In the June 7 election, San Mateo County voters will decide on six measures aimed to raise revenue for local school districts -- two parcel tax proposals and four measures that would authorize school districts to issue bonds, raising millions annually to fund teaching and facility upgrades for local schools.
Measure C would impose a parcel tax on property located in the Belmont-Redwood Shores School District, with the goal of providing a stable source of funding for the district.
With existing parcel tax measures set to expire, Measure C would provide an estimated $3.5 million annually for the district, which includes seven schools in Belmont and Redwood City.
If approved, the annual tax would be $292 per parcel, which would increase by 3 percent each year for 10 years, starting July 2023.
Revenue from Measure C would be locally controlled, meaning it cannot be taken away by the state, and would go toward academic programs, attracting and keeping qualified teachers, keeping school libraries open, retaining reading specialists and qualified counsellors and maintaining small class sizes.
Advocates for the measure say the funding is necessary to prevent teacher layoffs and cuts to academic programs, especially since that the district's per-student funding is below the state average. Over 30 elected officials endorse the measure, according to the "Yes on C" website www.YesforBRSS.org, which also lists various parent teacher associations and dozens of individuals who endorse the measure.
Opponents to the measure, such as the Silicon Valley Taxpayers Association and the San Mateo County Republican Party, state that additional taxes create a burden for homeowners, who have already had to pay parcel taxes in recent years.
Opponents cite the district's recent declining test scores as a reason to vote against the measure.
Two-thirds of voters need to vote "yes" on the measure for it to pass.
Voters in the Millbrae Elementary School District will decide whether the district issues $90 million in bonds to fund renovations and facility improvements.
Bond revenue will go toward infrastructure improvements -- such as renovating labs, maker spaces and arts classrooms -- and ensuring facilities meet health and safety standards. Revenue will also help create accessible spaces for students with disabilities.
The bond debt will be paid via an annual property tax rate of no more than $30 per $100,000 of assessed property value.
The bond measure, titled Measure E, requires 55 percent "yes" votes to pass.
If voters in the Brisbane School District approve Measure G, property located there would continue to be taxed an annual rate of $131 per parcel.
Measure G would renew Measure B, a parcel tax of the same rate that voters approved in 2016 and which expires this year.
The proposed tax would bring in about $450,000 annually, which would maintain art, reading and music instruction in the school district. This includes funding library resources, an art teacher and music teacher and teachers to support reading and core academics.
If passed, the parcel tax would apply for six years, starting July 2022.
District officials say voters have supported a parcel tax since 1999 to fund art, music and reading and that the district's vibrant art and music program will be cut without the funding.
Opponents to the measure say homeowners already pay property taxes and should not face continued taxation.
Two-thirds of voters need to vote "yes" for the measure to pass.
Voters in the Hillsborough City School District will decide on Measure H, which authorizes $140 million in bonds to help fund safety improvements, facility renovations and technology upgrades for its schools.
If passed, an annual tax rate of no more than $30 per $100,000 will apply to assessed property value to service the bond debt during the life of the bond. Funding will go toward upgrading classrooms, labs, libraries, arts rooms, athletic facilities and other infrastructure. The bonds will also fund safety improvements and upgrades to plumbing, electrical, heating, cooling and ventilation systems, among other things.
The measure requires 55 percent "yes" votes to pass.
Measure I proposes that the Ravenswood City School District authorize $110 million in bonds to fund construction, repairs and upgrades to the district's facilities.
If approved, the bonds would be funded by an annual tax rate of no more than $30 per $100,000 in assessed property value.
Funding would go toward replacing portable classrooms with permanent classrooms, upgrading facilities to be accessible for people with disabilities and improving heating, ventilation, plumbing and other infrastructure. The bonds will also fund repairs to classrooms and labs and removal of hazardous materials from school grounds.
The school district serves residents of East Palo Alto and Menlo Park. Measure I requires 55 percent of voters to vote "yes" to pass.
If passed, Measure J would authorize the Jefferson Elementary School District to issue $45 million in bonds to help fund safety and security improvements at school facilities.
To fund the bond debt, an annual tax rate of $15.70 per $100,000 on assessed property value would likely be required.
If approved, funding would go toward upgrading security cameras, lighting and classroom safety door locks.
Funding would also help improve emergency communications systems and create more accessible facilities for students with disabilities. Repairs to classrooms, labs, plumbing and other infrastructure are also some of the projects the bonds would fund.
The Jefferson Elementary School District includes 16 schools in or around Daly City. To pass, Measure J would require 55 percent "yes" votes.
For other election races, voting instructions and additional information on the June 7 election, visit www.YesforBRSS.org.