    Senior exemptions are a cynical but very effective means to ensure passage. Seniors can be counted on to vote in high percentages.  They can also be counted on to vote for higher taxes, as long as they will be exempted from paying the higher taxes.

      1. Tia Will

        hpierce and David

        What I believe is that we have many things that we want, good roads, good schools, good infrastructure ….. or we say we do, but we are not willing to pay for what is needed.

        What everyone seems to ignore is that we are the one’s who have constructed our current system which is hugely weighted against those who have not themselves accumulated great wealth or whose parents did not manage to do so. But again, that is by choice, not be some God given edict. We have the ability to change laws and to adopt other models.

        You both know that my preference would be a completely redesigned system in which a UBI was guaranteed and people could decide for themselves how much of their living allotment they were going to spend on what….but there would be a guarantee of enough to live on. That and free education through college and apprentice ship or specialized training in the field of one’s choice would preclude people having huge debts that limitation of positions, often arbitrary as in medicine  ( where the indentured servant labor model of residents working 80 hour weeks ) does not allow them to pay back.

        Since we have not chosen this route, what I would suggest is that in the interim we adopt a “sliding scale” model such as you have suggested, and I think was closer to what I was thinking when I wrote “exemption” although I do believe on that scale there might exist a nadir below which one paid nothing and thus was effectively “exempted”.

         

        1. hpierce

          I disagree with your last concept, Tia… everyone should have “skin in the game”, at least at some level.

          The exemption issue to me is a non-starter, unless we allow exemption for anyone who has no children, grandchildren (or other direct relative) in the schools…

        2. wdf1

          hpierce:  The exemption issue to me is a non-starter, unless we allow exemption for anyone who has no children, grandchildren (or other direct relative) in the schools…

          Those without children benefit indirectly from having good local schools.

        3. hpierce

          David… you are so wrong… current law does not REQUIRE a senior exemption, as I understand it… it does ALLOW it.  If a $950 proposal, without the senior exemption, was proposed, I would favorably consider it, IF certain criteria were met… including a similar assessment (same rate) for City needs…

        4. hpierce

          wdf1… made my point clumsily… by the same logic you used to refute me, is that not also true for ‘seniors’?  I do not propose any exemptions.  Period.

        5. wdf1

          hpierce:  …by the same logic you used to refute me, is that not also true for ‘seniors’?  I do not propose any exemptions.  Period.

          Because of the current situation in which seniors are likelier to be retired and on fixed income, I support the logic of seniors paying less.  Retirement most commonly involves a reduction in income.  There is a culture of senior exemptions/discounts for various things.  In this case, as David G. pointed out, the legal options are limited.  They were made even more limited by the Borikas decision.

        6. hpierce

          wdf1: yes it is true that ‘seniors’ have (statistically) less income… it is also true they (statistically) have lower expenses, particularly as related to mortgages, property tax, etc.

          I oppose exemptions, but am willing to consider a sliding scale… young folk just starting out, are just as pressed as seniors… student loan debt, rent/mortgages/taxes…

          You are correct about “culture”… should we not look at the “culture” to see if it is appropriate?

      2. KSmith

        Speaking as someone who has rented a house in Davis for the last 7 years, I know what you are saying to be untrue–at least in terms of house rental. I’m not sure what the case is for apartments.

        We have yearly rental increases. Each time a parcel tax comes into effect, there is a hike in our rent. In fact, 3 or so years ago (4 years? can’t remember…whenever the last parcel tax went into effect), our rent was going to go up $200/month. And the excuse was, in part, the parcel tax.

        Fortunately, we now rent from an owner who live in Davis and who are very fair in their dealings, and while they do institute yearly rent increases, they are fair.

        I have voted for the parcel taxes, but I also help to pay for them through my increased rents, and am grateful for the educational opportunities they have presented to my daughter.

    1. MrsW

      [Seniors]… can also be counted on to vote for higher taxes, as long as they will be exempted from paying the higher taxes.

