Proposed Parcel Tax Language Comes Forward for School Board

Joe DiNunzio speaks on this issue in April

After what has been nearly a year of discussion about the parcel tax and an even longer discussion on the concerns about the compensation gap for teachers, the district has come forward with draft language on the parcel tax.

As the staff report notes, “After discussing the compensation gap, its causes, and potential solutions at several Board meetings over the past year, the Trustees provided direction to staff on September 5, 2019 to bring forward a draft Parcel Tax for Employee Compensation Resolution.”

Some of the key points laid out in the resolution are the need for the district to have “high quality public schools” and these “rely on competitively compensated teachers and school employees.”

They further argue that “the District’s ability to maintain competitive compensation for its teachers and school employees ultimately affects the ability to maintain high quality schools thereby impacting the welfare of the District’s students and therefore the residents.”

The district further notes that “homeowners enjoy consistently sustained home values as the median home price in the City is well over $600,000, making it one of the highest home values in the region.”

The board members continually have noted that California itself lags behind the rest of the nation in public school funding.  Language on the resolution notes, “California public schools have suffered from consistent underfunding, as of 2018 the state ranks 42nd in per-pupil funding across the nation.”

Within that system, DJUSD is a below average district in terms of state funding and, thus, “the voters of the City are empowered to do something about that by supporting this local funding measure, which will prepare the District’s students for college and career pathways for 21st Century jobs, and ensure that all of the revenue raised will not be taken by the state but will instead be spent in Davis for the benefit of maintaining high quality and safe public schools.”

The draft ballot language reads: “To attract and retain quality teachers and staff by keeping compensation competitive in order to (a) preserve outstanding instruction in math, science, reading/writing, and technology; (b) support arts, and music; (c) limit class sizes; and (d) support student health and safety; shall a Davis Joint Unified School District ongoing parcel tax of $198 per year, adjusted annually for inflation, be adopted, raising approximately $3 million/year, with senior, disability, employee exemptions and citizens oversight; for District schools only?”

The district will continue the current exemptions – anyone over 65, anyone on SSI or disability, and district employees.

The tax, unlike previous taxes, does not have a termination date, which means it would remain on the books unless repealed or replaced.

“We started down the road of first recognizing that there is a gap and then understanding what that gap is,” Alan Fernandes stated in September as the board voted to put the parcel tax on the ballot

He noted that they have come to this conclusion, after recognizing the historical reasons for the gap and the ability of the board to solve that gap.

“What we as a community know, maybe better than most communities, is the ways in which we can increase our revenue – and the manner with which we can control our costs are somewhat limited,” Mr. Fernandes stated.

He said that the school really lacks a lot of authority and discretion.

“The reality is most of what we do is either required by law and the funding that we get is predominantly from the state,” he said.

“We looked at what our options are,” he said.  “The parcel tax is the most direct and honest way to approach the topic.

“Where we are today is, in my view, at a decision point whether we continue down this path of asking the voters, explaining to the voters, and ultimately asking them to value teachers the way we value teachers here at the district,” he said.  He said the best way is to “proceed with the parcel tax for teacher compensation.”

Joe DiNunzio, who made the motion and served with Alan Fernandes on the subcommittee, said: “It has to be clear to the community that it’s the right thing to do, it’s the fiscally responsible thing to do, and it’s the clearest path to achieve our goals.”

He called this “an issue of fairness, a moral imperative to make sure that we are compensating our employees and treating them as well as we possibly can.”

He said there is a “practical element here” which is “compensation is a big part of why someone would join an organization and a school district.”

For Mr. DiNunzio, there was not a lot of appetite in this community for cutting programs.

“The analysis showed that we are already running an efficient operation,” he continued.  “The options above bringing more revenue in is going to require cutting staff – and that means cutting programs.  And we saw in all of these meetings, no appetite for that.”

He said that “this gap is a parcel tax.”

—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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65 Comments

    1. Bill Marshall

      Actually, I get two “votes”… one on the Measure, and one as to whether I claim the Senior Exemption for the 2020-21 FY… and/or future years.

      To me the problematic things are the exemptions…

      The district will continue the current exemptions – anyone over 65, anyone on SSI or disability, and district employees.

      and the fact it is a Parcel Tax, and not a DU assessment.  I understand the District has little/no control over the latter.

