Residents today will have one final chance to have their voices heard before the San Bruno Park School Board moves forward with placing a parcel tax on the November ballot.
The school board will be at its special school board meeting to discuss the issue.
As the tax measure stands now, the school board is looking to put a $199 parcel tax up for a vote in the election. The tax would stay in place for five years, which is a compromise from what some schools trustees previously wanted. If it passed with a two-thirds majority vote, the tax could generate between $1.2 million and $1.9 million a year.
While schools trustees have disagreed on the amount for the parcel tax, the majority of the board has said that a tax measure is necessary for sustaining the school district in the long run. The district is facing a $1.5 million deficit in next school year's budget, and the district is expected to continue its deficit spending in years to come, which has many officials worried.
"If we don't make it," schools trustee Dr. Henry Sanchez said of the parcel tax at a June meeting, "then we're going to have to make some difficult decisions and they're going to affect a lot of people—not just the children."
Sanchez and trustee Kevin Martinez have been meeting for the last several weeks to work out the details of the tax measure. The main details they were expected to vet were the amount of the parcel tax, the length of time it would last and how it would be used.
Based on the language provided in a staff report, the parcel tax would be used in the following ways:
- to provide local funding the state cannot take away;
- to sustain our high quality neighborhood schools;
- to reduce combination classes;
- to attract and retain highly qualified teachers;
- to reduce the cost of special education; and
- fund curriculum modernization.
According to the staff report, the parcel tax would be held accountable by a citizen-appointed committee, none of the revenue would be used for administrative salaries and there will be an exemption for seniors older than 65 and low-income families.
The meeting will take place at 7 p.m. at the district office.