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Alameda Measure H Results

Alameda residents remain on tenterhooks as they await the final provisional and absentee ballots delivered to the polling stations yesterday, June 3rd. Measure H requires a 2/3rds majority to pass and is just shy of that with 9,010 (65.83%) votes in favor, and 4,676 (34.17%) votes against as reported by the Alameda County Registrar of Voters website.

Imagine what those 13,686 voters could do if they would pull together to try to fix the structural problems in education funding, rather than simply stumbling from crisis to crisis each year. Alameda Unified School District seems to have a regularly scheduled crisis every year – for that matter, has anyone scheduled the next crisis to debut for 2009 yet?


Some people talk about reforming proposition 13, but the fact is that proposition 98 was implemented to “guarantee” the funding for California schools in response to the property tax growth limits imposed by Prop. 13. Reforming Prop. 13 to increase property taxes would only free up more money to be sucked into redevelopment at the local level. Local redevelopment agencies can – without a vote of the citizens – elect to borrow money against future property taxes. In Alameda, it’s City Council that sit as the redevelopment agency, the Community Improvement Commission.

Speaking of redevelopment, the California Legislative Analyst’s Office, in their Overview of the 2008-09 May Revision suggested increasing the amount of money that redevelopment agencies can pass-through to school districts, as a means to ease the state budget crisis. It’s there – you have to read all the way to the summary at the end. Clearly the LAO has realized that “redevelopment” is consuming an ever increasing share of California property taxes, so they have suggested shifting some of the cost of education funding to property-tax pass-throughs, lest local governments fritter the money away on developer subsidies.

And speaking of Sacramento, California Lt. Governor John Garamendi and Senate Pro Tem Don Perata have grandchildren attending school here in Alameda – hence all the photo opps through the buildup to the June 3rd election. Rebecca Rosati-Perata, Don Perata’s daughter, was listed on the Keep Alameda Schools Excellent website as a contact for press inquiries. Measure H proponents have talked about how poorly AUSD ranks statewide for school funding, and how we took a hit after the Navy based closed, which the state never made up for. Yet we’ve known that for all these past years while family members of two of Sacramento’s power-players live here in Alameda, and evidently didn’t lift a finger to get these state politicians involved to fix the problem.

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