      But the district does have all the control over the exemptions… the Senior one is not ‘needs’-based… same as to district employees… the SSI/disability one is, arguably, inherently ‘needs’-based… but it still smells like a way to get affirmative votes, with no ‘consequence’ to the voter… I don’t know how I will cast my two votes… it will fully depend on whether the district restricts exemptions to reasonable ‘needs’-based criteria… there are a lot of “senior” and school district employees who spend more than the proposed annual assessment on their monthly cable/phone/internet…

      Said my piece.  The District needs to think about ‘needs’-based (or, ‘hardship’) criteria for exemptions, and articulate their thinking, to inform me how I will cast my two votes…

       

        1. Bill Marshall

          No Craig… it either two decisions or two votes… same-same… unless one is a rhetorician… I’m not… if you don’t think your vote amounts to a decision, don’t vote.  A vote decides (has potential) for not not just yourself, but others as well… you make a good case why there should not be a student dominated electoral district.

        2. Bill Marshall

          And, in my case, my vote will be the same as my decision… a point that apparently eludes you, even if I were to accept your false posit. [see my 8:24 A post].  Please consider not voting if you cannot distinguish between voting, choosing, and deciding how you feel on an issue… same-same-same…

          You added no ‘value’ to the discussion w/ your 9:11 A post.

      1. Hiram Jackson

        Bill Marshall: “But the district does have all the control over the exemptions… the Senior one is not ‘needs’-based…”

        I think the context for this exemption comes from the 1978 Prop. 13 decision.

        “There are several accounts of the origins of Proposition 13. The evidence for or against these accounts varies.
        “One explanation is that older Californians with fixed incomes had increasing difficulty paying property taxes, which were rising as a result of California’s population growth, increasing housing demand, and inflation. Due to severe inflation during the 1970s, reassessments of residential property increased property taxes so much, that some retired people could no longer afford to remain in homes they had purchased long before. An academic study found support for this explanation, reporting that older voters, homeowners, and voters expecting a tax increase were more likely to vote for Proposition 13.”  source

         

      1. Bill Marshall

        Interesting post… will leave in abeyance whether it is reaction to Ron G (at whatever level) or opposition to the measure, as proposed… actually, doesn’t matter which… just found it interesting…

        I strongly suspect proponents will characterize opponents as “anti”- kids, teachers, employees, etc.

        I strongly suspect opponents will characterize proponents as ‘pro-government employees’, ‘tax-hungry liberals’, seeking to act like Scrooge.

        Let the ‘games’ begin… raw politics… no thinking…

        Scary, when you’re talking about “education”. Information, knowledge, training, learning how to think for one’s self… or, dis-information, selective knowledge, training in those, and learning “group-think” by the majority of ‘teachers’ at the time… will be interesting, to say the least…

        The two trends are evident… mixed bag… but, few think for themselves, and yet believe and assert that those who have different views are “wrong”… just saying… not trying to sway anyone… I can’t, and not my ‘place’ to try…

        1. Ron Glick

          Illiberal. Someone recently called Alan a liberal on another thread. Alan pointed out that the person doesn’t know him. Perhaps the opposite of liberal is more to the point.

        2. Alan Miller

          Perhaps the opposite of liberal is more to the point.

          Liberal and conservative, Rebuplican and Democratic, two ends of the same stick.

          I’m not even ON the stick.

        3. Hiram Jackson

          “Liberal and conservative, Republican and Democratic”

          It seems like those labels are mostly useful for identifying tribes rather than specific political philosophies these days.

  1. Bill Marshall

    Craig… how do you intend to vote, and what will you pay if the measure passes?  Fair question.

    If I vote yes (actually that doesn’t matter), and the measure passes, and I don’t take my exemption I pay full freight… what skin do you have in the game?  Except to tell others how they should spend ~ $200?  Fair question.

    I said what I’d do… you can always donate an equivalent or greater amount, even if the vote doesn’t compel you to pay the tax (or, if the measure doesn’t pass!)…  will you do so?  If not, why not?  Why would you have me pay for something you believe in, if you are not willing to do so yourself?  Not fair questions, just asking…

    The latter questions go to whether you are a responsible adult… not a voter requirement, but…

    1. Ron Glick

      Full freight here too and a strong yes.

