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.
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.