      My parents, their friends, and my neighbors — all seniors on fixed incomes — support Public Education and prioritize education parcel taxes and library taxes.  I don’t get the sense that they would willingly opt out of a parcel tax.  Once it approaches $1000, though, they might feel that they have to.

        1. Don Shor

          Current property tax bill has these direct charges per parcel:

           

          Measure C 327.04
          Measure E 204
          CFD #1 207.72

          plus a charge of .02 per $100 property value.

  6. Barack Palin

    Higher school parcel taxes, the recent local sales tax increase, the coming roads parcel tax, hiking the parks tax, county preschool sales tax,  the rebirth of a soda tax that we all know will rear its ugly head again………

    Death by a thousand cuts.

    1. hpierce

      Nah… if the high end DJUSD tax passes, the City will never be able to even pass an extension of the current City assessments… it is what it is…

    2. Biddlin

      So how much of the famous “quality of life” is disposable, to you, before Davis is no longer desirable? I’ve seen your parks and streets lately and those seem to need attention. If one doesn’t see that everyone’s skin is in the education game, I really don’t know how to convince them. I’m in a situation where small increases in fees and taxes do hurt, but not as much as the further decline of schools and communities.

    3. Tia Will

      BP

      Death by a thousand cuts.”

      Or paying for the amenities that you chose….depending on your point of view.

      And I sincerely doubt that anyone who posts here will die from increased taxation. Talk about hyperbole !

    4. Frankly

      Right you are BP.  And why?  Why does government keep coming back to loot more?

      Because the cost of running government business keeps increasing well beyond the rate of inflation.

      Why does the cost of running government business keep increasing well beyond the rate of inflation?

      Because we keep allowing the politicians to increase our taxes to pay off the government labor groups that get them elected.

      I don’t blame my 50-something retired government worker neighbors.  I don’t blame teachers.

      I blame the system.  And until we stop allowing them to loot from us with their scare tactics of it “hurting the children” or “hurting the most vulnerable” they will keep on coming back for more.

      1. wdf1

        Frankly:  I blame the system.  And until we stop allowing them to loot from us with their scare tactics of it “hurting the children” or “hurting the most vulnerable” they will keep on coming back for more.

        The “system” “them” and “they” is your neighbors who believe and vote differently from you.  But it is a local decision.

        If you agreed with the decision, then you would be using different language to frame the situation.

        By the way, according to previous comments, you said you used to vote for these school parcel taxes.  It seems once your kids ceased to benefit, then you found a reason to change your mind.  That’s also the way it looked with your Prop. 30 support in 2012.

        1. Frankly

          This is a new tax, not a renewal.

          There is nothing I am seeing in the way of making the education system better… more efficient… returning greater value.  This is just demanding more money for an unsustainable business model… it keep consuming more and more of our tax dollars without returning more value.

          No tax-payer-funded system should be allowed to continue to exist if it continues to have consistent cost increases greater than the rate of inflation unless that system is returning commensurate increase in value to the tax payers.

        2. wdf1

          Frankly:   it keep consuming more and more of our tax dollars without returning more value.

          Of course.  It doesn’t give you value because your kids are out of the system.  You don’t show up on school sites any more to see what’s going on, so you don’t know what value is being produced.

  7. Tia Will

    WesC and BP

    I know that it is often said that seniors vote for taxes and then don’t pay them themselves. I also know that many urban legends are simply not true. All I know for fact is my own story since people can say that they do anything at all.  I vote for taxes for causes I support, and would never vote for a tax that I myself did not pay. I truly believe in paying for those items that we have chosen as a priority for our community. If you are paying the same tax yourself, then it cannot be said to be spending “other people’s money” which is the common anti-tax refrain.

    So my question for you to is, “Do you know that there are a substantial number of seniors who vote for taxes which they do not pay due to exemption, or are you merely repeating the urban legend that you read or heard somewhere ?”