      When I was teaching and barely making ends meet I would have loved it if the community I lived in had stepped up to make my call to teach a little easier.

        1. Ron Oertel

          Ah – got it, now. But, that’s the nature of this site. Anyone can respond to directed questions.

          Perhaps if you put “Craig” in quotation marks, it would have been clearer.

          In any case, the $200 pales in comparison, to the point you noted below.

  2. Bill Marshall

    Just got my prop tax bill…

    Total DJUSD parcel taxes = $1504; other DJUSD ad valorum assessments = $251  Total = $1755

    Combined, that’s 31% of total property tax (and some of the rest goes to DJUSD from the State)…

    What goes to the City is $74 (and some of the rest gets to City and County)

    Now being asked for ~ $200 MORE from DJUSD… ~ $2000 total to DJUSD, I could cut that back, big time, by exercising the Senior exemption…  Hiram has pretty much convinced me, by supporting the Senior Exemption, without ‘means’ test, to do just that!   Thanks Hiram!

    Without the Senior Exemption, unless based by need for the exemption, I’d be more favorably inclined to vote for the measure, and not exercising my exemption, starting July 1 2020…

    But Hiram gave me 20-20 vision… unless the district does serious soul-searching about exemptions (which Hiram seems to dismiss out of hand), and good explanations for exemptions that are not means based, we’ll be (3 votes) voting against the Measure, and will be following Hiram’s “advice”, to protect fixed income seniors (no matter how high that fixed income is), and taking our exemptions to current and proposed assessments… that will save us ~ $900 ($1100, with proposal) per year.

    Again, thank you Hiram!  Serious beer $$$$!

    Or, the district can review the non-means Senior and employee exemptions, have a re-do, and I just might give my vote to the measure, and also not pick up my bat and go home…

    If they don’t, I’ll heed Hiram’s ‘counsel’… protect the well off Senior who is on a pretty good fixed income… who can afford the current and proposed assessments, but could otherwise spend more on their adult kids… or, beer,,, or travel…

    1. Bill Marshall

      Oh, and if I take the exemption, to be logically consistent, I’ll vote Nay on ANY future DJUSD assessment… can’t ask others to pay for something I’m not contributing to…

    2. Ron Oertel

      “Total DJUSD parcel taxes = $1504; other DJUSD ad valorum assessments = $251  Total = $1755”

      “What goes to the City is $74 (and some of the rest gets to City and County)”

      Yeah, that’s definitely the problem, along with the unreasonableness of exemptions as wells as the basic structure of parcel taxes (as you’ve pointed out).

      1. Bill Marshall

        Please recall that the “structure” of parcel taxes was not anything the District can control… nor the City…

        as wells (sic) as the basic structure of parcel taxes (as you’ve pointed out).

        is somewhat off-topic… I take it as a given in the here and now… that was not my main point… far from… my only main point was about the justification(s) for exemptions… and what it will take to get MY vote… and it had nothing to do with the ‘structure of parcel taxes’…

        BTW do you live in Davis? [fair question]  I have (and, as of this writing, still live here) for 45 years… so I’m still a “newbie”… we came from the Bay Area… immigrants, as it were…

      2. Ron Oertel

        I’ve learned on here to not get into personal details, nor do I particularly care about yours.  It’s irrelevant, and wouldn’t make any difference regarding my motivations or points brought up.  My views and values were essentially formed a long time ago, and have no relationship to factors such as length of residency.

        I’m grateful to newcomers value slow-growth, for example. I also appreciate those who work to preserve land from sprawl in areas that I’ll likely never live in. Even if the result is that it prevents me from moving there, more easily.

        I simply don’t view these issues on a personal level. However, there are commenters on here who attempt to seek out personal information (regardless of accuracy or relevancy), in an attempt to discredit. You yourself have noted that your retirement benefits (from the city of Davis) are publicly-available, and have expressed concern that it would be used in an unsavory manner.

        I believe that you’ve previously pointed out some other factors regarding school district parcel taxes (e.g., regarding apartments, affordable housing, etc.).

        In my opinion, it goes somewhat beyond what you’ve pointed out, as well.

