Guest Commentary: Vote YES on Measure H to Continue Our Tradition of Investing in Our Schools and Our Community

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Yes on H Graph

By Martha Beetley, Debra Brayton, Nora Brazil, Greg Brucker, Elizabeth Campi, Ryan Davis, Joe DiNunzio, Lori Duisenberg, Lucas Frerichs, Richard Harris, Hiram Jackson, Joy Klineberg, Jean Kridl, Merissa Leamy, Michelle Millet, Josh Newman, Gavin Payne, Sally Plicka, Carri Ziegler, Jay Ziegler

Davis is known for many things – biking, university town life and our excellent public schools.

We all know many people move here because they want their children to receive a great education. We know our kids benefit from strong and varied academic and extracurricular programs offered in our district.  These programs are found in Davis because voters in our community have supported a parcel tax for education since 1984. It is thanks to this ongoing commitment of Davis voters that our schools are among the best in the region and the state.

Our parcel tax for education is up for renewal.  It is Measure H on the November ballot, and it provides funding for 100 teaching and staff positions – including school librarians, counselors, music instructors and coaches – positions that will be lost without our continued support.

The Measure H campaign is an all-volunteer effort.  As parents and citizens of Davis, we have banded together to support the continuation of the current funding for these critical programs that benefit our schools, our students and our community.

Davis schools weathered the effects of Prop. 13 and the cutbacks of the Great Recession because our community provided funding for programs we believe are important by voting to pay a parcel tax for education. Many other communities in our state have done the same for the same reasons.

Over the years, however, California has reduced its per-pupil spending. At one time, our state ranked fifth in the nation for per-pupil spending. It now stands at 41st when compared to other states.

Add to that the fact that we face a new state education funding formula that gives needy districts more money.  Under this new method, called the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), Davis is a below-state-average-funded district, which means we still need the community’s support to pay for the academic and extra-curricular activities that ensure that our Davis students receive an excellent, well- rounded education..

What Your YES on Measure H Vote Pays For:

 

Measure H will continue funding for critical academic programs that are important for all our students, and it also pays for many of the extra-curricular activities that help kids enjoy learning.

Here’s what’s at stake if we lose the funding provided by Measure H:

Elementary schools

  • Reduced class size
  • Math and reading specialists
  • Science classes
  • Band and orchestra classes
  • School libraries and librarians

Junior High

  • Vice Principals
  • 7th period – students can take music AND a language or choir AND computer programming
  • Counselors and nurses
  • School libraries and librarians
  • Athletics

High School

  • Increased availability of core courses
  • Electives like robotics, debate, journalism
  • Availability of world languages and AP classes
  • Counselors and nurses
  • School libraries and librarians
  • Athletics

For a full list of what Measure H funds, visit our Yes on Measure H website at: www.yesforourstudents.org

 

What Are The Terms?

We want to be transparent not only about what Measure H will pay for, but the terms of the measure:

  • Measure H is a continuation of our current parcel tax funding, which is about $9.5 million or 11% of the district budget annually.
  • Measure H provides the same level of funding for our schools, but there is a slight increase to what homeowners now pay (about $7 per month) due to a statewide legal decision about how the tax can be collected.
  • Previous parcel taxes have been in place for four years at a time; this renewal is for eight years to provide stable, predictable, longer-term funding for our schools.

You may also hear that the proposed $620 parcel tax amount could be raised each year.  You should know that there is an option for the school board to review the tax once a year and to consider changing the rate as determined by the Consumer Price Index (CPI).  This provision has been in place under the current parcel tax and has not been used in the last three years.  Moreover, if an increase were authorized, with the CPI near 2%, an increase would be nominal—only $10-$12 annually (about 83 cents to $1 more a month).

Protecting Your Property Value

You should also know that our community’s parcel tax for education has real, direct benefits for property owners.

In fact, a national real estate industry analysis shows what we all know anecdotally to be true — that houses in districts with a parcel tax have a much higher value than homes in districts without a parcel tax.  According to industry statistics, the average price per square foot is $50 more for houses in districts that have parcel taxes – which adds up to tens of thousands of dollars in additional home value, making the parcel tax a good investment.

Keep the Tradition Alive, Join Us in Supporting our Schools and Our Community

Our community campaign is made up of a diverse group of citizens who believe that public education is the cornerstone of a healthy society.