     

    1. David Greenwald

      Last time I got a hold of the list it wasn’t a huge list of people who opted-out. That. Likely will increase as the parcel tax increases.

  8. Tia Will

    hpierce

    everyone should have “skin in the game”, at least at some level.”

    How does one have “skin in the game” when one has not been dealt any cards ?  Do you believe that this should apply to people who have played the game by all the rules, whose only asset may be their lifelong home, and who are balancing whether they are going to pay for food, or medicine this month ?  These folks do exist and I would say that first, there should be no “edge” to fall off of, but since our system does not provide an adequate safety net, I would say that for these folks, their lifetime contribution should be adequate “skin” unless we are also demanding a pound of flesh.

     

    1. hpierce

      Interesting… if they ‘have no cards” how can they afford to live in Davis? How many folk in town fit your parameter of,

      people who have played the game by all the rules, whose only asset may be their lifelong home, and who are balancing whether they are going to pay for food, or medicine this month ? 

      $1/month too much to ask?

    2. quielo

      Anyone who has the luxury of living in the US has been dealt an ace. Ask the 6 billion who would like to live here. Since better schools increases the value f homes I do not see the need for a parcel tax exemption.

      1. Barack Palin

        We can add a new “privilege” to the list.  Let’s call it the

        Born in the USA privilege

        though many liberals act as if they’re ashamed to be an American citizen.

  9. Tia Will

    hpierce

    I actually agree with your point that “everyone should have skin in the game, at least at some level”.

    So would you consider the following ? For the individual who has true financial hardship, would you accept an “in lieu” contribution of their time to the community ?  For a senior, I can envision some form of volunteer activity ( tutoring an underperforming child, reading or providing companionship to an invalid, or respite care for a caregiver….). Some have objected to relying on volunteers since they tend to be unreliable. I believe that this could easily be circumvented by keeping strict track of their hours and holding them accountable for their contribution.

    I can see many possibilities for a positive contribution to the community that does not involve the exchange of money which some quite literally do not have.

    1. hpierce

      I would consider a service option… hours served should be commensurate  with value of the service.  Vista and Peace Corps were good concepts… hours are hours, whether paid or unpaid.  My spouse puts in ~ 1000 hours a year as a volunteer in social services… yet, we get no income, nor tax deductions for that… perhaps we should get a credit for that…

        1. Marina Kalugin

          I didn’t realize you were such a “cannot think outside the box” typa guy Don…  Really?   cannot do that?  why?

          out of town students get a deal ….and they BRING money to Davis…

          in fact, Davis WANTS out of town students…..

          But, is it fair that they can drink our water and not pay….

          those who live in NN Davis   aka Woodland pay way less on their property taxes

          is there REALLY no way to get them to pay a “fee” to use the extra benefits which they get here?   that is , on the parcel tax…

          what if they were required to donate a similar dollar amount to the schools for the priviledge..

          what if they had to pay for water at the fountains, because water is no so expensive ALL students should bring it from home or pay at a vending machine…

           

           

           

           

          1. Don Shor

            I didn’t realize you were such a “cannot think outside the box” typa guy Don… Really? cannot do that? why?

            Because it’s against the law. No, there is no way to make inter district student families pay any fee, nor to mandate a donation. It cannot be done.

  10. Don Shor

    A couple of problems with this essay.

    1. You started with an example of an IEP. That’s special ed. There are state and federal funds specifically for the added cost of educational services for special ed students. Whether those funds cover the full extra costs if special ed in this district, I don’t know. That varies by district. But special ed is probably not the best example to use in describing the need for added funds from parcel taxes.

    2. The whole discussion is ‘how much’ when the key question any reasonable person is going to ask is ‘what for’. In what funding, services, materials, staffing, curriculum, or other expenses is DJUSD presently deficient?

    1. David Greenwald

      Don: Not all of it is special ed, in fact, I would have to check but some of the people in that room were specifically hired with parcel tax money – council, psychologist, I believe. Someone can correct me on that.

      On your second point, I want to see a charge that shows what we get for a $600, $750, and $960 parcel tax.