         

      3. Ron Oertel

        By the way, the school district apparently can put forward a proposal to allocate the amount of parcel taxes based upon the size of a parcel.  Under that scenario, a large apartment complex could indeed contribute more than a single-family dwelling.

        So, you are incorrect, when you state that the school district and city have no control regarding the basic structure of the parcel tax. Apparently, they’re simply declining to avail themselves of the opportunity to create more fairness, in that regard. (Along with the other points you’ve noted.)

        1. David Greenwald

          You are incorrect here.

          Borikas et al v. Alameda Unified School District 2013 — the court ruled that state law requires “uniformity” in a parcel tax, i.e., a tax that will “apply uniformly to all taxpayers or all real property within the district.”

        2. Ron Oertel

          I seem to recall that the school district actually recently studied the possibility of allocating parcel taxes based upon size of a parcel, via the survey that you previously published a link to.  (The same survey that was used to determine the level of support for a school district parcel tax increase.)

          Would you mind verifying/clarifying this, perhaps via inclusion of that same link?

          On a broader level, there sometimes comes a point at which voters might simply reject a grossly unfair system, even if they might otherwise support a given goal.  Perhaps that point has been reached (e.g., as demonstrated by the content of Bill’s 6:09 p.m., comment above).

          $2,000 per parcel (for DJUSD) is getting a little “pricey”, especially if one might not have children attending a school in a district with declining resident enrollment. Especially when the city is simultaneously only getting $74, as noted in Bill’s 6:09 p.m. comment.

        3. Bill Marshall

          I think Ron is confusing two different tax systems… different “rules”

          Parcel taxes for general purposes are constrained, as David and others have pointed out, and I believe they are correct.

          Parcel taxes for bonds, CFD and or general, CAN be done on area of parcel, land use, etc. basis… the two DJUSD CFD’s operate that way. [btw, one of the two CFD’s offer a 50% off, upon request, for Seniors… see link I previously posted]

          Other bonds are still even on an ad valorem basis: DJUSD 2000 Bond; DJUSD 2018 Bond; Los Rios CCD.

          Different options, different rules.  One is for capital improvements, other for operating expenses.  Big “Diff”… legally… and, actually, logically…

        4. Ron Oertel

          Thanks, Bill.  I may be confusing the systems.  However, I’m reasonably certain that allocating school district parcel taxes (via size of a parcel) was analyzed in the recent survey that DJUSD conducted, but was found to be slightly “less popular”.

          I’ll wait and see if David publishes a link to that survey, again.

          It might behoove the school district to work on basic changes to the system itself (e.g., via the legislature), in the long run.  Unless they think that the current system will continue working for them. (I suspect that the current system is at, or pretty close to its limit of tolerance.)

        5. Ron Oertel

          The part that I’m less certain of is whether or not allocating via size of parcel related to the proposed tax increase (which I assume would fall under “operating expenses”).  In that case, it would seem to be prohibited, if I’m understanding your explanation correctly.

          Regardless, the bigger issue is the sheer/total amount of parcel taxes ALREADY going to the school district, per your example in your 6:09 p.m. comment. With a mere pittance going toward the city, by comparison.

          The city provides services to a much larger population, than the school district does. Also, the city is growing, while the school district is not.

        6. Bill Marshall

          One of the “issues” of parcel size is “nexus”… proportionality… cost vs. ‘burden’ (needs/demand creation); cost vs. ‘benefit’… gets into some very weird areas…

          2 bdrm 1 ba SF house on a 1/4 (8 DU’s acre)… compare to MF @ 12-18 units/acre…

          For drainage fees, acreage is logical… for sewer/water, DUE’s is logical… for schools, well… too many variables… and different measures of ‘service’, and more philosophical considerations… who “benefits/demands” from public education?…

          My problem is not with the method (so much, but the state law is the state law)… my issue is with the exemptions… they sure look ‘capricious and arbitrary’, and seem to be designed to have folk vote their values, imposing fees on others, with no/little “skin in the game”… the disability/SSI exemption,  I get (means-based)… like income taxes…

          But I still believe the District needs to make a convincing argument for the exemptions for Seniors and District employees before I cast a favorable vote… unless it is means-based (currently is not)… equity… fairness… ‘justice’, if you will…

        7. Hiram Jackson

          Tax exemptions available for school parcel taxes are set by state law.  There is no general needs based exemption.  Our taxes have the legally available exemptions.

