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What is Measure W?


Measure W is a temporary school parcel tax that was approved by local voters on June 5, 2012 for the Redwood City School District (RCSD), serving Kindergarten through 8th grade students in Redwood City, and parts of Atherton, San Carlos, Woodside, and unincorporated San Mateo County.   Measure W will provide local funding for our schools to help fund our core academic program, retain teachers and support our school libraries with funds that cannot be taken away by the state.

Who made the decision to put Measure W on the ballot?

The RCSD School Board of Trustees unanimously voted to place Measure W on the June 5 ballot at its February 22, 2012 board meeting.

Why is Measure W needed?

Due to state budget cuts, the district has been forced to cut $13 million from its budget over the last 5 years.  The district has had to cut 120 teaching and staff positions, reduce salaries and cut administration.  The district has also taken many steps to maximize efficiency.  Local funds that cannot be taken away by the state are necessary to protect critical programs for students.

Can funding from this measure be taken away by the state?

No.  All funds generated by this measure will go straight to K-8 schools in the Redwood City School District – not a single cent can be taken away by the state.

What will Measure W fund?

Funds from Measure W will be used to:
      •    Enhance reading, writing, math and science skills
      •    Attract and retain qualified teachers
      •    Support school libraries

No funds from the measure will be used to pay for administrator salaries.

How will the community know that funds from Measure W are being used properly?

An Independent Citizens Oversight Committee was appointed by the RCSD School Board to review all expenditures and produce an annual audit to ensure funds are used as promised.  The District received 25 applications from community members, and the Board appointed the following citizens to serve on the Oversight Committee:

      Alpio Barbara, Local Business Owner
      Janet Borgens, Local Business Owner
      Margie Carrington, Community Member
      Don Gibson, Local Business Owner
      Tim Kreidler, Parent
      Lisa Carlos Queener, Community Member
      Carol Sanders, Community Member
      Alan Tidwell, Parent
      Stacey Wagner, Parent

How much revenue will Measure W generate?

Measure W will generate approximately $1.5 million per year for five years that will go to K-8 schools in the Redwood City School District and cannot be taken away by the state.

How much will the parcel tax cost and for how long?

Measure W will cost residential and commercial property owners $67 per parcel, per year for five years.  An exemption may be granted to senior citizens and persons receiving Supplemental Security Income for a disability, regardless of age. The parcel tax cannot be extended or changed without a vote of the people.

What was the Measure W ballot question?

The Ballot Question is an abbreviated summary of the ballot measure stated in question format. For Measure W, it read:
 
To improve local elementary and middle school education for all students with funds that cannot be taken by the State, enhance reading, writing, math,and science skills; attract and retain qualified teachers; and support school libraries; shall the Redwood City Elementary School District levy an educational parcel tax of $67 annually for five years only, exempting seniors,with independent citizen oversight, annual reports to the community, no money for administrators’ salaries, and all money benefiting local schools?

Will Measure W apply to businesses and residences?

Yes, both commercial and residential property will be subject to assessment.

Can senior citizens receive an exemption?

Yes. Senior citizens can fill out a one-time exemption application and return to the District Office:  Senior Citizen exemption application

Are any other exemptions available?

Yes, persons receiving Supplemental Security Income for a disability, regardless of age, are also eligible for an exemption: SSI exemption application.

Do parents also support local schools with donations?

Yes—parents and local community members work tirelessly to raise funds to pay for music, art and enrichment programs in Redwood City schools.  The Redwood City Education Foundation raised about $500,000 in 2011-12, and local PTA’s and parent organizations also raise money at each school.

Does the District apply for grants?

Yes, the District is supported by grants from local foundations and corporations that pay for a wide variety of programs including wellness initiatives, summer school, math and science, literacy and more.

Where can I find more information on the district’s budget and finances?

The district’s website contains a wealth of information about the budget: www.rcsdk8.net/budget.  An extensive Frequently Asked Questions about thebudget is available at www.rcsdk8.net/budgetqa.