Editorial: Vote ‘yes’ on CUSD parcel tax

The Cupertino Union School District has served south Los Altos well, providing quality education for generations of students. The sprawling K-8 district extends from Los Altos all the way to Santa Clara and San Jose.

The district has suffered in recent years due to declining enrollment and funding. Educators and administrators point out that it is one of the highest-achieving districts in the state, despite being in the bottom 2% in funding. If funding problems continue, the risk of school closures increases.

CUSD needs our help. We should give it.

That help comes in the form of Measure A, a $398 annual parcel tax before voters on the May 4 mail-in ballot. The eight-year tax would help retain quality teachers by keeping pace with the area’s high cost of living. It also would support strong academic programs and keep schools safe and well maintained. And it would help keep them open.

CUSD has a tough sell. The parcel tax needs two-thirds voter approval to pass (66.7%). Furthermore, the vast majority of residents in the district do not have kids in the schools. Why should they support a tax that doesn’t directly affect them?

Ah, but it does. Quality schools have always meant strong communities and higher property values. And who doesn’t want the value of their home maximized?
Some say it’s too soon to put another parcel tax on the ballot, just over a year after a similar one, Measure O, was defeated in March 2020. Why would the outcome be different?

District leaders asked this question as well. It seems the community at large didn’t pick up on the urgency of need the first time around – not until school closure discussions began in earnest after the parcel-tax defeat. As one board member told the Los Altos City Council, it was a “wake-up call.”

CUSD’s parcel tax is downright modest, compared to the two the Los Altos School District has (an eight-year tax at $223 annually and a yearly $597 tax in perpetuity). It’s an investment in local education, in a strong community and in your home. Measure A deserves a “yes” vote.

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The Town Crier welcomes letters to the editor on current events pertinent to Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View. Write to us at 138 Main St., Los Altos 94022, Attn: Editor, or email editor Bruce Barton at [email protected] Because editorial space is limited, please confine letters to no more than 200 words. Include a phone number for verification purposes. Anonymous letters will not be printed.

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