        8. Bill Marshall

          No, Hiram… state law does NOT dictate the exemptions… it permits them… big diff!

          “Tax exemptions AVAILABLE for school parcel taxes are set by state law. There is no general needs based exemption. Our taxes have the legally AVAILABLE exemptions.”

          You said it yourself!

          DJUSD has choices… they need to consider them, make them, and justify/stand by them…

          You’ll have to provide cites to the contrary…

        9. Bill Marshall

          And Hiram, your arguments are “self-evident”, if not self-serving… even if DJUSD “can” exempt Seniors and District employees (perhaps to get more votes?), doesn’t mean they should…

          But you are persuasive… your arguments, particularly if you are a DJUSD employee who lives in Davis, are continuing me to leaning (more and more) to voting “hell no”, on the measure, and taking all exemptions available… well done… if you are a teacher, in social studies, math/logic, ‘English’, that would be scary… but if you are a teacher or staff member in the District, you may have a future in being a “union” leader (DTA, etc.)… they tend to ignore/dismiss facts, and play to ‘heart-strings’… after all, “it’s for the kids”, right?  Yeah.  Right.

          Spouse was a teacher… grossly underpaid even compared to DJUSD teachers… but she wanted to teach, was great at it, and my salary supported the family… no regrets… but as she looks at the Measure, she looks at “yes, more compensation is right”, and would not exempt us from the assessment.

          Some seem to prefer to have their Kate and Edith, too…

        10. Hiram Jackson

          Bill Marshall:  “if you are a teacher, in social studies, math/logic, ‘English’, that would be scary… but if you are a teacher or staff member in the District, you may have a future in being a “union” leader (DTA, etc.)… they tend to ignore/dismiss facts, and play to ‘heart-strings’… after all, “it’s for the kids”, right? ”

          I’m not sure why my comments provoke you the way they do.  Not what I expected.

          I’m a Davis resident, parent, & homeowner.  Not a teacher or district employee, not a union rep./union leader. I do volunteer a lot in the schools.

        11. Hiram Jackson

          Ron O.: “Especially when the city is simultaneously only getting $74, as noted in Bill’s 6:09 p.m. comment.”

          However, cities can charge and raise sales tax and other fees, which school districts cannot.

      4. Bill Marshall

        Then, Hiram, I misjudged… I apologize…

        But I stand by the major gist of what I have said, including that you were incorrect/misleading of what the District can choose to do about exemptions… your one post in particular strongly suggested that the HAS to do the proposed exemptions… that is clearly false.

        I again assert that exemptions should be needs-based… not doing so sure seems manipulative as to vote-getting… Dad said, “It’s not that I disliked HS, it was the Principal of the thing”… well, it’s not that I oppose the purposes of the measure, nor the assessment, but as to the ‘convenient’ exemptions [to get more votes, apparently], it’s the principles (or more accurately, lack thereof) of the thing.

        If there was a means-based exemption criteria, I’d likely vote for the measure, and not take our exemptions… but that is not where we are in the here and now…

        The District needs to make rational choices.  And not ‘pander’ to get votes.

  3. Bill Marshall

    Sorta’ sidebar… given the newish IRS deduction rules (stupid, and intended to be punitive to “blue” states), Fed tax deductions (not ‘credits’) for SALT (State and Local Taxes) is limited to $10,000 (not ‘indexed’)… that includes property tax (all forms, inc. parcel taxes), State income tax, sales tax, etc.

    Well off Seniors, and school employees could take their exemption from DJUSD assessments, and give the same amount to DJUSD as a ‘charitable donation’… where there are fewer limits for deductions… same $$$ at the end of the day for DJUSD… tax savings for those who do it if they have combined SALT deductions over $10 k… we are ‘on the bubble’ on that… may very well take that tack…

    That’s information for Seniors… and a challenge to school employees who are near median or higher income, within the district… after all, “it’s for the kids”

  4. Ron Oertel

    There appears to be quite a few unanswered questions, regarding this proposal.  For example:

    How common is it that school districts (across California) launch appeals directly to voters, for the purpose of obtaining a raise?

