Pixel Tracker

Sunday, December 16 , 2018, 5:10 pm | Fair 61º


Santa Barbara District Likely to Put School Parcel-Tax Measures Back Before Voters in November

Board of Education considers lowering the dollar amount, but not everyone agrees that it's the best way to go

The Santa Barbara Unified School District decided Wednesday that it will try again in November to pass parcel-tax ballot measures, but the Board of Education may lower the dollar amount.

Measures W and X failed by a narrow margin in the June 5 election, and some board members worry it was partly because of the $54-per-parcel amount — not just the low voter turnout.

Without the measures, programs funded by 2008’s Measures H and I most likely would be eliminated next year after the measures expire June 30, 2013, according to Superintendent Dave Cash.

The education community continues to speculate why the measures failed, and some board members said during Wednesday’s meeting that they would support a lower amount — $43 or $45 per parcel — to appeal to voters who found the $54 per parcel off-putting. Others argued to keep the original amount, as did the Santa Barbara Education Foundation.

The foundation ran the campaign this year and will do so again if the district asks, but Executive Director Margie Yahyavi urged the district not to change the measures. She argued that low turnout, with many conservative voters, was the reason the measures failed, but November’s demographics should be more favorable for education.

Measure W, which applied to secondary schools in Santa Barbara and Goleta, received 64.8 percent approval, and Measure X, for elementary schools, received 65.7 percent approval. They required two-thirds majority for approval.

Foundation board member Brian Robinson said the measures had overwhelming support even though it wasn’t a complete victory, and said it’s important that the district spend resources to educate the public about the measures this time around.

Cash agreed, saying it was the smallest amount of district participation in an election he had ever seen, adding that there needs to be a “more robust effort” this time. He said principals are raring to go.

Cash drew up a worksheet of the proposed programs funded by the new parcel-tax measures, including music education and instruments; performing arts and theater; foreign language; math and science materials; technology plan equipment; and professional development funds. With the district’s estimates, those programs would need at least $43 per parcel to pay for them.

There are 24,000 parcels in the elementary school district and 52,000 parcels in the secondary school district, which includes both Santa Barbara and Goleta.

The Board of Education is expected to make its final decision on the dollar amount per parcel and ballot language at its next meeting, scheduled for Tuesday.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.