School tax supporters turn out in droves
by Joe Shreve
May 24, 2012 | 4901 views | 10 10 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Parents and children, along with civic and educational leaders gather at the Measure K campaign headquarters Saturday, May 19 before heading out to knock on doors to raise support for the measure. Joe Shreve/Press-Banner
Parents and children, along with civic and educational leaders gather at the Measure K campaign headquarters Saturday, May 19 before heading out to knock on doors to raise support for the measure. Joe Shreve/Press-Banner
slideshow
Facing further reduction in state funding for schools, Scotts Valley schoolchildren and parents joined educational and civic leaders Saturday, May 19, to knock on doors in support of Measure K, which is on the June 5 ballot.

The measure calls for a $48-per-parcel annual tax that, if approved by voters, would provide about $350,000 annually to Scotts Valley’s public schools to stave off teacher layoffs, class size increases and program losses resulting from reduced educational spending.

According to Derek Timm of Save Our Schools Scotts Valley, proposed cuts in Sacramento mean the Scotts Valley Unified School District’s funding will be slashed by nearly $1 million next year. Timm said the district had no alternative than to look locally for help.

Supporters of the measure have worked nonstop for weeks to inform voters and encourage them to lend their support, he claimed.

“We’re targeting everyone who’s a likely voter in Scotts Valley,” Timm said. “There’s still some people out there that want to learn more.”

The goal Saturday, Timm said, was for the 50-plus supporters to visit 2,000 houses.

“This is the only way this is going to happen,” said Shara Sheard, the president of the Brook Knoll Elementary School Parent-Teacher Association.

According to Sheard, informing people and getting them to the polls is critical, because school funding measures often fail when potential voters choose not to vote, assuming the measures will have no trouble passing.

Scotts Valley City Councilman Dene Bustichi lauded the people who volunteered to promote Measure K.

“It really shows how much this community supports education,” he said.

Bruce McPherson, one of three candidates for 5th District seat on the board of county supervisors, was present to promote the measure Saturday. He emphasized the need for locally supported schools and argued that a strong school system is a major selling point for communities trying to entice businesses.

“We’ve got to (support schools) ourselves,” McPherson said. “Education — when it’s strong, the whole community is strong.”

Measure K would be in effect for a three-year span and could not be renewed or modified without a two-thirds approval by voters. Seniors and people on disability could choose to be exempted from the parcel tax, should the measure pass, Timm said.

Timm acknowledged that the district’s budget woes would not be solved completely by the $350,000 infusion, but the money would at least prevent teacher layoffs.

Not asking the community to foot the entire shortfall, he said, was part of the reason the measure had gained near-unanimous support and no major opposition.

“We’re only going to offset a portion,” he said. “We’re asking the community to help, but not to solve the problem.”

For information: Save Our Schools Scotts Valley, www.sossv.org or 204-0767
Comments
(10)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
sv parent
|
May 27, 2012
Please show me where the litigation and legal expenses are shown with regards to special education? SVUSD has some serious compliance issues so they have a LOT of legal expenses....I know, I know, no one cares....I am a liar, etc. Parents must sign confidentiality agreements, so they can not discuss it. And the district buries these costs very effectively. When these situations are settled out of court, it is VERY difficult to track them....

Any system is only as good as its weakest link.....and I am NOT referring to the children here. I am referring to the education that is provided to al SVUSD students.

Yippee for the high achievers to whom most things comes easily....what about the others? And there are others...
Lars Olsen
|
May 27, 2012
Perhaps a better first step would be to closely look at what the district is doing with the money it has.

That just might solve a lot of problems.
Beth Hollenbeck
|
May 27, 2012
Lars,

The school is very transparent with funds. I would encourage everyone to go to the school district web site where "accountability" and "school plan" are all open to the public.

http://www.svusd.santacruz.k12.ca.us/

I believe you will be amazed at what the district has done to maintain a high education for the students, despite being economically underserved. However, as I mentioned below, we are the lowest funded school in the county and we really can't afford to cut any more jobs. $48 a year from the residents of Scotts Valley would be a big help.

Thanks for your interest and I hope you will visit the school district web site and the Measure K web site for more information.
Lars Olsen
|
May 27, 2012
That is all very lovely and beautifully presented. However, where is the presentation on administrative costs?

Even with a top-heavy administration, the school is still able to be one of the top-rated schools? That's great!

Now, can you imagine how over-the-top-rated the school could be if you reduced administrative costs? There would be no need for another tax burden on Scotts Valley families. What a thought.
Beth Hollenbeck
|
May 27, 2012
Under the same web site is "Finance" and there you will find "District Budget". It has a good breakdown of administrative costs (it even shows that most administrative positions are "classified", as opposed to teachers, which are under "certificated"). Bar graphs show a visual of the expenditures, and there are also the dollar figures.

It might be something worth checking out where you can see the actual numbers.
sv parent
|
May 26, 2012
Not everyone is in favor of this measure....I acknowledge that the district needs more money...but it needs to come from getting our district re-zoned to not being rural. This measure is a very inadequate band aid....yes, a little will help....but just a little. SVUSD has been failing a lot of its students for years. This is not a new problem....but everyone gets SO hung up on test scores, that the "other" kids are ignored. If your child is self-motivated, bright, and driven, SVUSD is fine....but guess what? Not every child is so fortunate. What is the district's responsibility to them? Its same as the others but not considered nearly as valuable so these kids fall through the cracks.....

Its time to figure out a "North County" school district instead of having so many small, individual districts. I will be voting no.
Beth Hollenbeck
|
May 26, 2012
One of the problems Scotts Valley faces is that it is zoned rural, despite it's tremendous growth over the last few decades. Money allocated to the district comes out to be around $6900 per student, where the national average is around $10,000. Scotts Valley receives the lowest funding in our county, yet performs the highest outside of the charter school PCS. (See Current Expenses of Education under the California Dept. of Education web site.) By contrast San Lorenzo Valley receives $8800 per student and schools over the hill like Mtn View can receive $13,000 per student.

Therefore, an extremely tight budget must meet the demands of one of the top school's in the nation (U.S. News Gold Medal Award.) Up until now it's been achieved by teachers putting in hours beyond our work day and parents, local clubs, businesses and grants have all contributed to keep the school to its standard.

Measure K is asking the community to work as a whole to support the local education. A "YES" vote will be a huge beginning to get the funds necessary to maintain what we've built and keep the education our students deserve.
YesOn-J
|
May 24, 2012
Of course I support Measure J but I'm sorry that as a community we've decided that we can't ask for the necessary taxes to do the job.

Mr McPherson, a candidate for our County Supervisor says:

“We’re only going to offset a portion,” he said. “We’re asking the community to help, but not to solve the problem.”

I'm confused, Mr McPherson, could you tell me WHO IS going to solve the problem?

Read more: Press-Banner - School tax supporters turn out in droves
Joe Shreve
|
May 26, 2012
That's Derek Timm's quote, not Bruce McPherson's.


We encourage your online comments in this public forum, but please keep them respectful and constructive. This is not a forum for personal attacks, libelous statements, profanity or racist slurs. Readers may report such inappropriate comments by e-mailing the editor at pbeditor@pressbanner.com.