Palo Alto Forward Steering Committee Endorses Measure A to Support Palo Alto Schools

We at Palo Alto Forward believe Palo Alto is strengthened by having more housing and transportation options as well as the infrastructure that supports it, including PAUSD’s wonderful schools. We thank the Measure A  Campaign Team for their hard work in ensuring it gets passed in May and thank them for their guest blog post below.

Guest Post from Nana Chancellor, Measure A Campaign Co-Chair

On behalf of the Measure A Campaign team, we are proud that the PAF Steering Committee is supporting Measure A, which will extend local funding for our excellent Palo Alto schools and support our local students.

For 13 years Palo Alto schools have benefited from locally controlled school parcel tax funding that cannot be taken away by the State. This stable funding accounts for approximately 7% of the school district budget, including 67 outstanding local teachers and many more counselors, librarians, and psychologists. This local funding keeps class sizes manageable, preserves outstanding academic instruction, and supports students who are struggling socially, emotionally or academically.

Last renewed in 2010 by 79% of voters, Palo Alto’s school parcel tax is set to expire next year. An all-mail-ballot election will be held May 5 to extend this critical funding. Ballots were sent to all registered voters within the Palo Alto Unified School District this week and Measure A requires support from 66.7% of voters to win — it won’t pass unless you vote Yes.

While Palo Alto’s economy is thriving, locally controlled parcel tax funding is more important than ever:

  • Student enrollment has grown by 1,100 and is projected to grow by another 700 students over five years. More students mean higher costs to PAUSD.
  • State-mandated costs are increasing while state and local revenue sources are decreasing.  Inflation-adjusted funding per student has not grown since 2008-09.
  • If the parcel tax expires, PAUSD will have to cut $13 million from the annual budget, including many outstanding teachers, counselors and educational personnel.

Join us in supporting Palo Alto’s tradition of education excellence. Good schools are good for our community and good for all of us that live or work in Palo Alto. Please visit www.SupportPaloAltoSchools.org to get involved in the Measure A campaign.

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