Return on our education investments

Alamedans have been asked to vote on Measure A for another school tax March 3.

If approved it will assess 26.5 cents per square foot of buildings up to a maximum of $7,999. This means a $530 tax for a 2,000-square-foot home.

It will be added on to school taxes we have already approved. In November 2016 a city school tax of 32 cents per square foot was approved on Measure B1 for basically the same reasons as the current campaign. Prior to that Measure I was approved in 2014 for about $60 per $100,000 of a property’s assessed value. So, based on school taxes now in place the owner of a 2,000-square-foot home valued at $700,000 is already paying $1,060 in extra taxes for city schools.

If the new proposed Measure A is approved the homeowner described above will be paying almost $1,600 a year in taxes for Alameda city schools.

In light of the taxes now in effect plus this new request, voters need to ask themselves some serious questions before marking their ballots.

First, where does the more than $10,000,000 now being collected annually go?

Second, where will the additional $10,000,000 requested go if approved? If 600 teachers each get a well-deserved $10,000-per-year raise that’s $6,000,000, so what about the other $4,000,000?

Third, who decides how all our school tax dollars are spent? Then, how do we hold them accountable for that spending being done transparently and wisely? Finally, sorry for all the numbers but they do add perspective and magnitude.

All children deserve a great education, but how much are we expected to give the Alameda public schools for our students to get one?


Jerry Yarbrough