Friday, December 2 , 2016, 11:56 am | Fair 61º


Local News

Second Time’s the Charm for Santa Barbara School Parcel Taxes

Both of the Santa Barbara Unified School District’s parcel-tax measures passed with room to spare Tuesday night, bringing great relief to education leaders after a heartbreaking loss at the polls in June.

Measure A, which will benefit the secondary school district, got 68.6 percent approval and Measure B, for the elementary schools, won 69.6 percent of the vote, according to the Santa Barbara County Elections Office.

Board of Education member Monique Límon said the victory felt great.

“It’s another message about how supportive the community is of our local schools,” she said.

Despite majority votes for both measures in June, they failed to pass the two-thirds approval threshold required for passage. But Límon said the community came out even stronger in November and the campaign was much more mobilized this time around, too.

Brian Robinson, who worked on the campaign, wasn’t worried that the measures would pass this time. There’s a much higher turnout in November and the community has always voted favorably for local tax measures benefiting schools, he said.

“June was an anomaly,” he said. “It’s hard in a low-turnout election to please everybody.”

Measure A will implement a $45-per-parcel tax in the secondary district and Measure B will implement a $48-per-parcel tax in the elementary district. The dollar amounts were dropped after a disappointing showing in the June election, when voters rejected the $54-per-parcel measures by a close margin.

School board members were worried about getting the necessary two-thirds majority approval, since the measures narrowly lost in June, with one measure falling short by about 120 votes.

These parcel taxes will replace Measures H and I, which expire next year and fund math, science, music, arts, technology and foreign language programs. Had the measures failed, many programs would likely have been cut and possibly even eliminated.

Education leaders also had their eyes on Proposition 30, which would mean millions of dollars in funding for local K-12 and higher education districts. Límon kept checking her phone on Election Night for updates, as the proposition appeared to come back from apparent defeat. The Secretary of State’s Office reported it was passing as of 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, with about 60 percent of precincts reporting. 

Santa Barbara Unified School District Superintendent Dave Cash has said the district could lose $6.8 million in state funding if Proposition 30 fails to pass.

The Community College System faces another $338 million in cuts if it fails, and Santa Barbara City College would be facing a $4.6 million mid-year loss, which will translate into fewer classes, spokesperson Joan Galvan has said.

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.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk's intent is not to limit the discussion of our stories but to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and must be free of profanity and abusive language and attacks.

By posting on Noozhawk, you:

» Agree to be respectful. Noozhawk encourages intelligent and impassioned discussion and debate, but now has a zero-tolerance policy for those who cannot express their opinions in a civil manner.

» Agree not to use Noozhawk’s forums for personal attacks. This includes any sort of personal attack — including, but not limited to, the people in our stories, the journalists who create these stories, fellow readers who comment on our stories, or anyone else in our community.

» Agree not to post on Noozhawk any comments that can be construed as libelous, defamatory, obscene, profane, vulgar, harmful, threatening, tortious, harassing, abusive, hateful, sexist, racially or ethnically objectionable, or that are invasive of another’s privacy.

» Agree not to post in a manner than emulates, purports or pretends to be someone else. Under no circumstances are readers posting to Noozhawk to knowingly use the name or identity of another person, whether that is another reader on this site, a public figure, celebrity, elected official or fictitious character. This also means readers will not knowingly give out any personal information of other members of these forums.

» Agree not to solicit others. You agree you will not use Noozhawk’s forums to solicit and/or advertise for personal blogs and websites, without Noozhawk’s express written approval.

Noozhawk’s management and editors, in our sole discretion, retain the right to remove individual posts or to revoke the access privileges of anyone who we believe has violated any of these terms or any other term of this agreement; however, we are under no obligation to do so.

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 through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >