Faced with a shortfall of nearly $5 million, the district is seeking a temporary $112-per parcel tax. But, just in November, the district won an extension of its $189-per parcel tax. District officials didn’t ask property owners for more money on the November ballot because they didn’t know how severe cuts would be in the coming year.
With things looking disastrous in Sacramento, the district faces cutting 57 teaching, counseling and staff positions. The temporary parcel tax would go on a May 4 mail-in ballot. Another $800,000, the district hopes, would come from parent club donations.
By the way, parcel taxes need two-thirds voter approval to pass, not just a simple majority. Many parents in this district, which has some of the Bay Area's top-ranked schools, are well off, and the high school and elementary school districts enjoy a long history of community fundraising and parent support.
If you would be affected by this parcel tax election, how would you vote? If you live in the Mt. Diablo Unified School District, would you support a parcel tax to help that district dig its way out of the financial hole it is in? Last spring, the majority of voters in the Mt. Diablo district said yes to a parcel tax, but the measure failed to get a third-thirds approval.
As for the Walnut Creek School District, it already has an $82-per-parcel tax, which voters approved to extend in November. That tax will bring in about $1.2 million annually. However, this district faces a $1 million shortfall. To get input from teachers, parents, and the rest of the community, it has been holding a series of "Budget 101" meetings. Some meetings have already been held, but here are dates for future ones:
--Tuesday, March 16, 7 p.m. Murwood Elementary
--Wednesday, March 17, 7 p.m. Walnut Creek Intermediate
--Thursday, April 1, Walnut Heights Elementary