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Op-Ed: Why San Bruno Should Support Measure G

The time is now to start building support for the schools parcel tax on the November ballot. It would guarantee San Bruno’s ability to maintain its high-quality public schools.

Editor's Note: Over the summer, the San Bruno Park School District voted to place a parcel tax on the November ballot. The tax, which asks residents to pay $199 per household for five years, could generate up to $1.9 million annually for the district, if it gets two-thirds approval from voters. This is the first time since the school district was established in 1907 that a schools parcel tax has been placed before San Bruno voters. 

On the ballot this November, registered voters will see three initiatives that impact our San Bruno public schools: Measure G (San Bruno’s initiative to support public childhood education), Proposition 30 and Proposition 38.  

Voting YES on all three would guarantee San Bruno’s ability to maintain its high-quality public school system. A NO vote is a vote close up to three elementary school, cut four weeks off the end of the school year, increase class sizes beyond today’s 31-to-1 student/teacher ratio, erase elective classes (that aren’t paid for by school parents) and probably scare away our top teacher talent.  

While the passage of all three initiatives is important, only San Bruno’s voters will decide the fate of Measure G. Since this is San Bruno Patch, let’s focus for a few minutes on this local childhood education initiative.

How Did San Bruno Get To This Point?

Over the last five years, California has been cutting many millions of dollars from our public education budgets. San Bruno has adjusted by attempting to raise revenues while cutting senior administration, cutting staff, cutting teachers, cutting salaries and cutting elective classes and programs.

Despite San Bruno’s efforts to balance fiscal solvency with quality childhood education, it couldn’t match the pace at which California was surprising public schools with cuts from state funding. In many of our lifetimes, California schools hadn’t experienced such vigorous cuts.

As each year generated new cuts, many public school districts thought, “Well, the state can’t possibly cut any deeper than that.”

San Bruno protected its public schools as best as it could with what used to be very healthy savings accounts. Today that protection is going away, and the most painful cuts are all that is left to cut.  

If you want to blame San Bruno, then blame them for having never asked voters to support a childhood public education parcel tax before today, or blame them for failing to pass a bond (Measure O) last year, or blame them for trying to protect our public schools by tapping their savings. 

Why Should San Bruno Taxpayers Increase Their Contribution To Childhood Education?

If you don’t have kids, and you don’t care about providing high-quality education to San Bruno kids, then you should still vote YES on this childhood education parcel tax because good public schools raise property values and attract good families to neighborhoods. When children are seen walking the sidewalks, that neighborhood is seen as vibrant and safe. For example, Crestmoor Elementary has an annual Halloween Parade that loops around the neighborhood streets complete with a police escort and the Capuchino High School Marching Band.

If your kids go to private school, then you should still vote YES on this childhood education parcel tax because good public schools support “at-risk youth” and keep them engaged in a productive and protective environment. Long-term, public schools benefit economically disadvantaged children and contribute to reduced crime rates.

In Summary

A “NO” vote is a vote to weaken the San Bruno community by putting our kindergarten through eighth grade public schools at risk of closing not only three neighborhood schools, but also cutting up to four weeks off the end of the school year, and/or increasing class sizes and removing funding for elective classes.

A “YES” vote is a vote to make San Bruno STRONG by supporting the children who need the services provided by public schools.

To learn more information about Measure G, visit greatsanbrunoschools.com.

Scott Curtner is a Crestmoor Elementary parent and president of the school's PTO.

Chris Kiely October 15, 2012 at 04:06 PM
They wanted to be told they had been doing the right thing and that nothing was their fault. So she told them that. When school districts go bad, the sky doesn't fall all at once. They get through one year, and tell themselves that since the district didn't go bankrupt the fiscal conservatives must have been wrong.n So they keep doing the same thing for a few years, until they are painted into a corner. Then they blame Sacramento. Unfortunately, starving them for money doesn't make poor leadership go away.
watchfultaxpayer November 05, 2012 at 01:45 AM
I received my mailout yesterday promoting Yes on G, If nothing else had convinced me to vote No already, it would be that mailout. . "This is going to Save Our Schools." I don't believe that was anywhere in the wording of Measure G that without it our schools would be dead. It also states that "many CALIFORNIA cities have had to resort to similar taxes, sometimes repeatedly, to keep schools open." Do we have 'repeatedly' to look forward to ?They promise citizens oversight will prevent waste or administrative salaries from coming out of this money.They cannot, A citizens oversight has no power over the school board or superintendent or the tax collector for that matter to stop it if they don't behave this time. That is as disingenuous as saying apartment residents and young voters with no property tax bill do not pay.Their rent will most assuredly go up. Young voters with no tax bill, living with their parents, I presume, will see their parents tax bill go up. Misleading information as well as leaving the 'middle' squeezed again, the only folks who will be left to pay this parcel tax directly. I was incensed they are courting non-property owners for votes while laying the burden on the pocketbooks of property owners. This money-jacking has been poorly thought out and poolly handled. It deserves to fail. Hopefully, we will get some new leadership and then they can try again.
watchfultaxpayer November 05, 2012 at 01:54 AM
And...I ask, should seniors be urging me to vote Yes??? They will be exempt. Is Russ Hanley a senior? And Skip who has served a braggung 31 years at his insurance provider job. And that lady principal at Allen appears to be 65 or darn close. And why is Leland Yee promoting it? To shift the financial burden of education from the state to the local citizens? He is always up to something...like wanting to knock down the Cow Palace rather than attempting to preserve it and just knocking down the neighborhood around it. Geezzzz I can hardly wait to vote on Tuesday!!!!!!!!!!!!
Bill Baker November 05, 2012 at 02:30 AM
I think that the Daily Journal article telling voters to VOTE NO ON MEASURE G made an excellent case for voting against Measure G: http://sanbrunobeacon.org/2012/10242012djnoong.pdf We'll just have to wait and see how this turns out after all of the votes are counted.
Scott Curtner November 05, 2012 at 03:00 AM
I'm hopeful that 2/3rd of San Bruno voters agree that property owners like me can part with a few bucks to keep schools open for the children who need it most. More than 50% of Kindergarten through 8th grade children in San Bruno public schools are low-income, and dozens of San Bruno public school children have special needs that require extra care. Denying San Bruno's most vulnerable children an extra month of education would be a shame. As a property owner, I'm glad to contribute my $16/mo to such a good cause, which is why I'll vote Yes on G :-)

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