The San Diego Unified School District has proposed a parcel tax for the November ballot to help pay for teachers, protect class sizes and maintain education programs. It would generate $58 million annually over five years.
If the measure is placed on the ballot and approved by voters, single-family homeowners would be charged $98 annually while condominium and apartment owners would be taxed $60 per unit. Low-income seniors would be exempt.
I am now hoping that both the half cent sales tax and the parcel tax increase make it on the ballot. Given the falling property values, high unemployment, and generally difficult economic times, this is a great opportunity to let the politicians know that more taxes are unacceptable. The city is contemplating building a new city hall with your hard earned scratch. The district wants to keep the teacher's unions happy with this tax rather than deal with needed structural reforms. Fortunately the parcel tax requires a two-thirds majority to pass. I guarantee, right here and now, that the San Diego Tea Party won't let this happen.
So what could be done to plug the hole in the school district budget? If you look at the ratio of teachers to non-teacher employee counts in the district, compared to say the ratios in the private school systems, you will find a huge disparity. Time to cut administrative positions. This would expose the hypocrisy of the teacher's unions, because they would decry such cuts, as they have in the past. But such cuts protect class size and teacher salaries. Some cool facts:
Number of teachers: about 8100.
Number of staff members: about 14500.
Ratio of teachers to non-teachers: about 1.25 to 1
Ration of teachers to non-teachers, Chicago Catholic schools: about 7 to 1
(data derived from multiple sources)
Just something to think about.