    How would this additional money be divided, among teachers?  For example, how much would it boost starting salaries, which is (supposedly) where the largest gap exists?  And, how much would it boost salaries of those already making – say $85,000/year plus benefits (which pushes their compensation well-beyond $100,000/year)?

    How would this impact school district liabilities, regarding future retirement benefits (based upon salary)? And, how would this increased liability then be addressed?

    1. Bill Marshall

      How common is it that school districts (across California) launch appeals directly to voters, for the purpose of obtaining a raise?

      False characterization… it about financing the ability to restore/keep compensation reasonable/”competitive” … that, I support, as I would for any public employees (in general)…

      How would this impact school district liabilities, regarding future retirement benefits (based upon salary)? And, how would this increased liability then be addressed?

      Good question, but if the District has those factors built into their “ask”, see no problem… if they don’t, that, indeed, is a real problem… The District should definitely address that question.  Hope they see, address that question.  The more they do, the more likely we’ll support the Measure… depending on their answers, of course.

      1. Ron Oertel

        False characterization… it about financing the ability to restore/keep compensation reasonable/”competitive” … that, I support, as I would for any public employees (in general)…

        Otherwise known as a “raise”.

        I wonder if there’s a “gap” in compensation for say, the police or fire departments (compared to other communities).  And, what the chances are that the Vanguard would be concerned about that? 😉

        One can quickly see how absurd of an argument a “gap” can theoretically be.  And again, we don’t even know how a raise would be distributed, between entry-level vs. those at the upper levels – where the “gap” is apparently less.

        Gaps are meaningless, without disclosing actual numbers.

        “The District should definitely address that question” (comment made in regard to impacts to the retirement system, and how it’s accounted for).

        Thanks.

    2. David Greenwald

      “How common is it that school districts (across California) launch appeals directly to voters, for the purpose of obtaining a raise?”

      Alan Fernandes and Joe DiNunzio said several months ago they believe this is unprecedented and they also noted the DJUSD probably has the largest reliance on parcel taxes to begin with.

      1. Hiram Jackson

        “… they also noted the DJUSD probably has the largest reliance on parcel taxes to begin with.”

        I’m not sure what you mean by “largest reliance.”  There are other districts with higher parcel tax assessments.  Off the top of my head is Piedmont City Unified at ~$2,406/year (link has buttons for financial data w/ bonds & parcel taxes that verify this amount).  There are other districts with higher amounts than Davis.

  5. Ron Oertel

    Also – forgot to ask:  How much of a raise do teachers already receive each year, via cost-of-living increases?

    And, how much do they receive at each step as they “rise through the ranks”?

    Asking voters for a “raise” without fully divulging current conditions certainly does not seem entirely forthcoming. Voters are in no position to know this information, on their own. And, the statement in the article above does nothing to shine a light on it.

    1. Bill Marshall

      Ron… the answer to your second question is on the DJUSD website.

      The answer to your first question is that (from looking at the MOU’s, also available @ same website) is that there are no ‘automatic’ COLA’s for salary, nor benefits.  Unlike SocSec, for example… all COLA’s are subject to meet/confer. This measure doen’t ‘give’ anything… it allows the District a funding source to give them flexibility.

      The District is in a “catch-up” situation for NOT doing COLA’s for salaries/benefits… had they been doing that (they haven’t) we would not be where we are… all the measure does is to provide a funding source to ‘correct’ past (and hopefully, future) non-COLA’s.

      I choose not to respond to the rest of your current missive.

      1. Ron Oertel

        Wondering how long they haven’t been doing COLA’s, and whether or not other communities have been doing so.

        Since the $198 is a fixed/permanent amount going forward, it would seem that your statement regarding future COLA’s would not occur.

        In any case, this is the first time I’ve seen this argument.

        Since you’re stating that there have been no COLA’s (for some undetermined amount of time), how long have some of these teachers been making $85,000/year in salary alone?

        Since this measure gives the district “flexibility”, I see no reason that those at the top of the scale won’t receive the bulk of the benefit. So far, I’m not inclined to believe the argument that this will make much difference regarding the ability to attract a new generation of teachers, in a declining-enrollment school district. Wondering how much more those at the bottom would receive, and whether or not it would actually make any difference regarding their choice of school district.

