Soquel Union Elementary School District parcel tax, Measure S (May 2013)
The ballot question asked voters to levy a $90-per-year/per-parcel tax to support the school district. If Measure S had been approved, this would have generated about $800,000 a year in increased revenue for the school district. The district in 2013 had an annual budget of roughly $14 million.
A 2/3rds supermajority vote was required for approval.
- These final, certified results are from Santa Cruz County elections office.
Text of measure
The question on the ballot:
|Measure S: EDUCATION IMPROVEMENT MEASURE. To provide stable funding for New Brighton Middle, Main Street, Opal Cliffs, Santa Cruz Gardens and Soquel Elementary for academic programs in reading, writing, math and science, attracting and retaining quality teachers, smaller class sizes, school libraries/librarians, maintaining art and music programs, shall Soquel Union Elementary School District levy an education tax of $90 per parcel for eight years with citizen oversight, exempting senior citizens, no funds for administrators’ salaries, and all funds staying local?|
Troy and Kathleen Chasey, parents of a student in the district, supported the new tax. Troy Chasey said, "There's a complete lack of resources. The teachers are completely overwhelmed with the huge numbers and the kids are distracted. My concern has always been getting the class sizes down to something that's reasonable."
Superintendent Henry Castaniada said, "This gives us an opportunity to look at a vision that's not about surviving from year to year or hoping year to year...We want to look at proficiencies in technology starting at a younger age. Each child in third grade having an iPad is a possibility."
Schools in the district
The Soquel Union Elementary School District supports 5 schools which collectively include 1,900 students.
20% of the district's overall budget is spent on special education, with special education students making up approximately 11% of the student population. The district contracts with five vendors to provide special education: BALANCE4kids, ABRITE, Easter Seals, Comprehensive Educational Services ACES and Pediatric Therapy Center.