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March 3, 2020 — Primary Election
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Special District

San Carlos School District
Measure N - 2/3 Approval Required

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Shall the San Carlos School District maintain small class sizes and high-quality educational programs, including maintaining hands-on science, math, technology, and engineering programs; preserving reading and writing programs, attracting and retaining qualified and experienced teachers; and providing art, music, libraries; by adopting a measure adding $88 per parcel to the current $246.60 rate, raising $3,000,000 annually, for 8 years, with senior exemptions, independent citizens oversight, no funds for administrator salaries, and funds staying local to benefit San Carlos students?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

Impartial analysis / Proposal

The California Constitution and State law authorize school districts to levy qualified special taxes for specified purposes. Such a tax measure passes if two-thirds of those voting on it vote to approve the measure.

The Board of Education (“Board”) of the San Carlos School District(“District”) proposes to renew and increase special tax on parcels in the District to support various educational purposes. If approved, an annual tax of $88.00 per parcelwould be added to the existing rate of $246.60, for a total annual parcel tax of $334.60. The annual tax would be imposed for eight years,starting July 1, 2020 and ending June 30, 2028The District estimates the tax would raise approximately $3million annually.

The proposed tax applies to any unit of real property wholly or partially in the District that receives a separate property tax bill from San Mateo County tax collection officials. Parcels otherwise exempt from such property taxes will be exempt from this proposed tax. Any individual owning and occupying a parcel as a single-family residence may apply for an exemption to the tax if they: (1) are age 65 years or older; (2) receive Supplemental Security Income for a disability, regardless of age; or (3) receive Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, regardless of age, and have an annual income not exceeding 250% of the 2012 federal poverty guidelines .Property owners exempt from the expiring parcel tax will remain exempt without needing to reapply.

The stated purposes of the tax are to:

Attract and retain highly-qualified teachers; maintain small class sizes;

Maintain existing curricula, including hands-on science, math, technology, and engineering programs;

and Provide art, music, libraries, and a well-rounded education.

Decisions regarding allocation of the tax proceeds for these stated purposes and among specific projects within the District will be made at the sole discretion of the Board. The proceeds of the tax shall only be used for the stated purposes. Nproceeds may be spent on administrators’ salaries or benefits. The District will provide the following accountabilitymeasures: the tax proceeds will be placed into a special account; an annual report accounting for the proceeds and the status of projects or programs funded by the tax will be filed with the Board; and an independent citizens oversight committee will oversee expenditures of the proceeds.

The proposed tax is not intended to jeopardize local, state, or federal funding and, if any such funding is reduced or offset because of the tax, the District may reduce the amount the tax levied as necessary to restore the funding. Also, the District’s appropriations limit willbe increased annually if required to ensure revenue from the tax may be spent for the listed purposes.  

A “yes” vote on this Measure would impose an annualtax of $334.60 per taxable parcel on property within the District for a period of eight years beginning July 1, 2020, for the purposes listed above.

A “no” vote on this Measure would not allow the parcel tax to be levied.

This Measure passes if two-thirds of those voting on the measure vote “yes.”

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR

Protect the outstanding education students receive at San Carlos School District. VOTE YES on Measure N!

San Carlos elementary and middle schools: Arundel School, Brittain Acres School, Heather School, White Oaks School, Arroyo School, Mariposa School, Central Middle School, Tierra Linda Middle School, and San Carlos Charter Learning Center are a cornerstone of our community. Exceptional teachers, small class sizes, challenging instructional programs, dedicated parent volunteers, and outstanding science, art, and music curricula have prepared generations of local children to succeed in high school, college, and careers.

Unfortunately, years of State budget cuts and the expiration of our existing community supported parcel tax are threatening the local quality of education. If we don't pass Measure N, SCSD will have to make drastic cuts to academic programs, increase class sizes, and maintain only basic instructional programming.

Measure N will:

* Maintain small class sizes

* Attract/Retain qualified and experienced teachers

* Maintain programs that support bringing all students up to the highest level possible in core subjects like math, reading, and writing

* Maintain math, hands-on-science, technology, and engineering programs

* Provide art, music, libraries, and well-rounded education

Measure N is a modest, thoughtful proposal supported by parents, teachers, and community leaders. It won't solve all our problems but it will protect core academics, help retain our quality teachers, and ensure that San Carlos students continue to be prepared to attend an excellent high school.

The cost of Measure N is less than $28 a month for property owners. Senior citizens are exempt and the measure lasts just eight years. Every penny stays local to benefit San Carlos School District schools and students.

Taxpayer protections are REQUIRED. NO funds are allowed for administrator's salaries.  Independent Citizens' Oversight and mandatory audits are required for fiscal accountability.

Good schools protect local property values and keep our community strong.

San Carlos School District schools are critical to educating our local students, help protect them. PLEASE VOTE YES on N.  

 

/s/ Jessica L. Rowe, Chair, Citizens for San Carlos Schools and Parent

/s/ Jean Dehner, Retired Principal

/s/ Dan Liner, President - San Carlos Teachers Assoc.

