Los Gatos-Saratoga Joint Union High School District parcel tax, Measure A (May 2011)

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A Los Gatos-Saratoga Joint Union High School District parcel tax, Measure A ballot question was on the May 3, 2011 ballot
for voters in the Los Gatos-Saratoga Joint Union High School District in Santa Clara County and Santa Cruz County, where it was approved.[1]

Measure A required a two-thirds supermajority vote for approval.

Measure A levies a $49/parcel tax that will last for six years.

Measure A represents the first time that voters in the Los Gatos-Saratoga Joint Union High School District have been asked to approve a parcel tax measure.[2]

Election results

Santa Clara County:

  • Yes: 10,718 (72.65%)
  • No: 4,034 (27.35%)
These results are from the Santa Clara County elections office as of May 10, 2011.

Santa Cruz County:

  • Yes: 961 (64.5%)
  • No: 529 (35.5%)
These election results are from the Santa Cruz County elections division as of May 10, 2011.

Totals: (16,242 total votes were cast)

  • Yes: 11,679 (71.9%) Approveda
  • No: 4,563 (28.1%)



The official ballot guide arguments in favor of Measure A were signed by:

  • Willys I. Peck, a Saratoga historian and 87-year resident
  • Robin Mano, president, Los Gatos High School Home and School Club
  • Jiing-Lin “Katherine” Tseng, co-president, Saratoga High School Parent Teacher Student Organization
  • Frederick S. Armstrong, past president, California Medical Association
  • Dave Flick[3]

Arguments in favor

The main arguments in favor of Measure A in the official ballot guide were:

  • "97% of our graduates go on to college and compete for 21st-century careers."
  • Measure A will provide stable local funding.
  • "Unstable funding [from Sacramento] for local high schools has forced $4.2 million in budget cuts in the past two years, with another $1 million in cuts next school year."
  • Measure A will protect "our local tradition of academic excellence"
  • "Families move to our communities for the top quality high schools, keeping property values strong for all of us, even if we don’t have children in school."[3]

The school district paid several for-profit campaign consultants a total of $75,000 from its general operating fund to assist with the passage of Measure E.[4] The consultants include:



The official ballot guide arguments opposed to Measure A were signed by Robert Zager.[3]

Arguments against

The main arguments made against Measure A were:

  • "This measure is not about high quality schools. This measure is about raising taxes instead of implementing financial accountability."
  • "The Civil Grand Jury issued two reports describing the District’s administrative waste."
  • "'Who Really Benefits from Education Dollars? (Hint: It’s Not The Students)', issued in June 2009, described excessive administrative compensation and other wasteful practices."
  • "'Achieving School District Efficiency Through Consolidation', issued in June 2010, called upon the District to save money by consolidating functions with its feeder schools "
  • "The Grand Jury described millions of dollars in potential savings."
  • "The District should implement the Grand Jury recommendations before seeking new taxes."
  • "According to data published by the State (http://www.cde.ca.gov/ds/fd/cs/), on average, this District’s teachers are the 6th highest paid in the state, with base salary and medical benefits of $105,784. The state average is $77,488. "
  • "Of the 286,666 teachers reported by the State, only 513 (0.18%) make more than the District’s teachers. "
  • "Before there are teacher lay-offs, increased class size or reduced programs, LGSUHSD should move forward with the Grand Jury recommendations and should consider wage rollbacks. The Superintendent has calculated that each 1% rollback in wages will save the District $350,000. If the District rolled-back the 2008-2009 3% pay increase, it would balance the budget and remain the 6th highest paid district in the state."[3]

Text of measure

The question on the ballot:

Measure A: To provide stable funding for local high schools, maintain outstanding core academic programs in math, science and English, retain highly qualified teachers, provide programs that prepare students for college and careers, and provide classroom materials like books and science lab equipment, shall the Los Gatos-Saratoga Joint Union High School District be authorized to levy $49 per parcel annually for six years, with citizen oversight, an exemption for seniors, no funds for administrators' salaries, and every dollar staying in local high schools?[5]

See also

External links