CUSD education parcel tax headed to May 2021 ballot

This May, voters will decide the fate of a key component of funding for Cupertino Union School District. The Measure A parcel tax will appear on the May 4, 2021 ballot, as voters consider replacing the current $250 parcel tax expiring after the 2022 tax year with a new $398 parcel tax bringing in $14 million per year for eight years. The Measure A ballot initiative requires two-thirds voter approval for passage.

The parcel tax is one of several local funding options proposed to “retain our high-quality teachers and staff with competitive compensation, help keep schools open, ensure fiscal solvency, and provide programs to support students’ social and emotional wellness,” according to CUSD. CUSD Board members voted 5-0 in January to place the Measure A parcel tax on the ballot.

The Cupertino Union School District provides education to more than 15,000 elementary and middle school students in a diverse community, represented by 46 languages in a 25 square mile area that includes the City of Cupertino and portions of San Jose, Sunnyvale, Saratoga, Los Altos and Santa Clara.

If the Measure A parcel tax does not pass, CUSD will be forced to review other proposed remedies including school closures, staff layoffs and salary freezes, creating a new parcel tax based on square footage, or some combination of school closures and tax increases. Earlier this year, a Citizens Advisory Committee was tasked with developing criteria to inform board decisions about school closures.

Residents’ group Citizens for Great Cupertino District Schools has created a Yes on Measure A campaign which has gained significant traction, including support from a broad group of elected officials, organizations and community members.  

Advocates say Measure A will benefit the broader community by strengthening public schools, which can attract new families to move to the district area, encourage empty nesters to stay in their homes, improve real estate values and stabilize home values when the market is low.

As of posting time, there is no known organized opposition to the measure.

The Yes on Measure A campaign comes as a group of local parents are pushing to recall several members of the CUSD board over their opposition to reopening schools. The Recall CUSD Board effort has been vocal about their dissatisfaction with the CUSD board and its reopening plan.

The next Cupertino Union School District board meeting will be held this Thursday, March 25 at 6:00 pm. At the meeting, the Board will provide an update on the reopening of schools which will include the following topics:

  • 4-Phase Framework
  • Update on the County Health Conditions and Metrics
  • Phase 3 Reopening Plans (April 5th target date)
  • Update on Board direction from March 11th
  • Fall 2021 Planning

At the previous February 25 school board meeting, the Board presented its Phase 3 reopening plans that includes a hybrid approach of in-person instruction and distance learning beginning April 5. The plan will have returning students attend school on campus for between 75 minutes and 2.5 hours per day, depending on grade level, for some portion of the week, as scheduled by school site. Beginning April 26, students will attend for an expanded hybrid schedule.

For more information on the meeting, click here.