School activists have joined to form Save Pleasanton Schools and will hold a rally today to kick off a campaign to bring additional funds to education.
The rally follows a decision Thursday by the Pleasanton school board to ask voters to approve a $233 a year parcel tax in an election scheduled for Tuesday, June 2. The tax, board members said, would help bear the brunt of an $8.70-million shortfall stemming from the state's $41.6-billion deficit. In order for a parcel tax to pass, it would need a two-thirds voter majority.
Parent and PTA Council President Joan Laursen is co-chair of the committee along with Tanya Ludden. While the PTA strongly advocates for reform at the state level, Laursen said Save Pleasanton Schools is strictly supporting a parcel tax.
Organizers hope to "fire up" a network of volunteers as well as gain donations at the rally, which is planned for 4 to 5:30 p.m. today at Valley Community Church, 4455 Del Valle Pkwy.
Laursen said she joined the cause to offer a fresh perspective to the issues as a PTA leader and mother of both a college student and middle school student.
"We are truly a grassroots organization," she said. "We're not hiring some expensive consultant. Our community likes to be talked to directly."
Currently, no one has come forward to start a committee to oppose a parcel tax measure. The majority of those speaking at school board meetings have expressed support for a parcel tax; however, there is a strong presence of those who say they're against it on the Pleasanton Weekly's online Town Square forum. It has also been said that opponents could be intimidated to publicly say they don't support and/or can't afford a tax.
A gauge of how many would be for or against the issue is tough to call, as the school board decided not to spend the money to survey the community on how they would vote.
"The two-thirds threshold is difficult," Laursen said. "It is difficult to convince the many people who maybe aren't as aware in the community."
To learn more about Save Pleasanton Schools, visit www.savepleasantonschools.org.
Check PleasantonWeekly.com for updates on the parcel tax measure.