  6. Ron Oertel

    Hiram:  “However, cities can charge and raise sales tax and other fees, which school districts cannot.”

    A renewal or increase in sales tax (which I think the city should have considered) would have to be approved by voters.  Fees are not supposed to generate revenues beyond direct costs.

    Voters recently rejected a moderate parcel tax which would have helped maintain roads that everyone uses, and which become more costly if maintenance is deferred.  The city is facing a multi-million dollar deficit, over a period of time.  Maybe you can explain why providing a raise to teachers (who make a substantial salary, already) should take precedence over that.

      1. Ron Oertel

        I’m not referring to how you (or anyone in particular) views the choice, personally.

        Since there is likely a limit to the total amount of local taxes that voters are collectively willing to tolerate, it ultimately does come down to an either/or decision, at some point.

        Bill’s comment (made at 6:09 p.m. last night) shows that the “tail” (the school district) is already vastly shortchanging the “dog” (the city).

        And, the dog is dying as a result.

    1. Hiram Jackson

      Ron O.: “Maybe you can explain why providing a raise to teachers (who make a substantial salary, already)…”

      I don’t agree with the premise about teachers making “a substantial salary, already.”  One career option that I considered was K-12 teaching.  I opted not to because I wanted to live in Davis but couldn’t figure out how to make the expected salary cover costs (including buying a house).

      1. Ron Oertel

        Another commenter (Don) previously posted a list, which showed a large number of teachers making around $85,000/year in salary alone.  I’d call that substantial.

        But again, I’d ask where the greater collective need is at this point.  The city’s deficit, or providing a raise to teachers (on TOP of all of the other school district parcel taxes, which are nearing $2,000/year in Bill’s example).

        Because at some point, it really can’t be both. And, if folks are being honest with themselves, looking for salvation through expansion hasn’t ever solved the problem, either.

  7. Ron Glick

    “Another commenter (Don) previously posted a list, which showed a large number of teachers making around $85,000/year in salary alone.” 

    I guess it depends on what you define as substantial and a large number. If it takes twenty years to reach the top of the scale as it did the last time I looked at the DJUSD pay scale a large number don’t make that much. Also if you are making 85,000 a year I don’t think you would even qualify for a home loan to get a mortgage in Davis.

      1. Ron Oertel

        Actually, that’s NOT the list I was referring to. Nor is it the one that you initially provided a link to.

        Also, are these (all) even teachers, let-alone full-time teachers?  There’s no indication of such on the list.

        The lowest salary on the list is about $8,300/year.  That’s not a teacher’s full-time salary. (That is, if you consider teaching to be full-time in the first place.)

        These lower numbers appear to be “skewing” the average salary.

        1. Don Shor

          It’s the same numbers that are on the transparentcalifornia.com website but with the names removed. They are all teachers. Some are obviously part-time. It’s a list of all the 477 employee records.
          I should revise my comment: $63,837.22 is the ‘mean’ pay, not the average.
          The median is $69,002.40.
          The mode (# that appears most commonly) is $70.048.00.
          Refresher here on mean, median, and mode: https://www.purplemath.com/modules/meanmode.htm

      2. Ron Oertel

        And, at the upper end, some are making over $100,000/year in salary alone.

        In any case, it appears that the average is being skewed by those not occupying full-time teaching positions.

        It also seems safe to say that salaries are substantial, and are competitive with other fields requiring similar educational backgrounds/preparation.

        1. Hiram Jackson

          Ron O.: “And, at the upper end, some are making over $100,000/year in salary alone.”

          Those are likely to be administrators, rather than teachers.

          1. Don Shor

            To be clear, they are all listed as teachers on the transparentcalifornia site. They may have administrative duties that increase their salaries. I don’t know how to extract that information.
            If anyone from DJUSD wants to clarify this, you can contact me at donshor@gmail.com and I’ll be happy to post information about the salary schedules.

        2. Hiram Jackson

          I remember a past DJUSD superintendent listed, by name, as a teacher/educator in such a database, and his listed compensation actually corresponded to his superintendent salary + benefits.

          There are also scenarios in which a regular contract teacher can acquire administrative duties and salary.

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