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AUSD Press Release on Measure H Lawsuit

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Board of Education Approves Plan To Work Toward Resolution of Lawsuit Seeking to Overturn Measure H Parcel Tax
Advisory Group Will Work Toward Developing New Parcel Tax to Replace Existing Measures A and H

[Editor note – we’ve always suspected that the John Beery lawsuit was a “spoiler” suit intended to foil the Borikas lawsuit initiated by small local business owners.]

Alameda, Tuesday, September 8, 2009 – On Tuesday, the Alameda Unified Board of Education unanimously approved a Resolution Plan that will work toward a settlement of one of the lawsuits seeking to overturn Measure H, the parcel tax benefiting Alameda schools.

Attorneys representing AUSD and John Beery, lead plaintiff in the lawsuit, met before Judge Burr on August 13th to discuss working toward a potential resolution of the litigation. At that time, Judge Burr vacated the trial date to give both parties time to work on terms of a possible resolution.
AUSD and Beery came to a basic agreement to form a committee that will work collaboratively to develop a new parcel tax to replace Measures A and H.

The Board has set the following timeline for progress toward a resolution:
• By October 20th, the District shall appoint an advisory group consisting of ten to twelve members of the Alameda community for the purpose of recommending to the Board a proposed structure for a new parcel tax. Two members of the Advisory Group shall be representatives of the Beery plaintiffs.

• On December 17th, the parties will come back before Judge Burr to demonstrate they are making progress on the terms of the resolution. If Judge Burr determines sufficient progress has not been made, he will put the case back on the court calendar for trial.

• By January 12th, 2010, the Advisory Group will recommend to the Board of Education a proposed new parcel tax to replace existing Measures A and H.

• By February 28th, 2010, the Board of Education will vote to accept, reject or modify the Advisory Group’s recommendations. If the Board accepts the recommendations of the Advisory Group, it will then take the necessary steps to place the revised parcel tax on the June 2010 election ballot.

“I’m very hopeful that the Advisory Group will develop a structure for a new parcel tax that every Alamedan can support to help address the funding issues that face our schools”, said Superintendent Kirsten Vital.
Alameda voters passed measure A in 2005 and Measure H was passed in 2008. Both parcel taxes provide more than $7 million in critical school funding to offset drastic State budget cuts. These parcel tax funds support programs such as AP courses, music, athletics and smaller class sizes. George Borikas, the plaintiff in the 2nd suit against Measure H, has declined to participate in the Resolution Plan.

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