A while back someone pointed to San Francisco’s rainy day fund for school funding as being responsive and proactive in a way that Alameda Unified School District was not. The assumption, I suppose, was that the rainy day fund that came out of the City and County of San Francisco’s coffers would more than make up for any shortfall in funding that may be handed down from the state. Even after the May revise calculations have been made, San Francisco — according to the Chronicle — is still looking at a $10 million gap in funding, highlights:
…The district expects to be $10 million in the hole despite Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s boost to education funding proposed in his revised budget released May 14 and help from city reserves.
San Francisco schools will still qualify for about $15.5 million out of the city’s rainy day fund – less than the $19 million they were eligible to receive under the governor’s previous budget…
The governor’s proposal would also give districts flexibility to temporarily suspend certain rules, allowing school officials to take money from one pot of money to pay for other services.
For example, the district could take money normally required for building maintenance to use elsewhere.
But those options are not attractive, district officials said.
“It’s like taking your gas budget and putting it into your food budget,” he said.
In short, you still have to pay for gas…
Despite the the rainy day funding and May revise, San Francisco is still facing a massive budget shortfall and is also proposing its own parcel tax to help pay for teacher’s salaries and technology in the form of Proposition A, their parcel tax would be a 20 year, that’s right, 20 year tax at $198 per parcel (to rise with inflation). However, unlike Alameda it would appear that San Francisco’s parcel tax has a good amount of support from the business community. The biggie, the Chamber of Commerce in San Francisco is supporting the parcel tax. But in Alameda, from what I understand, one of Alameda’s business districts is going to come out strongly against Measure H and last night there was a forum hosted by one of the business districts to explain to the business community the who, what, why and where of Measure H and how it would affect businesses in Alameda. I don’t have a solid confirmation, so not naming any names, but I imagine that if the membership of the business association(s) eventually vote to not support Measure H and actively campaign against it, it won’t stay quiet for long.
Another part of that last article was a listing of other parcel taxes* that are coming up for a vote as well in response to the cuts to education. Because while some would like to characterize the parcel tax as throwing additional money at the schools, in fact, this is to make up for the shortfall in funding for the state, not to provide the icing and fancy dragees on the proverbial cake, but rather to just purchase the eggs to make the cake.
– Measure H: A four-year, $120 parcel tax for Alameda Unified, to help offset the expected loss of millions of dollars in state funding. Businesses would pay 15 cents per square foot. The tax would begin on July 1 and would raise about $4.2 million per year for such projects as keeping elementary class sizes small and retaining music and athletics.
– Measure I: A $205 million facilities bond for Hayward Unified to build permanent classrooms, install wireless technology and security systems, and provide access for the disabled at every school, among other projects.
Contra Costa County
– Measure C: A $61.6 million facilities bond for Antioch Unified to replace roofs and improve plumbing, bathrooms, electrical systems, school libraries and more.
– Measure D: This seven-year, $166 parcel tax for San Ramon Valley Unified would replace an existing $90 parcel tax expiring next year. The district would use the money to keep school libraries open, reduce the size of math and science classes, and keep school counselors.
– Measure A: A facilities bond in the Ross School District would raise $6.75 million. Property owners would pay an additional $30 per $100,000 assessed value to pay off the bonds over 25 years.
– Measure B: An eight-year, $375 parcel tax in the Nicasio School District would be used for teacher raises, lowering class size and other programs.
San Mateo County
– Measure N: A five-year, $96 parcel tax for the Pacifica School District would be used to keep classes small and attract experienced teachers.
– Measure P: A five-year, $78 parcel tax for the Millbrae School District would protect teachers from layoffs and reinstate laid-off music and library teachers, classroom aides and custodians.
Santa Clara County
– Measure A: A $378 million facilities bond for Palo Alto Unified to replace portables with permanent classrooms, upgrade aging classrooms and libraries, and ensure that buildings meet safety standards.
– Measure B: A $198 million facilities bond to benefit Fremont Union High School District’s five schools would be used to upgrade electrical systems, to create a technology fund for computers, science labs and solar power, and to build new classrooms to relieve overcrowding.
– Measure C: This eight-year parcel tax for the Mountain View-Whisman School District would be used to keep class sizes small and let the district continue offering music, art and library programs.
– Measure E: Would extend for six years an expiring $290 parcel tax for the Los Gatos Union School District. The money would keep class sizes small and let the district continue offering music, art and library programs.
– Measure G: A $179 million facilities bond for the Alum Rock Union Elementary School District to fix old roofs, classrooms, bathrooms, and safety and electrical systems, and improve computer technology.
– Measure H: A seven-year, $88 parcel tax would raise $500,000 annually for three unified districts – Healdsburg, West Side and Alexander – to be used for smaller class sizes and other programs.
– Measure I: Beginning July 1, 2009, an existing $9 parcel tax benefiting the Gravenstein Union School District would grow to $45 for eight years. Expected to raise up to $90,000 annually, it would pay for art, music and technology instruction.