The measure calls for a $48-per-parcel annual tax that, if approved by voters, would provide about $350,000 annually to Scotts Valley’s public schools to stave off teacher layoffs, class size increases and program losses resulting from reduced educational spending.
According to Derek Timm of Save Our Schools Scotts Valley, proposed cuts in Sacramento mean the Scotts Valley Unified School District’s funding will be slashed by nearly $1 million next year. Timm said the district had no alternative than to look locally for help.
Supporters of the measure have worked nonstop for weeks to inform voters and encourage them to lend their support, he claimed.
“We’re targeting everyone who’s a likely voter in Scotts Valley,” Timm said. “There’s still some people out there that want to learn more.”
The goal Saturday, Timm said, was for the 50-plus supporters to visit 2,000 houses.
“This is the only way this is going to happen,” said Shara Sheard, the president of the Brook Knoll Elementary School Parent-Teacher Association.
According to Sheard, informing people and getting them to the polls is critical, because school funding measures often fail when potential voters choose not to vote, assuming the measures will have no trouble passing.
Scotts Valley City Councilman Dene Bustichi lauded the people who volunteered to promote Measure K.
“It really shows how much this community supports education,” he said.
Bruce McPherson, one of three candidates for 5th District seat on the board of county supervisors, was present to promote the measure Saturday. He emphasized the need for locally supported schools and argued that a strong school system is a major selling point for communities trying to entice businesses.
“We’ve got to (support schools) ourselves,” McPherson said. “Education — when it’s strong, the whole community is strong.”
Measure K would be in effect for a three-year span and could not be renewed or modified without a two-thirds approval by voters. Seniors and people on disability could choose to be exempted from the parcel tax, should the measure pass, Timm said.
Timm acknowledged that the district’s budget woes would not be solved completely by the $350,000 infusion, but the money would at least prevent teacher layoffs.
Not asking the community to foot the entire shortfall, he said, was part of the reason the measure had gained near-unanimous support and no major opposition.
“We’re only going to offset a portion,” he said. “We’re asking the community to help, but not to solve the problem.”
For information: Save Our Schools Scotts Valley, www.sossv.org or 204-0767