• EVERY STUDENT, EVERY CHANCE, EVERY DAY •Dr. David E. Cash, Superintendent • 720 Santa Barbara Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101 • (805) 963-4338
Thursday, June 21, 2012
[In the June 7 election, where only 35 percent of the electorate voted, two parcel tax measures to benefit the Santa Barbara Unified School District secured a clear majority but needed to pass the supermajority threshold. Measure W2012 (to benefit the district's secondary schools) received 64.82 percent approval, but needed an additional 750 votes to pass. Measure X2012 (to benefit the district's elementary schools) secured 65.71 percent of the vote, but needed 120 additional votes to pass.]
Yesterday, at a special meeting, the board of education met to discuss placing two revised parcel tax measures on the the November ballot. One parcel tax would benefit the district's elementary schools and the second would benefit the district's secondary schools. Discussion took place on several areas of need, including math and science materials as well as technology coaches and mentors.
As each board member weighed in, Kate Parker spoke of the importance of preparing for the impending end of funds generated by the four-year Measures H2008 and I2008 parcel taxes. "We have cut $20 million since the parcel tax passed. The parcel tax only funds a small portion of what has been taken away. This doesn't make up for the millions we have lost."
There was consensus about going forward, discussion focused on the amount.
Whether to stay with the $54 amount of each parcel tax, Measures W and X, placed before the voters on June 7, member Ed Heron noted, "If it is under $40, the opposition will be a lot less." Kate Parker expressed interest in lowering the amount of each parcel tax and having the amount of each tax differ. Annette Cordero added, "If we reduce the amount we are misleading the public and it is important that the public know that the situation is dire. If we want to provide a comprehensive education for 2012 and beyond, we have to convey that to the community. The baseline today is not going to be the baseline tomorrow."
No action was taken. With the Santa Barbara County Elections Office June 28 deadline for the November election looming, the purpose of the board of education's special meeting was to discuss the issue and provide direction to the superintendent to prepare resolutions for the June 26 board meeting.