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Tuesday May 3, 2022 — Special Election
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Special District

Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District
Measure A Parcel Tax - 2/3 Approval Required

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To renew expiring local school funding without increasing taxes; preserve quality academics in math, science, reading, writing, engineering and technology; attract and retain qualified teachers; preserve TK-12 technology and elementary science specialists; keep classroom technology and curriculum up-to-date, shall Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District's measure be adopted extending the existing $138 parcel tax for seven years, providing approximately $4,000,000 annually that cannot be taken by the State, with senior exemptions, independent citizen oversight, and all funds benefitting Livermore students?

What is this proposal?

Details — Official information

Impartial analysis / Proposal

COUNTY COUNSEL'S IMPARTIAL ANALYSIS OF MEASURE A

ANALYSIS BY THE COUNTY COUNSEL OF THE COUNTY OF ALAMEDA OF A

LIVERMORE VALLEY JOINT UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

SPECIAL PARCEL TAX MEASURE

 

      Measure A, a Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District (“District”) qualified special measure, seeks voter approval to authorize the District to levy a seven-year qualified special parcel tax in the amount of $138.00 per year on each parcel of taxable real property beginning July 1, 2022, to fund the programs set forth in the measure. On June 3, 2014, the District’s voters previously voted to approve the Measure G qualified special parcel tax at the same rate, which expires on June 30, 2022.

 

     A school district has the authority to levy special taxes upon approval by two-thirds of the votes cast on the special tax measure. (See Cal. Const. Art. XIII A, § 4; Art. XIII C, §2; Cal. Gov’t Code §§ 50075-50077, & 50079.)

 

     If two-thirds of the qualified electors voting on this measure vote for approval, the qualified special tax revenue will be used for the specific purposes set forth in the full text of the measure printed in this sample ballot. Those purposes include, but are not limited to: attracting and retaining teachers; keeping classroom technology and instructional materials up-to-date; and maintaining class sizes. The funds may also provide other financial support to maintain and support the District’s academic programs, including the purchase of instructional equipment, materials and supplies. The measure further provides that the Board of Education shall create an account to deposit the proceeds from the qualified special tax and that the proceeds shall be applied only for the purposes specified in the measure. The Board of Education shall also establish a citizens’ oversight committee to ensure that the proceeds are spent for the measure’s specific purposes.

 

     If the measure passes, a qualified special parcel tax will be imposed in the amount of $138.00 per year on each parcel of taxable real property beginning July 1, 2022. The tax will be collected by the Alameda County and Contra Costa County Tax Collectors at the same time and in the same manner as ad valorem property taxes are collected. Any parcel owned and occupied by a person 65 years of age or older shall be exempt from the qualified special parcel tax. Persons receiving Supplemental Security Income for a disability, regardless of age, shall also be exempt. Persons receiving Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, regardless of age, whose yearly income does not exceed 250% of the 2012 federal poverty guidelines issued by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, shall also be exempt. The District shall determine eligibility for these exemptions.

 

     If two-thirds of the qualified electors voting on this measure do not vote for approval, the measure will fail, and the District will not be authorized to levy the qualified special tax upon the expiration of Measure G. This measure is placed on the ballot by the governing board of the District.

 

DONNA R. ZIEGLER

County Counsel

The above statement is an impartial analysis of Measure A, which measure is printed in full in this sample ballot pamphlet. If you desire an additional copy of the measure, please call the Elections Official's office at (510) 272-6933, and a copy will be mailed at no cost to you.

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against

Arguments FOR

Vote Yes on A to renew expiring local funding, without increasing taxes, that our Livermore schools have relied upon since 2004.

Your YES vote protects quality education in our Livermore schools. Measure A renews local school funding that is set to expire and will keep great teachers in our classrooms, maintain strong academic programs and keep classroom technology and curriculum up-to-date.

Every penny benefits local elementary, middle and high schools and cannot be taken away by the State. Measure A requires independent citizen oversight and annual audits to ensure funds are used as promised.

