Poll: Are You in Favor of Another Parcel Tax?

The current parcel tax, which sunsets in June 2013, raises approximateley $1.9 million per year out of the district's annual budget of $32 million.

It's likely residents will be asked to renew a parcel tax in February 2013 that Superintendent Joel Shapiro says is needed to avoid "serious financial trouble." 

"Things are not looking like they are going to get better in terms of school funding," he told Patch.

The Measure S Parcel Tax, which sunsets in June 2013, raises approximateley $1.9 million per year out of the district's annual budget of $32 million. 

Under this 4-year special tax, households of a single dwelling parcel pay $288 annually while occupants of multi-unit properties are responsible for $95 per unit.

Click here to see exactly where your money went. 

Shapiro says this money has helped the district maintain staff and reduce class size. 

"If we didn’t have that money, we would be running classes at 30 or more. It's enabled us to keep some of our arts teachers, counseling positions, librarians ..." 

Currently, there is language written into the parcel tax that limits classroom size to 20 students in grades K-3. On the other hand, the maximum number of students negotiated for grades 6-12 is 36, with that number falling to 34 next year and 32 the following.  

Click here to read more on how the state plans to fund public schools.

Special taxes require approval at an election by at least 2/3 of those voting on the measure.

So the question is, says Shapiro: "Will the public be willing to renew it? If so, what level, and ... for how many years?"

Kristen Lepore (Editor) February 23, 2012 at 07:15 PM
Here's an article from Tiger Online about Tuesday's school board meeting, in which the board talked state budget cuts, the renewal of the parcel tax and what to do with Measure M funds: http://tigernewspaper.com/wordpress/?p=8996
Jessie February 23, 2012 at 07:24 PM
Maybe if they weren't in court 24/7 over special ed issues, they would have more funds for other school issues
WriteStuff February 24, 2012 at 04:05 PM
If Mr. Shapiro wants SoPas residents to pay another tax to support SPUSD, then how about if the high school (and other schools) continue to enforce the district's so-called "residency policy"? No proof of residency was required at SPHS registration this past fall.
Kristen Lepore (Editor) February 24, 2012 at 10:39 PM
@WriteStuff: Have you noticed a lot of students at SPHS who don't live in town? Or are your observations based just on the registration process?
Tinnars February 25, 2012 at 04:00 PM
I agree with WriteStuff. They took probably 100 new students at the middle school from other districts and WE have to pay the additional tax. Other issues have resulted in taking in new students...more suspensions and several kids expelled.
Marvion February 26, 2012 at 12:54 AM
I want a $1,152 sp(pu)sd tax refund. The district cannot be trusted. Where were the textbooks books back in 1969.. My required english course had none! Daft dodgers.
WriteStuff February 27, 2012 at 05:03 PM
@Kristen: Both. After residency documentation was not required at SPHS registration this school year, I know of a few familes that have since moved out of South Pasadena, but their kids are still in the school district. As a parent volunteer, I was surprised to learn the number of SPHS students living in L.A., Pasadena and other neighboring communities--(according to class and organization rosters). Perhaps all these families have the required "permits" to live elsewhere, but I doubt it: when I moved here, the registrar told me it wasn't easy to get them and would take several weeks. Many SPHS students know their friends don't live here, but of course they're not going to report them; who wants to see friends kicked out of school? If the district would simply enforce its so-called policy, it would help. There would still be problems with people falsifying info, but at least it would discourage blatant disregard for the residency policy. Most SPHS classrooms are seriously overcrowded; where are all those kids coming from? I haven't noticed a surplus of homes for sale here, much less a wide variety of affordable housing.
WriteStuff February 27, 2012 at 05:13 PM
@Marvion: LOL! Now they have English and other textbooks at SPHS most kids never read. We have "The Bedford Introduction to Literature" by Michael Meyer, which I paid $30 for used (because it was "required" for AP Literature). It has been sitting untouched on our shelf since school started. Not because my child doesn't read; the teacher has never assigned anything from it.
Kristen Lepore (Editor) February 27, 2012 at 07:15 PM
@WriteStuff: Interesting points. I'll look into this.
Kristen Lepore (Editor) February 29, 2012 at 06:14 PM
How would you like to see parcel tax funds used? These parents discuss: http://tigernewspaper.com/wordpress/?p=9101
Harry Gerst June 20, 2012 at 05:10 PM
Haven't any of you done the math. The district is mandated to maintain a 3% reserve for economic uncertainies by the state. SPUSD as just stated by our supt. is at a whopping 21%. With a $32,000,000 budget that is over $6,000,000 in reserve. And the district is telling us they are short of funds? Give me a break!
Kristen Lepore (Editor) June 20, 2012 at 09:18 PM
Update: The state of SPUSD's budget: http://patch.com/A-vt7q
SP mom June 21, 2012 at 03:22 PM
FYI - the district will be re-verifying students' residency at Roundup/Registration for incoming Kindergarteners, third, sixth and ninth grade students for 12-13.


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