      1. MrsW

        My understanding is that the staff (councilor, psychologist, etc) present at an IEP meeting are required to be there by law.  If parcel taxes were not augmenting the staff, your appointment would have been delayed to a later date. If your child was not yet identified as being deserving of an IEP, the meeting date may even have been after it would have been any good for this year. That scenario is what actually happened with one of our children. I don’t know if there is a minimum amount of time for which an IEP meeting must be scheduled.

         

    1. Misanthrop

      Gate is not  Special Ed. There are certain groups that are entitled to free and appropriate education (FAPE) under Special Ed statutes. Gate is not covered under the statutes.

      1. Marina Kalugin

        oh  now your ignorance is showing missie…..tell him/her class..

        DJUSD gets EXTRA money for each GATE student because guess what it IS special ed…

        Likely you were not listening as I was teaching on the other threads…

  11. nameless

    Frankly: “This is just demanding more money for an unsustainable business model… it keeps consuming more and more of our tax dollars without returning more value.

    No tax-payer-funded system should be allowed to continue to exist if it continues to have consistent cost increases greater than the rate of inflation unless that system is returning commensurate increase in value to the tax payers.

    Spot on!

    1. Frankly

      The “model” is the business model.  Come on, you know that.

      If you tell your customers you are going to charge them more every few years with the threat that you will cut them off if they don’t pay.  They would say bye bye.

  12. Marina Kalugin

    ryan…well that is news to me….do you have a reference for the fact that GATE is no longer special ed and that also the district gets no more “extra funding”…

    thank you.

    my younger son becomes 30 this month…so I must say I am more out of that loop than I used to be…..Deanne’s salary was paid with those extra funds….

  13. Marina Kalugin

    If anyone can provide the references, I will ask Mariko how that happened…that special funding for GATE was removed….the truly brilliant have way more difficult challenges than those who are simply in a vegetative state and need babysitting….also much more work ….

  14. Marina Kalugin

    I took my grad level ECE units back in the 80s    – I cannot conceive that the data since then shows that GATE students do not need the extra support and the funding to make it happen….really?

      1. MrsW

        If the costs being referred to are in dollars–It is my understanding that GATE classrooms cost the same as any other classroom.  The program may cost slightly more than the general program because of the coordinator’s salary.

  15. Marina Kalugin

    not if the kids have things like Aspergers  or they are not challenged enough so don’t WANT to sit still….or need the additional psychological support of those with depression and anxiety and anorexia and other such challenges of those who are bright but feel they are not good enough…

    what about higher level books than the norm and the special supplies needed for specialized above level experiments….

    and so what is considered average?

    that most of the “average” students in schools now are medicated?    more nurses are needed to administer meds to those who are sick from the fast food garbage many eat or are fed…

    and because most of the truly low income do not have access to appropriate nutrition or clean water…and then get sick a lot from the 63 vaccines now “recommended” by the pharma companies…

    and perhaps the GATE kids have parents who are better off financially and can spend on the necessities?

    I don’t understand what is lumped into “average” now…and where to go in response to your statement, David…

    1. MrsW

      The GATE program that you remember has not existed for years.  I think the changes started to accelerate with the closing of Valley Oak around 2008. Just a few of the changes were: the dispersal of the strands; the elimination of the GATE-specific psychologist with no one picking up the ball; the reduction in the coordinator’s hours and responsibilities; senior GATE teacher retirements; replacement of retired teachers with teachers who were not certified to work in GATE; the elimination of the High Achieving track at Holmes, and so forth. See 2013 snapshot of GATE program (scroll down) for a timeline of some of the changes.

      I do not know when funding for GATE went away.  I remember that DJUSD was still getting a few dollars from the State per student in 2004, but it was not anywhere near enough to pay the coordinators, the psychologist or the administrative assistant’s salaries.  My friends in Livermore said that their GATE funds were used for a weekly 2 hour Wednesday afterschool program.

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