Without Measure A, the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District will lose approximately $4 million in annual local funding and be forced to reduce teachers, academic programs, and instructional technology support and increase class sizes.

 Vote YES to protect quality education in Livermore schools:

  •  Provide elementary science and TK-12 technology specialists
  • Attract and retain highly qualified teachers
  • Maintain academic achievement in math, science, reading, writing, engineering and technology
  • Keep classroom technology and curriculum up-to-date Maintain small class sizes
  • Maintain small class sizes

 Measure A requires strict fiscal accountability:

  • Every penny must stay in Livermore and cannot be taken by the State
  • No funds can be used for administrative salaries
  • Independent citizen oversight and audits ensure funds are spent properly
  •  Seniors are eligible for an exemption

Protecting the quality of Livermore schools means keeping qualified and experienced teachers in Livermore classrooms. Measure A is essential for attracting good teachers to Livermore.

Whether or not you have school-age children, supporting quality education is a wise investment. Good schools protect our quality of life and our property values.

Join parents, teachers, seniors, business leaders and our community’s most respected leaders and vote YES on A for strong Livermore schools!

 

 

Arguments AGAINST

Don't be misled by the empty promises of this new tax. This measure promises to 'attract and retain qualified teachers'. The measure fails to identify the budget for the new teachers, the number of new teachers or even a plan that shows how the district will achieve the goal of attracting qualified teachers. The expiring Measure G made this same promise with an additional promise of an annual expenditures audit. Measure G skipped the annual audit, substituting an informal report on expenditures. The oversight committee failed to report how many qualified new teachers had been attracted and retained. Instead, the oversight committee merely reported the number of teachers employed, and announced 'The LVJUSD makes every effort to attract and retain highly qualified teachers.'

The so-called independent oversight committee report was more forthright about spending on bureaucracy expansion. More than half of Measure G funds were spent on bureaucratic specialists. The qualifications and duties of these bureaucratic 'technology specialists' are undefined, but voters can be certain the technology specialists are not certified teachers. The new parcel tax measure fails to identify the duties, qualifications or performance standards of technology specialists. Parents, students and taxpayers want teachers, not more bureaucrats. 

Before Measure G, Superintendent Kelly Bowers had an annual salary of $253,287.96 a year. Now her salary is $339,550.56 a year, and her total compensation is $435,915.34. The district administration threatened the voters to approve this new tax measure or they will lay off 'highly qualified teachers.' The voters should call this bluff and vote No on this parcel tax mostly benefitting the bureaucracy. The voters and parents of students should draft a new Citizens Initiative that identifies the exact special purposes of a tax and that reduces the salaries of overpaid arrogant administrators.

Replies to Arguments FOR

Vote NO. Stop this new tax on your home. Housing costs are already too high.

The School District mismanages your tax dollars. This is the fifth time in the past 18 years that they've asked for more money. In 2016, voters approved a $520,000,000.00 property tax increase for Livermore schools. That's a half BILLION dollars. Now they want MORE! 

They received $34,000,000 in Federal/State Covid funding.

 

The "Yes" argument is lying. We read the fine print. Nothing in Measure A prevents the District from using funds for administrator salaries. The 50 highest paid District employees are bureaucrats, not teachers. Superintendent Bowers and her three deputies are paid more than $1,200,000. They must streamline their bloated bureaucracy before asking voters to pay more taxes.

 

If the District managed money better, they wouldn't need to raise your taxes. This wasteful Special Election will cost Livermore taxpayers around $600,000. They could have combined this election with the June statewide election for a fraction of the cost. The District spent $100,000 on political "spin doctors" and propaganda to manipulate you to approve this new tax.

Measure A has no "fiscal accountability":

   "Every penny" dos NOT "stay in Livermore" because the District would pay large "administrative fees" to County bureaucrats.

   "Independent citizen oversight and audits" is meaningless. There is no public reporting requirement. The Superintendent (not the School Board or "oversight committee") controls the supposedly "independent" auditor. Don't be fooled!

 

Vote NO.

Read the proposed legislation

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