Livermore voters narrowly approving parcel tax renewal | Tim Talk | Tim Hunt | PleasantonWeekly.com |

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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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Livermore voters narrowly approving parcel tax renewal

Uploaded: May 5, 2022
The last 20 years have been full of ups and downs for the Livermore school district.
In the early part of the century, the district struggled financially because of the state funding formula in effect at that time. During that season, I worked with the Livermore Education Foundation to help raise funds to maintain quality in the educational program. This was before the Great Recession.
Livermore, unlike other Tri-Valley cities, has a significant portion of its student population that lives in socio-economically challenged homes and are learning English. The other communities have grown dramatically more diverse in the last 15 years, particularly Pleasanton, Dublin and San Ramon, but many newcomers are well educated and well compensated. That’s not been the case in the older areas of Livermore.
Voters have rallied around the schools and passed a $134 parcel tax eight years ago. The tax came up for renewal this year and the school board, based upon polling and advice from a consultant, decided to run a mail election instead of putting it on the June ballot. The tactic likely was designed to maximize turnout from supporters who understood why they should continue paying the parcel tax.
Notably, the renewal of the tax—with no rate increase—drew some outspoken opposition in the letters to the editor and other forums. Opponents cited the superintendent’s compensation and argued that the district wanted the tax renewed for salaries. Reading some of the opinions, I was struck by how little the writers understood.
The mail results reported after Tuesday’s election show the measure narrowly receiving the two-thirds vote necessary to renew the tax although there still might be votes that are yet to be counted. The margin is less than 100 votes. Assuming that holds the district will continue to have the $4 million annually that is locally raised and locally controlled and thus not subject to whims of Sacramento officials.
District funding increased after Gov. Jerry Brown convinced the Legislature to change the formula so districts with high populations that needed more help received more funding. Sadly, he did not insist on any detailed tracking of how the money was spent or the results in terms of student achievement or the lack of the same. The recent statewide statistics I’ve seen showed that poor Black and Hispanic students are faring poorly at best, particularly coming out of the pandemic and the shutdowns.
For Livermore officials, the challenge moving forward is to demonstrate to the community that the parcel tax is being well spent and students are achieving—in other words, their tax dollars are being well spent.



Democracy.
What is it worth to you?

Comments

Posted by Sean, a resident of Birdland,
on May 5, 2022 at 9:09 am

Sean is a registered user.

Students, particularly boys, are the ones most impacted when it comes to literacy skills and college readiness. GIBM did an analysis of statewide data (Web Link Improving the literacy skills of boys would be a great use of such money.


Posted by Sean, a resident of Birdland,
on May 5, 2022 at 9:09 am

Sean is a registered user.

Students, particularly boys, are the ones most impacted when it comes to literacy skills and college readiness. GIBM did an analysis of statewide data (Web Link Improving the literacy skills of boys would be a great use of such money.


Posted by Rich Buckley, a resident of Livermore,
on May 5, 2022 at 9:35 am

Rich Buckley is a registered user.

Most of us are scratching our heads because no one remembers any official usual communications that there was a vote taking place.


Posted by Lahommed, a resident of Dublin,
on May 5, 2022 at 10:23 am

Lahommed is a registered user.

The Money never goes where its suppose to.....no accounting.....the Lottery is a great thing but once the lottery gives the state the monies for the schools no accounting? So parcel taxes? What a giveaway! Without accounting and a money trail its the same as Biden giving billions tom the Ukraine and having no idea where our tax dollars are going! Wake up American tax payers we are the ATM for the world and our corrupt politicians and greedy school districts and administrators!


Posted by Dirk Svensen, a resident of Country Fair,
on May 5, 2022 at 1:14 pm

Dirk Svensen is a registered user.

Although not applicable in Pleasanton, I tend to default to a "no" vote unless there is considerable evidence that the increase is of value. This also comes from knowing how much we are already paying for schools - even though California (statewide average) falls near the bottom on education effectiveness. However, after seeing the cesspool the CA public school system has become (race theory, trans grooming, textbook pornography, etc.), one of Tim's comments hit home: "..the $4 million annually that is locally raised and locally controlled and thus not subject to whims of Sacramento officials...). This includes control from the Federal Government through grants. But we are paying state *and* (continuing) local fees. Let the residents determine where to spend their education dollars - or allow us to deduct 1:1 what we pay for local schools. There will be a measure in November that just might help (Web Link From this site: "Get $14,000 per year for the school of your choice! Save unspent $ for college. Tax neutral!!!".


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