What is Measure M?
Measure M is a $348/year parcel tax on the November 8, 2022 ballot. Funding supports high-quality K-8 educational programs, attracts and retains qualified and experienced teachers, and supports current curriculum and educational materials. Measure M, approved for 8 years, expires after the 2030-31 school year and cannot be extended without voter approval.
Why has the Loma Prieta Joint Union School District placed Measure M on the ballot?
Due to years of inadequate funding by the state and the expiration of a previous parcel tax in spring 2021 District leaders have deemed it essential that a new parcel tax be passed to continue supporting our community’s children. Our kids are at risk of losing core academic programming at a time when increased Math and English Language Arts intervention options are needed to help struggling learners catch up after years away from the classroom during COVID. Our teachers and staff are of the lowest paid in our County, we will not be able to retain qualified staff if we do not offer better salaries.
What is the official Measure M ballot question?
“To support high academic achievement for local students and provide stable local funding to maintain outstanding core academic programs in reading, writing, math, history and science, retain qualified and experienced teachers, and prepare students for an excellent high school, shall Loma Prieta Joint Union Elementary School District’s measure be adopted for a $348 school parcel tax for eight years raising $640,000 annually, with senior exemptions, independent citizen oversight, and all funds benefitting local students?”
How will Measure M funds be used?
- Maintain outstanding core academic programs in reading, writing, math, history, and science
- Retain highly qualified and experienced teachers
- Provide current instructional materials to prepare Loma Prieta and C.T. English students to thrive in a rigorous high school environment
- Pay for physical education, art and music classes K-8
By law, ALL Measure M funds MUST stay local, dedicated to LPJUSD K-8 schools and students ONLY.
As we continue adapting to this new era, we’re faced with notable fiscal challenges. The ongoing health crisis has affected just about everyone financially; Loma Prieta Elementary and C.T. English Middle schools are no exception. In addition to already limited school funding (the level of school funding provided by the State of California is one of the lowest in the nation), we are now looking at tens of thousands of dollars in further lost revenues from unfunded/underfunded mandates such as free breakfast/lunch for all students, increased hours of student services, universal TK, etc. Our district’s previous parcel tax which was approved by LPJUSD voters in 2013 expired in 2020.
What will happen if Measure M does not pass?
With the expiration of the last parcel tax, significant existing funding disappeared from LPJUSD school budgets, forcing us to make drastic cuts to academic programs, increase class sizes, and maintain only basics at our schools. Measure M will keep more programs from getting cut and will help retain exceptional teachers and protect core programs, especially at this time of high inflation and increased mandates from the state that are unfunded or underfunded.
How can we be assured that the Measure M money will be spent properly?
Taxpayer protections are REQUIRED. By law, all funds raised by Measure M must stay local, dedicated to LPJUSD schools only. The State cannot take Measure M funding away. Measure M funding is only for school instructional and educational needs. No funds are allowed for administrators’ salaries. Additionally, Independent Citizens’ Oversight and mandatory independent audits will ensure funds are spent properly.
What about other funding? How is funding managed?
Our school district makes every effort to use resources wisely. The District has already had to slash its budget, improve efficiencies, establish a Budget Advisory Committee, and has made cuts as far away from the classroom as possible. Our Budget Advisory Committee is made up of staff and community members who regularly review the budget and advice the school board. The budget is also reviewed by the county and independent auditors. The conclusion reached is that our schools are underfunded and to meet the educational needs of our students we need Measure M.
What about the Lottery? Wasn’t the Lottery supposed to fix our schools?
The funding our school district receives from the Lottery each year comprises less than 1.4% of our annual General Fund Budget. Thus, Lottery funds alone are simply not enough to fund the programs that our schools and students need.
Will this effort improve instruction?
Yes. We strive for teaching and learning excellence in every educational setting. These funds will help us keep and recruit exceptional teachers, create challenging instructional programs, and adopt updated curriculum. This is essential to student achievement and have prepared generations of local children to succeed in high school, college, and careers. Passing a parcel tax will allow LPJUSD to overcome the challenge of underfunded state mandates while maintaining the outstanding quality of education students receive at our schools.
No one in my household attends LPJUSD K-8 schools. Why should I pay attention to this process?
Good schools are the foundation of any healthy, thriving community and are part of what makes our community a desirable place to live. Good schools also create continual demand for housing, which stimulates the local economy and keeps property values high in our area. On the mountain our schools are our shared community space and hub in times of an emergency. We all benefit from having LPJUSD in our community.
I am a senior citizen; do I have to pay the tax?
Senior citizen homeowners 65 years or older are eligible for an exemption through a simple application process. We do not want this measure to become a burden to those living on a fixed income. To find out more about how to apply, please contact Diane Harit, LPJUSD Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent, at 408-353-1101 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
What is the difference between a parcel tax and a school bond?
A parcel tax is used to support classroom instruction and programs, while funds from a bond are used to improve facilities and technology. Bonds only require 55% + 1 YES vote to pass, while parcel taxes require two-thirds YES votes (66.67%). No revenue generated by a local parcel tax can be taken away by the State. All parcel tax revenue stays local to benefit our local mountain schools and students.
How much will Measure M cost?
Measure M will raise your tax rate by $348 a year per parcel for 8 years to provide a stable, local source of funding for our mountain schools that cannot be taken away by the state. Senior citizen homeowners 65 years or older are eligible for an exemption through a simple application process. To find out more about how to apply, please contact LPJUSD Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent Diane Harit via email: email@example.com or by phone: 408-353-1101.
Will businesses share in the cost of Measure M?
Yes, both commercial and residential property owners will be subject to the same rate per parcel.
Who opposes Measure M?
The people who wrote the argument against Measure M are not from our mountain community. Mark Hinkle (who signed the argument against Measure M) lives in Morgan Hill and opposes all taxes and supports abolishing public schools. Mr. Hinkle once said, “the ultimate goal should be a restoration of real diversity in education through private, parochial, and alternative schools and an abolition of the government run school system.”
This opposition won’t have to deal with the consequences if Measure M does not pass- the decline in the quality of our schools, our community, and our property values will not affect them.
Can the State take this funding?
No. All money raised by the measure will stay in the District to support Loma Prieta Elementary and C.T. English Middle schools and students. It cannot be taken away by the State or be used for other purposes.
Who makes the final decision on Measure M?
The locally elected Board of Education of Loma Prieta Joint Union School District is the legal entity that has called for the Measure M election. Ultimately, Loma Prieta Joint Union School District REGISTERED VOTERS will have the final say when they vote for or against the measure.
Who is eligible to vote on Measure M?
All registered voters living within the jurisdiction of the Loma Prieta Joint Union School District registered by October 24, 2022 will be eligible to vote on this measure. The last day to register to vote and be eligible to vote on Measure M in the November 8, 2022 Election is October 24, 2022. You can register at this website: https://registertovote.ca.gov
What’s required for Measure M to win?
At least two-thirds, or 66.67%, of the voters who cast their ballots on Measure M in the November 8th General Election must vote in favor of the measure for it to be approved.
Where can I get more information?
For more information or to get involved, please visit the Yes on Measure M website at: www.mountainschools.org OR visit the LPJUSD website at: www.loma.k12.ca.us OR contact: Diane Harit, Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent, at 408-353-1101 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.