Thank you to all supporters and volunteers! The community have spoken – we have successfully defeated Measure A, and by a higher margin than the previous attempt to pass a parcel tax measure in March 2020.
Together we saved Cupertino, San Jose, Sunnyvale, Saratoga, Santa Clara, and Los Altos taxpayers more than $112M.
With Measure A defeated, there still remains a question about whether CUSD board of education is representing the best interests of our community and our students. Visit RecallCUSDBoard.org to learn more about the challenges our school district is facing and what you can do about it!
What is Measure A?
In March 2020 voters rejected a 5-year $125/year parcel tax measure O proposed by Cupertino Union School District (CUSD) Board of Education. The district planned to raise ~$4.3M/year, or ~$21.5M total.
A year later the same board is spending another $1M of taxpayers money from the already constrained school budget in a futile attempt to revive a once-rejected parcel tax measure, yet now they are asking to get $398/year from each parcel.
Even the board members themselves are very skeptical, at best, at Measure A’s chances of success at the polls as any parcel tax measure requires a super-majority (⅔ of the votes) to pass.
Yet now, like a gambling addict, the district is upping the ante: they are asking to get $398/year from each parcel for… eight years! This translates into $14M/year for a grand total of… $112M! The board admitted that Measure A is unlikely to garner enough support, but hey, gambling away money that is not yours is easy!
This was the year when the CUSD kept all 26 of its schools shut, and virtually all of its ~17,000 students home in distance learning. A year of kids losing any and all interest in education. A year of kids developing and suffering from a plethora of psychological issues. A year of kids developing eating and sleeping disorders. A year that the kids spent in virtual isolation from their friends, peers, classmates. A year of Zoom doom. A year when a lot of people have lost their jobs because of the pandemic. A year when some parents had to quit their jobs to stay home with the kids, and de-facto become teachers, because an hour or two of Zoom/day is not a substitute for in-person education, not even by a long shot.
Vote NO on Measure A by May 4th, 2021 to send a strong message that our school district needs to be fiscally responsible and prioritize students’ interests above all. Would you trust the board that sided with the unions and kept schools closed for over a year with any more tax money?
Read also a strong opposition to Measure A by Silicon Valley Taxpayers Association.
Get the facts! Vote NO on A!
- Jerry Liu, President
- Satheesh Madhathil, Vice President
- Sylvia Leong, Board Clerk
- Phyllis Vogel, Board Member
- Lori Cunningham, Board Member (currently being recalled - www.recallcusdboard.org)
Yes, we are! And probably quite a bit more than you expected—25% of the property tax goes to fund CUSD! It is the single largest allocation of your property tax.
It is also substantially more than any of the neighboring school districts the CUSD likes to compare itself against.
This very question to the CUSD Board was posed during their virtual meeting held on January 21st, 2021. The Board did not provide an answer.
We encourage you to vote NO on the parcel tax even if it is a per sq. ft. tax. There is no good reason to support any form of parcel tax until there's a sound plan on how district insolvency will be prevented, what steps CUSD will take jointly with the city council to increase the property tax base, and how schools will adjust to decreasing enrollments.
- CUSD receives the majority of its funds from the local property tax. Unfortunately, Cupertino City Council is infamous for its NIMBY attitude, and while neighboring cities invested heavily in commercial and residential development, Cupertino blocked most of the new development.
- That resulted in the stagnation of property tax collected and made CUSD dependent on the state aid under LCFF (Local Control Funding Formula) to bring per-student funding to a minimum state-mandated level. However, as the number of students enrolled in CUSD schools continues to decline (cf. Census Day Enrollment data from ed-data.org below), state aid linked to the number of students is also dwindling.
- A rational solution, which is to optimize the number of schools and bring the expenses in line with revenues, has now been rejected by the board in favor of the small—but vocal—group of local parents that prefers to see half-empty schools stay open at the expense of everyone else.
In 2019, Fair Political Practices Commission already fined the Cupertino Union School District for violating California ethics law and using public money to prepare and distribute materials regarding the Citizens’ Parcel Tax Oversight Committee.
Now, the CUSD Board appears to be exploiting their administrative resources, likely spending public money on another attempt to reach their political goals.
The truth about Measure A campaign
We will publish here excerpts from the documents obtained by our parent volunteers via Public Records Act requests from CUSD
John Muir PTA is refusing to support Measure A because the board cannot promise that it will prevent neighborhood school closures. “How do we ask other parents and community members to pay additional tax every year but tell them we have no idea if your neighborhood school will remain open or not.” (original email)
Show your support – put up a yard sign!
Got any other questions? Contact us here.