Parcel Tax Renewal
Maintain Outstanding Education in Palo Alto schools
Palo Alto Unified School District provides a world class education to local students and local schools consistently rank among the best in the State and the nation. Exceptional teachers, innovative programs, dedicated parents and the support our schools receive from our community all contribute to high levels of student achievement.
Locally-controlled School Funding Is Set to Expire
Since 2001, Palo Alto schools have benefited from a voter-approved parcel tax that now provides over $15 million per year in locally controlled funding that cannot be taken by the state. For 19 years stable and predictable parcel tax funding, has protected local schools from dramatic fluctuations in education funding from the state and other sources. If this funding expires, our schools would face significant cuts, at a time when the District has also lost about $6 million due to the effects of the coronavirus.
Local Measure to Support Advanced Academic and a Well-Rounded Education
On July 7, the Board of Education voted unanimously to place a measure on the November 3, 2020 ballot to renew local parcel tax funding. If approved, this measure simply renews the existing parcel tax funding at the existing rate of $836 per parcel, adjusted annually for cost of living increases.
By law, funds from the measure may only be used for voter-approved purposes, including:
- Attracting and retaining qualified teachers
- Preserving excellence in academic programs, including reading, writing, arts, science and math
- Offering competitive compensation and professional development, so talented teachers can continue working in this high cost-of-living area
- Supporting technology for distance learning if students cannot attend school
- Maintaining mental health/school counselors and support staff to help at-risk and struggling students
Mandatory Taxpayer Protections
Every penny from the measure must stay in PAUSD and cannot be taken away by the State or other school districts. No funds may be spent on administrator salaries. The measure would be in place for six years only and cannot be extended without a vote of the people. The measure requires an Independent Citizens' Oversight Committee to continue to review the use of funds and report their findings to the public. Annual independent audits are required.
Frequently Asked Questions
Notice to Voters
*An earlier version of the Notice to Voter informational mailer on the parcel tax misstated the percent it makes up of the District's annual budget. The correct amount is 7%.