Keep Our Schools, Alameda Strong

Keep Our Schools, Alameda Strong

 

A lot has changed in my 47 years in Alameda, but one thing has always remained constant: our local schools are at the heart of our community. Whether you’ve been here your whole life or just moved to the Island, we all know that our neighborhood schools are a key part of what makes Alameda a great place to live. The strength of our schools goes hand-in-hand with the strength of our community.

That’s why I will proudly cast a “yes” vote for B1 on Nov. 8 and urge all Alamedans to do the same. Our community has a responsibility to continue to support our schools, which have played such a vital role in protecting our unique quality of life.

B1 does not increase our taxes by a single penny and protects more than $12 million annually for our schools. If we don’t pass B1 our schools and community will face brutal cuts that will almost certainly include teacher layoffs, increased class sizes and school closures.

Funding from B1 continues support for the keys to student success. It will allow our schools to continue to attract and retain excellent teachers and maintain core academic programs in reading, math, history and science. Additionally, B1 ensures that our schools can keep pace in the 21st century and prepare our students for success at the best colleges and in the competitive job market. By enhancing innovative science, technology, engineering, arts and math programs, we can make certain that local students will continue to receive the modern education they deserve. Voting “yes” on B1 will preserve beloved arts, music and athletics programs and continue support for struggling students, so that every Alameda student can find their paths to future success. 

Most importantly of all, we can be absolutely confident that B1 is a wise investment, with the necessary fiscal safeguards to ensure that all funds are only spent on outstanding education in Alameda’s schools. By law, the state cannot touch a dime of B1; these are truly local funds for local schools. Furthermore, strict oversight from an independent citizens’ oversight committee and annual audits of all expenditures give Alamedans local control over B1. Voting “yes” on B1 continues a vital source of funding for our schools for seven years without increasing the burden on local taxpayers and it can’t be renewed without further voter approval. An optional exemption is available to seniors.

Despite recent mistruths being circulated, B1 is one of the most progressive local funding measures in the state. While most school districts collect flat parcel taxes for education where small homeowners and large property owners pay the exact same amount, Alameda’s B1 ensures big businesses pay their fair share to our schools: thousands of dollars more than hardworking taxpayers.

My children have long since graduated from Alameda schools and now have families of their own, but I will always support education in our community. Alameda values outstanding education and we must honor our values by passing B1 for our children, our schools and our community. 

By mail or this Nov. 8, join the League of Women Voters of Alameda, Alameda Chamber of Commerce, East Bay Times, Alameda Association of Realtors, Alameda PTA Council, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, State Assembly Member Rob Bonta, Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan and our entire community in supporting Alameda’s schools. Please join us in voting “yes” on B1, for strong schools, strong Alameda.

 

 

Bill Sonneman is President of the Alameda Education Foundation.