Below is the second announcement sent yesterday by the LGUSD. A kind reader inserted the entire text into a comment - thank you. I am posting it here, and copying the related comments, for further discussion.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, February 6, 2013
CONTACT: Dr. Diana Abbati, Superintendent – Los Gatos Union School District
Los Gatos Union School District Board Votes Unanimously to Place
No Tax Increase Renewal Measure on May 7, 2013 - Mail-in Ballot
LOS GATOS— The Los Gatos Union School District (LGUSD) officials, parents and teachers gathered tonight to discuss the importance of renewing the local funding measure that helps support student achievement in local schools.
Citing the need to maintain outstanding educational programs and retain highly-qualified teachers without increasing tax rates, the Los Gatos Union School District Board voted unanimously to seek a renewal of the District’s expiring parcel tax measure on the May 7, 2013 ballot.
“Los Gatos schools are among the top in the state in terms of student test scores, thanks to our excellent academic programs and highly-qualified teachers. Renewing this stable, local source of funding will provide greater local control to continue top-quality education for our students without increasing tax rates. Every penny from this measure will benefit Los Gatos students and can’t be taken away by the State,” said Los Gatos Union School District Board of Trustee President, Tina Orsi-Hartigan.
Several community leaders voiced support for the measure. Dan Snyder and Bob Chrisman, members of the Financial Advisory Parcel Tax Oversight Committee remarked that LGUSD has a history of fiscal responsibility and accountability and this renewal would be no different. All funds from this measure will be used to support student achievement and the committee will continue to monitor funds to ensure wise spending.
Retiree Don Allari explained, “Families move into our neighborhoods because our schools are among the top in the State, making our community one of the most desirable places to live in the Bay Area. Renewing this local funding will protect our great schools and continue to keep our property values strong, which is good for everyone.”
Fran Mastroianni, a 5th grade teacher at Blossom Hill Elementary School and co-president of the Los Gatos Education Teachers Association, remarked that classroom materials and strong academic programs in reading, writing, math and science help our teachers provide a strong education for the students of LGUSD —that’s why my fellow teachers and I are supporting this renewal and volunteering to help on the campaign.
If approved by voters with a 67% vote, the renewal measure would maintain educational programs, retain qualified teachers, provide updated science resources, classroom technology, books and instructional materials, and support art and music programs. The measure includes fiscal accountability including citizen oversight to ensure funds are spent as promised. No funds could be used to pay for administrators’ salaries.
Wendy Riggs, a Los Gatos parent remarked, “I’ve volunteered to lead the grassroots campaign because renewing this measure will help retain our excellent teachers and protect the quality of education parents like me expect from our schools. Since 1990 our community has voted to support our schools and protect our rigorous academic programs. As we all know, this vital source of funding for our schools is set to expire soon. I truly believe locally controlled funding that can’t be taken by the State is the only way we can keep our schools among the best.”
All registered voters in the Los Gatos Union School District will receive the ballot by mail in early April. Ballots must be received by the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters by May 7, 2013 to be counted.