Contributing over one-third of the school district’s annual budget, Piedmont’s school support tax is the single most important reason our school system has been able to maintain a robust program in the face of ongoing state budget crises. Since 1985, Piedmont schools have benefited from stable local funding provided by our school parcel tax. The parcel tax automatically expires periodically. Piedmont voters reauthorized it in 1989, 1993, 1997, 2001, 2005, 2009, 2013 and will vote on it again in 2019.
Piedmont’s Measures G and H
Why are Measures G and H needed?
Our basic school parcel tax (the one we’ve supported for over 30 years) is up for renewal. In reviewing multi-year budget projections, our schools need at least $2.6 million more annually to help maintain Piedmont’s quality educational program.
Why are there two measures?
Over the past few years the board has heard input from the community asking our school district to levy a parcel tax based on the square footage of one’s home (like ones recently passed in Alameda, Berkeley, and Emeryville). The board decided to keep the basic parcel tax, Measure G, as a flat tax, and add Measure H (a second parcel tax based on square footage) to help fund the $2.6 million/year needed to attract and retain high quality teachers and support staff.
What will Measures G and H do?
Measures G and H will help to:
- Attract and retain highly qualified teachers and educational support staff
- Continue funding a breadth and depth of programs in math, science, technology, engineering, English, music and the visual and performing arts
- Maintain smaller class sizes
- Provide resources to keep textbooks and instructional technology in the classroom up-to-date, as well as keep libraries open at all the schools
- Provide for counseling and advanced college prep course offerings
Measure G will renew and extend the existing parcel tax that is set to expire.
Inadequate state funding combined with the high cost of living in the area makes retaining and recruiting quality teachers and educational staff difficult. This is an issue being faced by school districts throughout the bay area and the state. Measure H will provide the funds needed to support compensation strategies to attract and retain qualified teachers and support staff.
How much will Measures G and H generate?
Measures G and H will generate $13.4 million annually for the Piedmont schools. Measure G will cost all homeowners $2,763 per year. The cost to homeowners for Measure H will be 25 cents per square foot of their home.
Can funds raised for Measures G and H be taken away by the state or used for other purposes?
No. All money raised by Measures G and H will stay in Piedmont to support our students.
What would happen if Measures G and H did not pass?
A lot is at stake. Over 25% of the school district’s budget is funded by the school parcel tax. If Measures G and H do not pass, up to 100 teacher positions will be eliminated, many academic and advanced programs in math, science, technology, engineering, English, music and the visual and performing arts, will be slashed, school libraries will close, class sizes will increase by as much as 40%, and it will become more and more difficult to attract and retain quality teachers and educational staff. (Over the past two years, 22 teachers left the district due to cost of living issues. Additionally, numerous teaching candidates recruited for classroom positions went to other districts for the same reason.)
I do not have children in the schools. How will Measures G and H benefit me?
The high quality of Piedmont schools helps to protect and improve local property values. Even if you do not have school-age children, supporting Measures G and H is a wise investment.
When is the election and who will vote on Measure G and Measure H?
Election Day is November 5, 2019. Permanent Vote by Mail ballots will begin arriving in mailboxes the week of October 7th. All registered voters who live within the Piedmont Unified School District boundaries are eligible to vote. To pass, each measure must receive at least 66.7% support from those who vote on the measure.
Participate in Discussions about the School Support Tax
Budget Advisory Committee
School support taxes are among the resources considered in BAC meetings. Under the direction of the Superintendent, the Budget Advisory Committee reviews the financial health of the District’s General Fund budget (more…), shares information with constituent groups, and makes recommendations for Board consideration in the budget development process. Meetings are public and held 5-6 times per year in the District Office Board Room. Budget Advisory Committee meetings are open to the public. If you would like to serve on the committee, please contact the Superintendent’s office. Budget Advisory Committee meetings are listed here.