Facing an anticipated budget shortfall and a deadline for getting measures on the November ballot, the school board of the West Contra Costa Unified School District is considering whether to return to voters with another revenue measure.
The board has called a special meeting for 6:30 p.m. Monday at Harding Elementary School in El Cerrito to decide whether to conduct a public opinion survey for another potential parcel tax or a bond measure or both.
The move follows the parcel tax for schools in the June 5 primary election. The measure needed two-thirds of the votes to win and fell short with 65.52 percent, according to final returns from the Contra Costa County Elections Division.
"The Board has had to consider the impact of the loss of parcel tax funds on top of the devastating impact of the loss of $40 million in revenue over the last three years and the potential loss of another $12-13 million if the state tax measures (proposed by Gov. Brown on the November ballot) are not successful," says the agenda for the Monday board meeting. (The agenda is attached to this article.)
The meeting was proposed by board President Charles Ramsey.
Measure K won more than two-thirds in El Cerrito, Kensington and Richmond, and less than two-thirds in El Sobrante, Hercules, Pinole and San Pablo, according to a Patch tabulation of the final returns. A table below shows the exact totals and percent approval for each community.
The measure was intended in part to preserve smaller class sizes in the lowest three grades, K-2. Following its defeat, the school board this past Wednesday approved an increase in class size for those three grades as part of the fiscal 2012-13 budget. (For details, please see a separate Patch article published today on the board vote.)
Measure K would have raised an estimated $4 million a year by increasing the current parcel tax of 7.2 cents per square foot of building area to 10.2 cents. It would also have extended the tax for an additional three years past its current expiration date of June 30, 2014.
The current tax was first adopted by voters in 2004 and renewed with 79-percent voter approval in 2008.
A parcel tax measure for West Contra Costa schools on the November 2010 ballot lost, receiving 59.36 percent approval. It needed two-thirds.
The board is also considering whether to place a bond measure on the ballot in November to upgrade seven schools that were not included in the previous bond measure passed in 2010.
The list of schools that would be upgraded, along with more details about the proposed parcel tax and bond measures, can be found on the attached agenda for the meeting.
The deadline for placing measures on the November ballot is Aug. 10.
Final results of Measure K
These community totals and percent approval rates were tabulated by Patch from precinct-by-precinct totals listed in the elections results reports on the county's Elections Division Web site.Yes No Total % Yes Kensington 1755 382 2137 82.12 El Cerrito 4764 1804 6568 72.53 Richmond 8828 4345 13173 67.02 San Pablo 1431 753 2184 65.52 El Sobrante 1304 1006 2310 56.45 Hercules 2001 1632 3633 55.08 Pinole 2013 1674 3687 54.60 All voters 23928 12594 36522 65.52
Note: the totals for all voters are greater than for the seven communities combined because they include unincorporated areas that are not part of these seven jurisdictions.