/s/ Ronald Collins, Mayor of San Carlos

/s/ Alana Corso, Local Business Owner

Arguments AGAINST

With this latest "temporary" parcel tax, the San Carlos School District claims they need a tax increase to continue providing "quality education."

The district not only wants to extend the 2015 "temporary" parcel tax ($58) for another 8 years, adding another "temporary tax" of $88 to the current $246 rate.

Have they earned this extension that will cost you over $2,672 over the next 8 years (on top of the taxes you are already paying)?

Let's look at the latest academic performance:

2017-18 school year results: 20.94% below grade level for English

2017-18 school year results: 23.18% below grade for math.

The District rewarded students, parents, and taxpayers for the passage of the 2015 parcel tax by showing virtually no improvement in both English and math scores!

Source: California Department of Education Data Partnership: www.ed-data.org

Shoud you, the voters, reward the district for no improvement in both subjects?

If no, we encourage you to vote NO on Measure N.

The District is already spending $12,500 per student per year which is 105% of the statewide average ($12,014) yet providing below average education. Yet, they want more of your hard-earned money to pad their salaries (averaging $82,156 plus up to $11,670 in benefits) and fat pension plans.

The measure says that none of the funds will be used for administration. But funds generated separately from this parcel tax can be used for administration expenses without limits. So, that is really an empty promise. Do not be fooled.

Tell the San Carlos School Board to be fiscally responsible by voting.

NO on Measure N.

If you reward failure, you will get more failure.

For more information, visit us at www.svtaxpayers.org

 

/s/ Mark W.A. Hinkle, President, Silicon Valley Taxpayers Association 

Replies to Arguments FOR

With this latest "temporary" parcel tax, the San Carlos School District claims they need a tax increase to continue providing "quality education."

The district not only wants to extend the 2015 "temporary" parcel tax ($58) for another 8 years, adding another "temporary tax" of $88 to the current $246 rate.

Have they earned this extension that will cost you over $2,672 over the next 8 years (on top of the taxes you are already paying)?

Let's look at the latest academic performance:

2017-18 school year results: 20.94% below grade level for English

2017-18 school year results: 23.18% below grade for math.

The District rewarded students, parents, and taxpayers for the passage of the 2015 parcel tax by showing virtually no improvement in both English and math scores!

Source: California Department of Education Data Partnership: www.ed-data.org

Shoud you, the voters, reward the district for no improvement in both subjects?

If no, we encourage you to vote NO on Measure N.

The District is already spending $12,500 per student per year which is 105% of the statewide average ($12,014) yet providing below average education. Yet, they want more of your hard-earned money to pad their salaries (averaging $82,156 plus up to $11,670 in benefits) and fat pension plans.

The measure says that none of the funds will be used for administration. But funds generated separately from this parcel tax can be used for administration expenses without limits. So, that is really an empty promise. Do not be fooled.

Tell the San Carlos School Board to be fiscally responsible by voting.

NO on Measure N.

If you reward failure, you will get more failure.

For more information, visit us at www.svtaxpayers.org

 

/s/ Mark W.A. Hinkle, President, Silicon Valley Taxpayers Association 

Replies to Arguments AGAINST

The sole opponent of Measure N doesn't live in our community and has made it his mission to oppose every school measure. Measure N is absolutely needed and a sound investment in our local public schools, community, and children.

As longtime community members - we know the facts, and we're voting YES on Measure N.

Here are the facts:

FACT: Measure N is about maintaining the quality of education in San Carlos elementary/middle schools.

FACT: Measure N is on the ballot because there is no other way for San Carlos School District to raise these funds. The San Carlos School District is one of the lowest funded in the State and in San Mateo County.

FACT: The quality of San Carlos K-8 schools, teachers, class sizes, and challenging instructional programs depends on local revenue to supplement limited State funding.

FACT: San Carlos School District is among the highest achieving districts in the state despite having significantly less funding per student than our neighboring districts. Student achievement has increased significantly from 2015 to 2019 (Math: 69% increased to 75% & English/Language Arts: 74% increased to 79%).

FACT: Measure N is prudent, asking for less money than neighboring districts. Measure N expires in eight years and cannot be renewed without voter approval.

FACT: All Measure N funds stay local to benefit San Carlos schools and students only. NO funds are allowed for administrators' salaries or pensions.

Don't be deceived by the opponent's inaccurate and misleading statements. Take a positive step to protect the outstanding quality of education in our San Carlos School District. Vote YES on Measure N. 

 

/s/ Betsy Koefoed, Past President Rotary Club of San Carlos

/s/ Donna Becht, Founder, Healthy Cities Tutoring

/s/ Tom Davids, CEO, San Carlos Chamber of Commerce 

/s/ Sara McDowell, San Carlos City Councilmember

/s/ Carrie Du Bois, Trustee, Sequoia Union High School District 

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