Rowland Unified calls for vote on parcel tax

Last night, the Rowland Unified School Board took action to call for a local parcel tax election to be conducted by mail ballot in June.

If voters approve the measure to establish a
local, temporary and secure funding source for our local schools that
could not be taken away by the State, these funds will be used to
support specific Rowland Unified educational programs.

All money will
stay in our community to benefit Rowland schools. Ballots will be mailed
to all registered voters June 1. ALL COMPLETED BALLOTS MUST BE

prevent deep cuts in local educational programs, including: maintaining
college preparation classes, high school counselors, student
health/safety/security services, adequate instructional supplies and
classroom technology; keeping school libraries open; protecting small
class sizes and music/art programs; and retaining qualified teachers;
shall Rowland Unified School District levy an annual $120 tax per
parcel, for 5 years only, with independent oversight, an exemption for
seniors, no money for administrator salaries, and all funds benefiting
Rowland Unified schools?”

Questions & Answers About RUSD Parcel Tax Measure On Back

Why has the School District placed this measure on the ballot?
Rowland Unified is currently facing a staggering $9 million reduction in state funding because of the budget crisis in Sacramento, which is SIGNIFICANTLY
IMPACTING funding for critical educational priorities in our community.
To protect local schools from devastating cuts, the district has called
for a local parcel tax election to be conducted by mail ballot in June.
All completed ballots must be received by June 30, 2009.

What will the Measure fund?
* Maintain college preparation classes and high school counselors
* Preserve student health/safety/security services
* Provide adequate instructional materials and classroom technology
* Keep school libraries open
* Protect small class sizes
* Maintain music and art programs
* Retain qualified, experienced teachers

parcel tax would help raise an estimated $2.5 million annually for five
years, however, the District will still need to make cuts to its
operating budget.

Can’t the District find the resources it needs by cutting administration and waste?
school district has already cut administration to the minimum required
to keep students safe, deliver a basic education, and operate the
District in an efficient manner. The District continues to absorb cuts
from the state in school funding. Since 2001, Rowland Unified has endured over
$12.7 million in cuts. The 2008-09 budget included $5 million in
reductions, and now the state is reducing the 2008-09 budget by another
$5 million. The state budget for 2009-10 includes even deeper cuts to
education. State law mandates that a parcel tax is the only way for
schools to raise consistent, significant funds to be used for local
educational programs.

What about other sources of funding — like the Lottery?
law, Lottery funds must go directly into classroom instruction – and we
appreciate this supplemental funding – however, Lottery funds comprise
only 1.5% of our school district revenue.

How much will the parcel tax cost-and for how long?
voters approve the measure, it will cost property owners $10 per month,
for a total of $120 per year. Property owners age 65 and over can apply
to be exempt from the tax for their primary residence. The parcel tax
will be in place for 5 years only. It cannot be extended or changed
without a vote of the people.

How can we be sure that school parcel tax funds will be spent properly?
independent Community Oversight Committee will be appointed by the school board to make sure that school parcel tax funds are properly
spent on the programs voters intended. No funds can be spent on
administrative salaries. All funds must be used to improve school

What will happen if the measure does not pass?
programs listed above will be in danger of losing their funding. Parcel
tax revenue will be a stable, locally-controlled resource for these

Who is eligible to vote on the parcel tax and when is the election?
registered voters who live within Rowland Unified School District
boundaries are eligible to vote on this measure. Voting will take place
by mail ballot during the month of June. Ballots will be mailed to all registered voters June 1. ALL COMPLETED BALLOTS MUST BE RECEIVED
BY JUNE 30, 2009. To pass, the RUSD parcel tax measure must receive at
least 66.7% support from those who vote on the measure.

For more information, visit or contact the RUSD Communications Office at (626) 854-8352.