School board to discuss Measure A spending
Alameda’s school board is set to discuss how they will spend $12 million in parcel tax money they expect to get this year following the passage of Measure A. The discussion takes place at the board’s meeting Tuesday night, when district staff is expected to pay out a preliminary spending plan.
The Measure A tax lays out specific percentages that can be spent to further a host of school district goals, including retaining good teachers, limiting class sizes and closing the district’s achievement gap. But it does not mandate which programs the school board can spend the money on to reach those goals.
A preliminary plan to be presented by school district officials Tuesday night (April 26 meeting, Item F-7) would have the district spending $3.12 million to maintain teachers’ existing salary schedules, and another $1.56 million for 18 elementary school teachers that will allow the district to keep K-3 class sizes at 25 students per teacher. The district would also spend $1.1 million to restore five days to the school calendar in 2011-2012.
Some $814,200 would be used to keep Franklin, Washington and Otis elementary schools open, and another $842,000 for elementary school music, physical education and media classes. Additional funds would also be spent to maintain high school athletics and adult school programs, hire middle and high school counselors, cover advanced placement classes at Encinal and Alameda high schools and small class sizes at Island High and the Alameda Science and Technology Institute, fund instructional initiatives to close the achievement gaps between groups of students and more. Some $355,200 would go to the district’s charter schools.
Local property owners will start seeing the parcel tax on their bills this October, the presentation says.
Voters approved Measure A on March 8, with more than 68 percent of those who cast ballots saying yes to the parcel tax measure. Property owners will pay 32 cents per square foot of building on each parcel they own, with a per-parcel cap of $7,999 or $299 for unimproved parcels like parking lots.
Seniors and some disabled people can apply for an exemption from the tax, which replaces the district’s two existing parcel taxes. The seven-year, $12 million parcel tax is set to replace the district’s existing Measure A and Measure H parcel taxes, which bring in $7 million a year but were due to sunset in 2012.