Q. How are Oak Grove schools performing?
A. Oak Grove School District focuses on strengthening the fundamentals of a quality education and helping students achieve the highest standards. We continue to outperform the State. Thanks to 21st century academic programs in math, science, reading and writing, as well as highly qualified teachers, student test scores are above the State’s standard for excellence. Recently, two of our Intermediate Schools Bernal and Herman/AdVENTURE were named California Distinguished Schools and we were awarded the “Golden Bell” award from California School Board Association.
Q. Why do Oak Grove schools need more funding?
A. Our district continues to face ongoing funding challenges, as our schools are among the lowest funded schools in Santa Clara County. The State has proven to be an unreliable partner in providing adequate funding to support the level of academic achievement we have come to expect in Oak Grove School District. A local funding measure creates a stable source of annual revenue that schools can count on to help support academic programs and retain teachers.
Q. How is the Oak Grove School District planning to protect quality education in our schools?
A. To continue providing 21st-century instruction that prepares students to excel in high school and college and compete in the global economy, the Oak Grove School District Board of Trustees is considering a local parcel tax measure on the March 2020 ballot. The measure would provide locally-controlled funding that would stay here in our community to maintain an outstanding 21st-century education. No funds from this measure could be taken away by the State.
Q. Specifically, what would a local funding measure support in Oak Grove schools?
A. A local funding measure could:
• Attract and retain quality teachers and staff
• Maintain music, arts and after-school sports programs
• Strengthen science, math, reading and writing academic programs
• Support rich student learning environments
Q. How do I know that these local funds would be spent as promised?
A. A potential measure would require fiscal accountability provisions including:
• All funds must stay local to benefit OGSD schools and cannot be taken by the State
• An independent oversight committee would review expenditures to ensure funds are spent as intended
• Senior citizen homeowners would be eligible for a tax exemption
• The measure would expire in 9 years and could not be renewed without voter approval
• No funds will be used for administrative costs
Q. Could this funding be taken away by the State?
A. No. All funds generated by this measure would go straight to Oak Grove School District schools – the State could not take away a single penny.
Q. Do other elementary school districts have local parcel taxes?
A. Most elementary school districts in Santa Clara County are supported by local parcel tax measures because these measures are the only way schools can fund academic programs with stable, locally-controlled revenue. The State is an unreliable partner and does not provide sufficient funding to maintain the 21st-century academic programs that prepare our students for success. Through a local parcel tax measure, our community could help our schools provide students with a strong education like our neighboring communities.
Q. How much would the measure cost?
A. The measure would cost $132 per parcel and generate approximately $3.4 million a year. The measure would expire in 9 years and could not be renewed without voter approval. This exceptional investment for our students would only cost $11 a month.
Q. When will the measure appear on a ballot?
A. This measure will appear on the March 2020 ballot. All registered voters in the Oak Grove School District will be eligible to vote on the measure. Make sure you are registered to vote, the last day for voter registration is February 18, 2019. www.registertovote.ca.gov
Q. What is the difference between a parcel tax and a bond measure?
A. A bond measure and parcel tax measure are used for different purposes—a bond measure can only fund facility upgrades and improvements, and cannot be used for operating costs or programs. No bond funds can be used for hiring or retaining teachers or staff. A bond requires 55% voter approval to pass. Revenue from a parcel tax, may be used to support academic programs and services as well as to support attracting and retaining the best teachers and staff for our students. A parcel tax requires 67% voter approval to pass.
Q. How can I receive more information or ask questions?