Measure J Information

Our district office staff have been fielding many questions about Measure J. As a result, we are sharing this information to respond to those inquiries.

What is Measure J?

The Board, on March 2, 2016, unanimously voted to place a parcel tax measure on the June ballot that reads as follows:

To preserve quality education for all students in Lakeside Joint School District, maintain specialized training for teachers, provide comprehensive science programs, update classroom technology, and protect quality academic programs for elementary and middle school students, shall the Lakeside Joint School District be authorized to implement an annual education parcel tax of $820 for ten years, with citizens’ oversight, exemptions available for senior citizens, no funds for administrators’ salaries, every dollar spent on students and cannot be taken away by the State?

Why did the Board vote for a $820 per parcel?

The Board examined many District budget scenarios using various parcel tax amounts. Additionally, an Ad Hoc Parcel Committee polled the District voters on those various parcel tax amounts, and made a recommendation to the Board based on those results. Based on a close examination of the budget scenarios and the work of the Ad Hoc Parcel Committee, the Board unanimously decided that it is in the best interest for the future sustainability of Lakeside Joint School District to have an $820 parcel tax.

The Board has not made any decisions on alternative plans or next steps if Measure J does not pass.

Why is the District experiencing increased expenditures and how is it affecting the Budget?

Since the last parcel tax passed in 2010, the District has faced increases in expenditures to educate its students. The following are some reasons why the District is experiencing increased expenditures:

• Lakeside is categorized as a community-funded district, meaning it is not granted adjustments in funding for inflation and does not receive increased state funding for its low and economically-disadvantaged student population.

• Years of state budget cuts and unfunded mandates such as the implementation of the Common Core curriculum, and Transitional Kindergarten have increased expenditures to implement such programs.

• Our District, like many other districts, is experiencing an increase in costs associated with providing special education programs. Student demographics requiring these programs are increasing, and while the state and federal government mandates special education programs in our schools, the programs are severely underfunded.

• The state retirement programs for public school teachers and staff, called STRS and PERS, have mandated that district’s increase their pension contributions for it’s employees by 150%.

The increase in costs currently results in a 10-15% budget deficit, and will rise to 25-30% in 2017 when the current parcel tax measure expires. Without Measure J, the budget analysis indicates the district’s reserves will be exhausted within a few years, placing the District in a position to have to make further cuts, reduce staff, and have substantial changes and negative effects on the current educational program.

What will the $820 parcel amount fund?

Lakeside is known for exceptional teachers, challenging instructional programs, manageable class sizes, dedicated parent volunteers, and rigorous science, math, and reading programs, all of which have prepared generations to succeed in high school, college, and careers.

Measure J funds will be used to:

– Protect high quality core educational programs such as English, math and science
– Provide comprehensive education for middle school students, including science
and academic enrichment programs;
– Provide updated computers and learning technology
– Provide needed professional training for teachers
– Provide safe and well-maintained facilities

Some other important components of the parcel tax:

– Seniors are eligible for an exemption (see parcel exemption link for more information)
– No funds can be taken by the State
– No funds are used for administrator salaries or pensions for any staff
– Every penny stays local to benefit our Lakeside students
– Citizen Oversight Committee ensures funds are spent as noted above