Resolution Against Legislative Diversions of School Property Taxes
WHEREAS, EdWeek’s Quality Counts 2019 shows California earning an F grade for school spending -- a regional-cost adjusted $10,281 per student that is 20% lower than the national average of $12,756; and
WHEREAS, one half of California schoolchildren are not meeting state standards in mathematics or language arts;
WHEREAS, the California Constitution states that, “From all state revenues there shall first be set apart the moneys to be applied by the State for support of the public school system and public institutions of higher education. (Article XVI, Sec. VIII (a)); and
WHEREAS, in 1978 Proposition 13 passed. The proposition decreased property taxes by rolling back assessed values to their 1975 basis and restricting annual increases of assessed value of real property to an inflation factor not to exceed 2 percent per year. Schools lost 49% of their funding overnight; both schools and local services were forced to make severe cuts; and
WHEREAS, in 1979, AB 8 was enacted to satisfy the revenue loss for cities and counties by taking 30% of what remained in schools’ local property tax funding and transferring it to local governments. Schools’ share of property tax fell from 54% to under 40% overnight; and
WHEREAS, in 1992 and 1993, those funds were returned in that same proportion, as Educational Revenue Augmentation Funding (ERAF; Revenue & Taxation Code Sec. 97), with the proviso that they could only be distributed to state-financed districts where local property taxes fail to meet the state’s funding targets; and
WHEREAS, in 2004, the Legislature proposed Proposition 1A to voters, which they approved, which protected ALL property tax allocations EXCEPT those for public K-14 schools dependent upon state funding; and
WHEREAS, in 2013, the Legislature chose to take away County Office of Education property tax in excess of its LCFF Target to fund the state’s own trial court costs, rather than increasing the proportion of said property tax allocated to that county’s Special Education SELPAs (Education Code Sec. 2574); and
WHEREAS, the Legislature has allowed the growing amount of education-allocated property tax (over half a billion dollars in 2017 and almost $900 million currently) to be handed off to non-school entities as “excess” to educational requirements, rather than including regional costs and special education, as recommended to be part of LCFF, the “more rational, more equitable” school finance system outlined by Dr. Michael Kirst et al in the 2008 blueprint for the Local Control Funding Formula; and
WHEREAS, in 2019 the Legislature approved -- but the Governor vetoed -- SB 5 which would have taken $2 billion of school property tax every year for three decades to reintroduce redevelopment, putting over $50 billion of additional pressure on the Proposition 98 Minimum Guarantee, reducing the directly allocated property tax to schools (not just the county educational revenue augmentation fund) in 19 counties. This legislation was re-introduced in 2020 as SB 795 and must be stopped.
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the governing board of the NAME OF SCHOOL DISTRICT, COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION OR ORGANIZATION urges the California Legislature to commit to protecting the property taxes currently received by our public schools, to forgo any efforts to further erode such local property tax allocation to schools, to add a regional cost supplement to the Local Control Funding Formula in those high-cost counties with “excess” educational revenue augmentation funding, to increase the allocation of County Office of Education property tax to Special Education before expropriating any local tax to pay state obligations, and to work to reverse historical diversions and increase transparency of local property taxes allocated to schools.
Adopted this day of the month of in 2020.
Motion made by: _________________________________________________
Second made by: : _________________________________________________
List members voting “aye”: _________________________________________________
List members voting “no”: _________________________________________________
List members abstaining: ____________________________________________________________
List members not present: ____________________________________________________________
Signature of CEO/Board Chair and Board members -- contact us at Info@EducateOurState.org for more info. Thank you!