Something I didn’t mention as part of yesterday’s post, because honestly it was getting a little long winded, was at the end the School Board there was an agenda item which asked the School Board to support the piece of legislation introduced by former Alameda Vice Mayor and now Assemblymember Rob Bonta. The legislation, AB 59, would go toward clarifying language around parcel taxes by adding this section:
The provisions in this section requiring uniform application of taxes shall not be construed as limiting a school district from assessing taxes in accordance with rational classifications among taxpayers or types of property within the school district. This subdivision is declaratory of existing law, and shall apply to transactions predating its enactment.
Given that, most recently, San Leandro Unified School District’s own parcel tax Measure L is under attack as well so the outcome of this piece of legislation and that of the appellate court’s rehearing of their Measure H decision will be closely watched. Given the importance of that piece of legislation, one would think that everyone would support it, right? At least people who are in charge of overseeing and making determinations of the budgets for school districts that may get the money yanked from them if the appeal is unsuccessful.
Turns out in Alameda, not so much.
So despite her positioning on, hey, we don’t need Title I money, the parcel tax will make up for the difference in the funding, Trish Spencer opted to not support Assemblymember Bonta’s legislation. Why? Because she , as an elected School Board member, didn’t feel as if it was her “place” to tell the legislature what their intent is.
First of all, the thing that the School Board was voting on what to express “support” for the legislation, it didn’t involve screaming into individual congresspeople’s faces and telling them they needed to vote for something. Second of all, the “legislature” is not some sacrosanct entity that works in a vacuum (well at least they aren’t supposed to), they work for us, the people, so damn skippy it’s all of our places to tell them what their intent is on a piece of legislation. Third, as an elected School Board member she is elected to represent the community she serves, maybe Trish Spencer thinks she was only elected to represent those that voted for her, but I’m guessing that those people are really hoping that Bonta’s legislation gets passed and signed by the Governor.
What this reads to me as — once again — is Trish Spencer not stepping up to support parcel taxes in Alameda. What’s disappointing is that San Leandro Unified Board voted unanimously to support the legislation, but the school board for whom this legislation was specifically crafted for couldn’t muster the same unanimity.