We strongly believe that supporting our public schools is the best investment you can make, not just for home values, but in prioritizing excellent education programs for all of our children and for supporting an active and engaged community.

We ask you to join us and vote Yes on Measure H. The November ballot is long and Measure H is the last item – when you vote, start at the bottom of your ballot and vote Yes On Measure H.

The All-Volunteer Measure H Campaign Committee: Martha Beetley, Debra Brayton, Nora Brazil, Greg Brucker, Elizabeth Campi, Ryan Davis, Joe DiNunzio, Lori Duisenberg, Lucas Frerichs, Richard Harris, Hiram Jackson, Joy Klineberg, Jean Kridl, Merissa Leamy, Michelle Millet, Josh Newman, Gavin Payne, Sally Plicka, Carri Ziegler, Jay Ziegler

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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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7 thoughts on “Guest Commentary: Vote YES on Measure H to Continue Our Tradition of Investing in Our Schools and Our Community”

  1. Frankly

    So the liberals in the state elect politicians that pass legislation to direct more state money to poorly performing districts that are also districts with larger populations of minorities… all to help bridge the minority education gap, and the rich white districts like Davis keep taxing their population (including the resident poor minorities) to help ensure the gap stays and even grows.   Meanwhile those highly educated, generally white and liberal, helicopter parents with abundant free time provide free advanced instruction to their little darlings… which heaps on tremendous additional assistance to the Davis school system that isn’t tracked nor assessed.

    And the local poor minority students and those lacking highly educated parents with free time get hit with a double impact of their families having less money to pay for tutors and to consider escaping from their engaged-less Davis school system experience… one that grows less engaging every day as more helicopter parents are flown in to shore up the declining service levels.

    I can see the future… as the rich white liberal communities tax themselves more and more to keep their broken public school system delivering advantages to their offspring, the politicians they elect will eventually figure out how to take more of the local tax revenue to send to the poor minority districts.

    It is a slowly moving train wreck.

    The education system is a prehistoric model that needs to be disrupted and reformed to one that delivers improved service at lower cost.

  2. JosephBiello

    Oy veh.  California spends less per student than Arkansas.  California is big enough to be its own country one of the most advanced in the world, but toward education we behave like we’re living in the 60’s – the 1860s.

    http://www.governing.com/gov-data/education-data/state-education-spending-per-pupil-data.html

    Without the state funding formula the poor districts would have what we have absent our local measures.  Our state tax system works to help the poor districts by redistributing funds – and then we make up those funds on our own…. because we care about school for ALL kids in this state, not just “our precious kids”.

    But having read frankly’s remarks it is frankly quite obvious  that this kind of careful thinking was not available in frankly’s education.

    Leave it to lazy thinkers to take a positive argument and misinterpret it as a negative one.

     

    1. Chamber Fan

      Frankly is a right winger who wants to bash the schools every time.  There are problems with the educational system is stuck back sometimes in the 90s, the 1890s that is.  Calling DJUSd a train wreck is unfounded and stupid.  The system by and large works but needs tweaks not overhaul.

    2. quielo

      ” Our state tax system works to help the poor districts by redistributing funds – and then we make up those funds on our own…. because we care about school for ALL kids in this state, not just “our precious kids”.”

       

      A common narrative pushed by the Democratic party, the CTA and the SEIU however completely false. The LCFF money was almost 100% absorbed by salaries and benefit increases to district insiders with NO money going  to provide additional services to the kids who were the  ostensible reason for the legislation. This is by design as the educational unions are some of the biggest donors to legislators and “Local Control” is a euphemism for “no accountability”. If you google “LCFF Lawsuit” you have read all about various nefariousness.

  3. Tia Will

    Good morning quielo,

    Even if your post of 9:23 am were to be completely accurate as written it would not be a sound argument against Meaure H. “Nefariousness” in legislative outcome should not be used to justify short changing the students currently in our schools. For those who do not like the current funding scheme, I would be happy to hear your plans for a more equitable and beneficial approach and might even join you in promoting positive change.

    However, Measure H is about supporting programs for students currently in our schools, not in some hypothetical future where we may or may not have adopted a superior funding approach.

    I will be voting “Yes” on Proposittion H, will be paying the tax on my parcels even though I have no children or grandchildren in the schools, and even though I could opt out this year. I do not see this as a tax burden, but rather as  part of my contribution to our community. I hope that many of you will be joining me in this “Yes” vote on H.

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