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Hope School District in Santa Barbara Will Try for Parcel Tax in June

County Board of Supervisors approved putting $79-per-parcel tax on ballot

Santa Barbara supervisors approved a Hope Elementary School District parcel tax for the June ballot, which would raise an estimated $360,000 a year. Click to view larger
Santa Barbara supervisors approved a Hope Elementary School District parcel tax for the June ballot, which would raise an estimated $360,000 a year.  (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)

The Hope Elementary School District is going for a parcel tax in June, and the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved putting the proposal on the ballot.

The parcel tax of $79 per parcel would last five years and if passed, Measure S is expected to raise $360,000 annually. 

Superintendent Anne Hubbard said the district wants to raise additional money to fund art and music programs; science, technology, engineering and math (STEM); improve the student to staff ratio by adding teachers or instructional aides; maintain safe school facilities and protect support programs for at-risk students and high performing students.

The proposed tax won't increase administrators’ salaries, benefits or pensions, she said.

“Hope School District — like most school districts in California — is experiencing rising costs, but little to no increases in revenues,” Hubbard said.

“Schools are increasingly asked to do so much more than simply provide the basic education fundamentals, and we embrace our opportunity to positively impact the youth of our community. However, as services expand and expectations increase, we have little to no means of providing revenue to meet that challenge.”

Hope Elementary School District includes Hope Elementary School, Monte Vista School and Vieja Valley School.

The tax measure requires approval by two-thirds of the voters to pass, and would take effect July 1.

Seniors and disabled property owners can opt out of the parcel tax, if it is approved, according to Hubbard.

Hubbard said PTAs and Hope School District Educational Foundation members worked furiously to raise funds to provide librarians, instructional aides, art, music, physical education, field trips, assemblies and other programs — but the costs are increasing. 

“To bring in more revenue for the district and continue offering a high-quality and relevant education to our students, a group of dedicated community members began the process of passing a parcel tax to provide much-needed revenue,” Hubbard said.

“Measure S was crafted to help the district continue to excel and make the community proud while having little impact on taxpayers.”

Hubbard noted that the district's families and surrounding community are generous with their money and time.

“However, even with the phenomenal support our district has, we simply cannot continue to provide the programs we offer without increasing our revenue in some way,” she said.

“The district enjoys a well-deserved reputation for providing exceptional and high-quality education to a diverse population of incredible students.”

Hope Elementary School District is basic-aid funded, as are Montecito Union School District, Goleta Union School District, Cold Spring School District and soon, the Santa Barbara Unified School District. 

Basic-aid means a district's local property taxes exceed its per-student state funding amount, which is also known as the Local Control Funding Formula. 

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland 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.

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