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Davis

Davis, California

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Measure N passes with supermajority of votes from the primary election

Following the March ballot, the parcel tax to help fund Davis Joint Unified School District is here to stay 

 

By MATTHEW MCELDOWNEY — city@theaggie.org

 

The results for Measure N, a parcel tax of $768 a year, were confirmed as of March 21, 2024. The measure passed with 68.24% of the Davis community voting in favor of Measure N while 31.76% voted against this legislation.

Measure N meets the two-thirds supermajority threshold to be passed and will not need to be renewed in subsequent elections like previous measures. In this way, Measure N is a more permanent continuation of Measure H, both of which intend to help supplement state funding for extracurricular programs and teacher salaries in the Davis Joint Unified School District. 

Evan Jacobs, a volunteer with Yes4Students and an advocate for Measure N, expressed optimism for the longevity of DJUSD teachers, athletics and music programs.

“By not having to vote on this every four to eight years, we can give the school district more security and certainty in planning its budgets,” Jacobs said.

Funding provided by the parcel tax would account for around 10% of the budget for the district. Jacobs believes that this amount of resources left hanging in the air leaves the job security of the teachers in question. Seeing how this need for supplemental funding has remained consistent over the past 40 years, Jacobs said he doesn’t foresee any reason for the continuous renewal of this parcel tax, even more so in coming years.

“The state has a really tough budget situation this year and across the state, school funding is going to be cut as a result,” Jacobs said.

Jacobs is concerned about the consequences that could arise if DJUSD were left to rely on this state funding. He believes that the way that teacher pay scales are calculated — based on certifications and seniority — means that rather than simply reducing individual pay, the district might be forced to lay off teachers qualified in instructing advanced placement or higher-level classes.

Jacobs also mentioned how the quality of DJUSD educators and programs make the city of Davis a more desirable place to raise families in. The property values for homeowners, the growth of the city and its local economy benefit from the pull of Davis schools and the families who for that very reason choose to settle down here. 

Thomas Randall Jr., treasurer for the NO PARCEL TAXES political action committee, was very skeptical of Measure N and had urged voters to express caution. 

“The economy is all out of balance right now but going to the citizens and wanting to tax more and more and more just creates a greater burden on the poor,” Randall Jr. said.

As the cost of living increases, Randall Jr. believes that exceptions from the parcel tax should be expanded for those on disability or welfare, on top of ones granted for seniors and those on fixed incomes. While the permanence of the measure could be seen as security, Randall Jr. feels as though this change could make it harder for voters to voice their concerns.

He also mentioned the concerns of parents like Beth Bourne, the Yolo County chapter chair of Moms for Liberty, who did not want to financially support an institution that teaches with alleged “anti-parent policies” or “gender-sexual ideology.”

Jacobs is more than satisfied with the results of the campaign and believes that it will benefit the Davis community in the long run. 

“It’s a wonderful result,” Jacobs said. “As a part of the campaign team, we have so much gratitude for the voters who chose to engage for or against, just being involved and active as a citizen is important.”

 

Written by: Matthew McEldowney — city@theaggie.org

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