David Plank: Local Revenue Options


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David Plank of PACE speaks at the Alternative Teacher Compensation Seminar on September 22nd in Menlo Park. In Fall 2009, the U.S. Department of Education will begin accepting applications for the Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF), a $200 million grant program to fund school districts' performance-based teacher compensation systems. Even in the face of the unprecedented budget crises battering our state, the availability of TIF funds opens up a unique opportunity to think creatively about how teachers are paid in California schools. Therefore, Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE) and Full Circle Fund organized a follow up to the March 2009 Conferences, to support a conversation among school districts and local teachers unions about new models of teacher compensation.

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David Plank: Local Revenue Options

  1. 1. Local Revenue Options
  2. 2. Options Parcel tax Voluntary contributions Sales tax In 2004, Mariposa County USD tried to pass a 0.25% sales tax for new school buses (county school district) – Failed: 62.6% Yes
  3. 3. Parcel tax Flat tax per parcel, cannot be based on value Must specify use Need 2/3 to pass 1983 through June 2009: voters approved 261 parcel taxes in 486 elections 423 would have passed under a 55% threshold, and 449 received a majority vote
  4. 4. Parcel tax Year # Elections # Passed Percent passed 1983-1989 86 32 37% 1990-1995 117 52 44% 1996-1999 45 38 84% 2000-2002 42 27 64% 2003 34 17 50% 2004 41 22 54% 2005 35 18 51% 2006-2007 26 12 46% 2008 40 29 73% 2009 20 14 70% Total 486 261 54%
  5. 5. Source: Edsource.org, Parcel Tax Election Trends
  6. 6. Parcel taxes: Richer, smaller districts 178 districts have attempted to pass a parcel tax, some multiple times About 90% of the elections were held in districts that were below the state average of percent low-income students Only 5 districts that have passed parcel taxes since 2000 serve higher-than-average share of low-income students All in the Bay Area, some with lots of non- residential property
  7. 7. Source: Edsource.org, Parcel Tax Election Trends
  8. 8. Parcel tax ADA # Elections # Passed Percent passed <500 47 31 66% 500-1000 50 34 68% 1000-2000 76 38 50% 2000-3000 82 47 57% 3000-5000 72 32 44% 5000-10,000 78 46 59% 10,000+ 81 33 41% Total 486 261 54%
  9. 9. Source: Brunner and Sonstelie, “California’s School Finance Reform: An Experiment in Fiscal Federalism”, 2008
  10. 10. Parcel tax options Supposed to be flat tax but some districts base tax on square footage or units ($/unit in multi-unit buildings), differentiate residential from commercial/industrial, include inflation adjustment No legal limit on duration (can be permanent)
  11. 11. Alameda Unified, Measure H, June 2008 “To offset severe state budget cuts to Alameda schools, minimize school closures, and protect the quality of education, student safety, class sizes, excellent teachers and staff and to restore prioritized cuts to music, athletics, advanced placement courses, shall Alameda Unified School District levy a temporary, 4-year emergency tax of $120 per residential parcel and 15 cents per square foot for commercial/industrial parcels (see the voter pamphlet), with exemptions for seniors, citizen oversight and all funds staying local?”
  12. 12. Alameda Unified, Measure H, June 2008 66.9% Yes Lawsuits to invalidate based on: Not ‘uniform’ Different ‘classes’ of property or taxpayers Not specific enough to be ‘special’ (versus ‘general’) Settlement – new tax to be on June 2010 ballot
  13. 13. Oakland, Measure N, Nov 2008 "Outstanding Teachers for All Oakland Students Tax” “"To attract and retain highly qualified and credentialed teachers for Oakland's District-run public schools, and to support successful educational programs at Oakland's public charter schools, shall Oakland Unified School District levy $10 per parcel per month ($120 per year) for 10 years with an exemption for low-income residents, mandatory annual audits, an independent citizens' oversight committee, and all money spent to benefit Oakland Schools and all Oakland students?”
  14. 14. Oakland, Measure N, Nov 2008 Failed: 61.45% Yes Parcel tax measure on Feb ballot ($195/parcel extension) passed with 79.4% Of the $12 million raised, 85 percent would go to teacher salaries (7% raise if distributed evenly) and 15 percent would be directed to charter schools in the district Supe of Alameda County schools: “The measure lacks input and support from the Oakland educational community… There is no clarity on how the money would be distributed to district teachers and the 15 percent allocated to charters is left entirely without direction.”