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AUSD Measure A 2011 Ballot Arguments Submitted to Registrar’s Office

Action Alameda News has obtained copies of the ballot arguments both in-favor and opposed to Measure A, Alameda Unified School District’s parcel tax ballot measure scheduled for the ballot on March 8th, 2011. Arguments were filed with the Alameda County Registrar of Voters office late last week; both arguments are reproduced in their entirety below.

Measure A Proponent Ballot Argument
Alameda schools are a point of pride for our community. Test scores on state exams are strong and improving each year. Students graduate ready for college and career.

But our schools continue to face unprecedented state funding cuts.

AUSD administrative costs are already among the lowest in the county, and the district has been continuing to streamline operations.
But even with these efficiencies, our schools are facing severe program cuts.

Measure A is the result of Alameda community leaders, businesses, parents and seniors coming together to make sure that we keep our schools and Alameda on the right track.

Measure A will:

  • Support small K-3 class sizes and neighborhood elementary schools
  • Attract and retain excellent teachers
  • Protect athletic programs
  • Protect core academic programs and Advanced Placement courses
  • Support programs to close the achievement gap and provide equitable educational opportunities

Our current parcel taxes expire next year, eliminating funding for crucial academic and enrichment programs. However, if Measure A passes, it will replace our existing parcel taxes immediately – and a new 7-year measure will be in place to protect those important programs.

A citizen oversight committee, three annual reports, and an annual audit ensures all funds are spent as promised. Every penny stays in Alameda.

Seniors are eligible for an exemption, and seniors exempt from current school parcel taxes will automatically be exempt from this Measure.

Alameda is a special place to live because of its strong sense of community and the importance we place on supporting our young people. We must act locally to support our schools in our community. vote YES ON A.

Measure A Opponent Ballot Argument
32 to 1 Ain’t Fair!
Homeowners and small businesses will pay 32 cents per square foot while big business will pay anywhere from 8 cents to as little as 1 cent.

“A” ain’t fair!
Big business, with hundreds of millions of dollars of annual sales, will get a 16% tax cut paid for by homeowners and small businesses who will see a massive tax increase!

According to AUSD, the average homeowner’s parcel tax will see a 65% increase. A homeowner with a 2,000 square foot home will see their tax more than double. Some homes will see their tax quadruple.

AUSD is trying to hide the tax increase from you. They have refused to put up a web site so you can look up exactly how much you would pay. But we have! Go to

The School Board lied last year and said that schools would close if Measure E failed. Measure E failed and no schools closed. Now they are crying “Wolf” again. Why should we believe them this time?

“A” discriminates against some students!
Roughly 12% of Alameda’s public school students will be in charter schools next year, but charter schools get only 3% of the funds. All students should be funded equally.

Our federal tax system is progressive: the more money you make the greater percent you pay. But Measure A is the opposite and was written by and for big business. This is a regressive tax, increasing taxes on homeowners and small business owners so that big business gets a big break.

“A” is a re-tread of the mistakes of past parcel taxes.
Unfair, regressive taxation, favoring some students over others, Measure A repeats the mistakes of Measure H, which is still in court.

Measure A must be defeated!
32 to 1 Ain’t Fair!

8 comments to AUSD Measure A 2011 Ballot Arguments Submitted to Registrar’s Office

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  • Hot r

    what a silly argument against Measure A. The larger the house the more you pay. Your previous argument was it wasn’t fair to make everyone pay the same! You can’t have it bit ways Ed.

    Charter schools spend more money per pupil by law. That is one of the advantages of charter schools. Therefore no charter school student is being “cheated”- but I think you already knew that…

    Schools will close when the current parcel tax times out, so the school board did not “lie.”
    Seventy teachers were laid off, and class sizes increase. Eight furlough days were imposed meaning each teacher took a pay cut to go with larger class sizes. I’ll bet you knew that too.

    You’re right about one thing- 32-1 class size is not fair to a student struggling in the classroom. 32-1 ISN’T fair.

  • Hot R – you haven’t been doing the required reading…

    Alamedans for Fair Taxation’s argument has always been that everyone should pay the same tax-rate, not the same amount. The split-roll structure in Measure H and E – a different rate for commercial and residential – creates different tax rates for different property owners.

    The tax cap in Measures H, E and A effectively creates a different tax rate for larger property owners. In Measure A, for every “building sq ft” that a property owner has above 25,000 sq ft, their tax rate goes down, while the amount they pay stays fixed.

  • anon

    If charter schools have more money then maybe the whole district should go charter and get rid of the administrators making over $100K / year

  • Barb

    Two homes on my block are already in foreclosure/ bank owned. When will the public schools realize that everyone can’t bear the burden of another parcel tax as well as AUSD administrators? We get to pay for a substandard hospital, and another parcel tax to earthquake proof its buildings. That would be fine if the economy were doing well, but it’s not.

  • I once discussed with Trish Spencer the possibility of AUSD going all-charter. She said it is possible. I told that to Michele Ellson over at the Island blog, and she confirmed the fact. Such a move would also suspend all teachers’ contracts, and make salaries negotiable. If MeasureA is defeated, perhaps we can float our own initiative to convert all the schools to charter!

  • Anonymous

    Alameda city is sinking; AUSD Administrators and the bad teachers are wasting the taxpayers money. Many asian students work hard but they are receiving bad grades from these teachers.

  • carol gottstein

    Trish Spencer quoted in the 11/12/2010 AJ:”The problem is parents make up just about 16-18% of our community”. Not all kids go to public schools (I went 11 years to parochial school, as did my other ~48 classmates & 7X50=350 schoolmates in the other 1-8 grades. Yep, 50 y ago my class size was abt 50 & >85% graduated.) Levying parcel taxes on the majority of parcel owners to benefit a select minority is UNAmerican. Parents who pay both tuition & tax pay twice. Thanks to Alameda’s taxes on a “hospital” we can’t use & schools I don’t need, my total property tax on <$500,000 is the SAME as the tax on a SF Pacific Hts mansion valued @ $21Mil (nbcnewsclassaction).I'm born, raised, & lived here 55 yrs; earned 2 doctoral degrees @ Univ. of Calif. I agree:CONVERT ALL ALAMEDA SCHOOLS TO CHARTER, NOW! (while we're @it, can't we divert that $298 HCAD "hospital" tax to AUSD?)