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San Diego School Board Votes To Put Parcel Tax On Ballot

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Aired 7/13/10

The San Diego Unified Board of Education will consider today how much it would tax district residents in order to offset several years of state budget cuts. It’s part of a plan for a new parcel tax.

— The San Diego Unified School Board voted yesterday to place a parcel tax on the November ballot. Supporters hope the measure will save teaching jobs in San Diego.

San Diego Unified's parcel tax would levy a fee on San Diego residents over the next five years.

If voters approve the measure, single family homes would pay a flat fee of $98 a year. Property owners of apartments and condominium would be charged $60 per unit. And owners of commercial and industrial properties would pay $450.

The tax is expected to pump close to $60 million into the district. That money cannot be touched by Sacramento lawmakers.

San Diego Unified wants to spend the money on teacher and employee salaries, math and science education, and classroom technology.

Bernie Rhinerson, a district spokesman, says San Diego Unified has been hit with more than $400 million in budget cuts over the last four years.

“Our schools are running on shoe string budgets with very limited ability to do any extras at all,” Rhinerson said. “That is why this is so important. It will help us to get through these tough years.”

Opponents of the parcel tax say the district can't be trusted to spend the money wisely. They also call the tax unfair because the flat fee impacts lower income property owners more.

Passing a parcel tax is not easy. It takes a two-thirds vote to pass such a measure. The only large urban school to successfully do that was the San Francisco Unified School District in 2008.

Comments

Avatar for user 'jimvsmij'

jimvsmij | July 14, 2010 at 9:27 a.m. ― 4 years, 5 months ago

Instead of paying teachers not to work during summer we should have teachers teach students all year-round. Students wouldn’t all take vacation at the same time but instead there would be four groups that take their 3 months off at different times. What this will do is decrease the amount of teachers needed to teach the same amount of students which will free up more money to use to buy better learning tools for the students.

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Avatar for user 'oldschool'

oldschool | July 14, 2010 at 9:38 a.m. ― 4 years, 5 months ago

First, fix the grotesque WASTE and mismanagement. Evidence: the new Grand Jury report. Article;
New grand jury report on San Diego Unified is scathing

CHRIS REED
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 2, 2010 AT 12:19 P.M.

Vast financial irregularities, use of student body funds for banned purposes -- and "solicitation of minor prostitutes." There's loads here to chew on.

The initial overview:

The San Diego Unified School District (The District) is the second largest district in the state and the eighth largest district in the United States, serving 135,000 students. There are 221 schools within The District, including magnet schools and charter schools. The District budget for 2009/2010 is approximately 2.2 billion dollars. There are approximately 8.5 million dollars in Associated Student Body (ASB) Funds raised by the students and held in trust by The District.

The 2009/2010 San Diego County Grand Jury received and investigated complaints concerning the improper administration of the ASB funds of the School of Creative and Performing Arts (The School), a District magnet school serving 1,500 students with a budget of approximately 8.2 million dollars.

The investigation of these complaints led to an expanded investigation resulting in the discovery of similar and related administrative issues at other schools within The District. The essence, for The School and other schools within The District, involves the mismanagement and misuse of ASB funds and the failure to implement District mandated internal financial controls for ASB funds.

This investigation in turn led to discovery of misuse, misappropriation and commingling of District General Funds, over-payments of salary, bonuses and overtime, under-reporting of vacation time, and inaccurate expense and accounts payable treatment. More irregularities came to light through the District Ethics and Compliance Employee Hotline (the Hotline) operated by the District Internal Auditor and staffed by one investigator.

It is not about the "KIDS", it's about arrogance, waste, and greed.

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Avatar for user 'jimvsmij'

jimvsmij | July 14, 2010 at 9:44 a.m. ― 4 years, 5 months ago

Wow, if the corruption is this bad then we should just sell all the public schools in order to privatize them. Then the state can start up the voucher system where the money follows the student. That way parents can see which schools are doing the best and send their children to that school which will cause competition of schools to teach kids better and use money more and more effectively otherwise they will have fewer students and thus less money.

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