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Santa Rosa schools consider tax measure

By KERRY BENEFIELD
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Santa Rosa City Schools took a first step Wednesday toward putting a tax measure before voters in November.

While stopping short of agreeing to pay for a consultant to poll voters, the school board asked for more information on how a survey would be conducted and how to proceed with defining what the district would do with more money from a bond measure or parcel tax.

“We don’t need to start by saying, ‘We need money,’” said Bill Carle, board vice president. “We need to start by setting up priorities. What is it that we want for our district? What in the way of programs? In the way of buildings? In the way of technology? In the way of curriculum? In the way of staff?”

“We need a list of things we want; you can’t just go out and poll,” he said.

Trustee Donna Jeye said time is of the essence.

“There is a sense of urgency here that I am very worried about,” she said.

Jeye and others pushed to include a parcel tax along with a bond measure in any study.

Bonds can only be used for buildings and other capital improvements that can include technology and solar installations, and need 55 percent of voters to give approval. Parcel taxes can be used for teachers, programs and supplies but require a two-thirds vote.

“A wide variety of arts and music electives — these are all things that are near and dear to our students and their parents, so I think they would be widely supported,” Jeye said. “Our facilities are in absolutely beautiful condition. It’s what we are doing inside those facilities that is at risk.”

Board members expressed some concern that the tax push was getting under way too late to be successful in November and that any local effort might end up clashing with Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed tax initiative that would provide $7 billion in K-12 funding.

School districts across California have been advised to create a budget for the 2012-12 school year assuming the statewide tax initiative fails.

In Santa Rosa, that means cutting $8.3 million for the upcoming school year.

“We must build our (2012-13) school year budget with the anticipation of a $370 per (pupil) cut, which is the governor’s worst-case scenario,” said Associate Superintendent Doug Bower. “It depends on an election which nobody knows the outcome.”





7 Responses to “Santa Rosa schools consider tax measure”

  1. The Hammer says:

    I’d like to see something on the ballot that will reduce the general sales tax by 3%.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  2. Canthisbe says:

    “just how much power and money do you think teachers have? Ridiculous…”.

    For 2010:

    Contributor -Total -% of Total Sector

    WHITMAN, MARGARET (MEG) $144,180,106 20.12% Candidate Contributions
    PG&E CORP $48,714,780 6.80% Energy & Natural Resources
    POIZNER FAMILY TRUST $24,403,680 3.40% Candidate Contributions
    CALIFORNIA DEMOCRATIC PARTY $16,887,739 2.36% Party
    MERCURY GENERAL CORP $15,932,162 2.22% Finance, Insurance & Real Estate
    CALIFORNIA TEACHERS ASSOCIATION $14,916,325 2.08% Labor

    Of course, Witman is an outlier and if her numbers are deducted, yu can see that the Teachers are a pretty good size political player.

    PG&E could probably reduce its utility bills if it stopped making political payoffs, but then the politicians would probably make it pay through more
    regulations. Picture sinister guy talking to PG&E president: “If you don’t pay up, we’ll break your legs — I mean we’ll increase the regulations on you – til you wish you “contributed”.

    Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  3. Money Grubber says:

    WHEN SONOMA COUNTY LIBRARIES HAVE ENOUGH TO FUND PUBLIC PENSIONS BUT NOT ENOUGH TO PROVIDE UP TO DATE DOWNLOADABLE E-BOOKS, THE PUBLIC HAS BEEN DEFRAUDED.

    YOUR TAXES ARE FOR PUBLIC PENSIONS AND NOT FOR LIBRARY MATERIALS.
    ————————-

    Local Cities Pick Up $35 million of Employees’ Pension Tab

    By Phillip Reese
    Published: Monday, Jan. 9, 2012 – 4:48 pm
    Last Modified: Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012 –

    “”In theory, local government employees must contribute a portion of their salary toward their pensions. In practice, local governments pay some or all of those contributions on behalf of tens of thousands of employees, effectively adding to their pay.”"

    Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/01/09/4174986/local-cities-pick-up-35-million.html#storylink=cpy

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  4. Horace Mann says:

    BTW, just how much power and money do you think teachers have? Ridiculous….

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  5. Dogs Rule says:

    They can consider a tax on air for all I care- I’m voting NO on every new swindle they come up with from now until I die.

    Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

  6. Graeme Wellington says:

    To all teachers that do a good job for which they are well compensated… and work no harder than other people, stop pretending that you don’t have the summer off. Stop telling us about “burn out.” Stop telling us you’re there long after 4 PM. Stop claiming that you withdraw your labor “because of the kids” and not because you want more power and money. Shut up!

    Thumb up 14 Thumb down 7

  7. Money Grubber says:

    Just say NO to the criminal government.

    It had years to prepare for our current budgeting troubles and it intentionally refused to comply with reality.

    Each person involved that did this to the public should be prosecuted for financial fraud. They intentionally spent more money than they had in the bank.

    The criminal in chief, Gov Jerry Brown, is evening threatening your kids by his pay more taxes “or else” mantra.

    Thumb up 17 Thumb down 5

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