By any reasonable standard, our schools are under-funde. Whether you blame state or county government, bureaucracy, politicians, or something else, it’s undeniable that the amount of money which CCUSD receives is much less per student than most school districts across the country, even though this is a more expensive place to live.
The state of California controls CCUSD’s budget, and state law doesn’t give school districts much leeway for raising additional money for education. A parcel tax is essentially the only way we can raise money locally for CCUSD’s general fund. (We did pass a bond a few years ago, but by law that money can only be spent on facilities, not people, programs or maintenance.)
If you look around the state, the most successful school districts all have parcel taxes, most of them more expensive than Measure K’s $189 per parcel per year. Communities that support their schools get better schools. It’s that simple.
As a member of the school board, I can tell you that we are continually looking for ways to save money, to do the best job we can as efficiently as possible, but no one has yet proposed anything which will save enough to avoid cuts with real classroom impact if the parcel tax doesn’t pass. Our schools are doing really well, and have been steadily improving, but those improvements cost money.
If Measure K passes, it will provide a small percentage increase, but one which the state can’t change. If Measure K doesn’t pass, we’ll have to make cuts, and move backward instead of forward.
For property owners who think 52 cents per day is too much to pay, please consider that real estate professionals agree Culver City schools are a major reason why people move here. So if the $189 per parcel per year results in even a tiny improvement in the schools, then everyone paying the tax will see their property value go up by more than they paid. Think of it as an investment in our children, which will also pay off in the value of your home.
Thanks for your consideration.
— Steve Levin