Why Everyone in Palo Alto Needs Measure A
This April, Palo Alto voters will be deciding whether or not to renew Measure A, a parcel tax that brings has brought in $9.4 million annually for Palo Alto public schools and is set to expire next year. If approved, Measure A will extend our existing parcel tax for six years, providing the Palo Alto Unified School District with $11.2 million annually for 6 years.
With all the state funding reductions combined with growth in student enrollment, the revenue generated by this parcel tax is more crucial than ever. Without it, we're risking larger class sizes and teacher layoffs, and we're endangering teacher training, arts and music programs — all vital factors towards maintaining the high standards of our public schools.
Faced with this prospect, it's not too difficult to persuade parents with school-aged children to support Measure A. But what about property owners and voters without children? Why keep paying even more in order to educate someone else's children? Frankly, I think everyone has an interest in keeping our local public schools well funded and keeping the quality of education high. There are plenty of reasons to support Measure A, even if you don't have kids:
To property owners and landlords: I'm guessing a lot of you sell or rent homes to families. What draws families to Palo Alto? The great reputation of our local public schools. If we lose this source of funding, the quality of instruction suffers, we could lose our edge, and you would lose a guaranteed source of people willing to pay high rents to live in ridiculously small spaces.
To Palo Alto residents without kids: Take your cue from the landlords; the value of your homes rise and fall with the quality of your local schools. $589 per year is a small price to pay to keep your multimillion dollar homesContinued on the next page