Disrespectful redface Halloween costume from the Yes on L/Yes on WDAAC campaign
What YES Does

Why I am not voting for Measure M

MBy long time Davis resident with strong ties to DJUSD.

I received yet another shiny flier in the mail yesterday regarding Measure M. It no doubt will pass and I take great backlash risk in stating the following: There is one measure you will NOT see on the ballot next week and that's the much discussed and debated parcel tax that would serve to increase Davis teachers' salaries.

You see, despite the emphasis placed on education in this community, most Davis teachers make less than teachers in surrounding communities. In addition, Davis offers a poor healthcare package compared to nearby school districts further financially penalizing the teachers who choose to work here.

A committee was formed a few years ago comprised of teachers, parents, and administrators to brainstorm ways to improve teacher retention in Davis. One suggestion was to partner with other Yolo County school districts to participate in their healthcare plans thus resulting in reduced premiums for all. For whatever reason, this suggestion never came into fruition.

What does this have to do with Measure M? As you take to the polls to no doubt support improving and updating our schools, technology, and overall facilities on Tuesday, keep in mind that this may come at the price of retaining quality teachers.

Measure M was deliberately placed on the November ballot before the parcel tax for teacher salaries. When the parcel tax does eventually make it's way to the polls, the concern is that the community may feel wary and less giving than pre Measure M.

In short, Measure M may make it less likely for the parcel tax for teacher pay to pass. While voting for updated facilities and cutting edge technology seems like a no-brainer in this election, it's worth mentioning that that it may have a negative consequence.

Davis hired over 70 new teachers this school year. Many highly skilled and qualified teachers leave Davis every year for more lucrative pay and better benefits elsewhere.

I personally will not be voting for Measure M. I want to send a message to the school district that when you invest in teachers, you consequently invest in students. It is time to prioritize our teachers' salaries and their healthcare.

 
 

Comments

Pam Gunnell

I think your concerns are justified. Davis right now has a high burden of special taxes especially for homeowners in Mello-Roos districts like Mace Ranch. The last school bond passed in 2000 was for 26 million and it paid for Korematsu, Montgomery and Harper plus the high school preforming arts center (with state matching funds). The Measure M of 150 million for upgrades in comparison seems high and begs the question will it get our students a significantly better education when the bottom line has been, and always will be, the caliber of the teacher.
Right now we are paying the Davis JUSD school bond from 2000, the Measure C parcel tax, and the district CFD#1. Measure C and the CFD#1 alone total to $876 for a single family home. The there is the Los Rios CC tax and the special library tax, the open space tax and the parks tax. If you live in a Mello-Roos district like Mace Ranch, you then pay an additional school tax of over $500 and a special city tax of $140. Adding Measure M will be another several hundred dollars a year for most single family homeowners ($60 per every $100,000 of assessed value).
What we don't know is what the tipping point for the special taxes will be : when will one more special tax jeopardize the renewal of an existing tax or prohibit the enactment of a tax that is truly needed?

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