The San Diego Unified school board will vote Tuesday on whether or not to spend $130,000 to hire a political consultant to research the idea of a parcel tax to bring extra funding to schools — and to develop the proposal if it seems feasible.

Such a tax would be a gamechanger for the school district because it could be spent on educational programs to offset budget cuts from the state, unlike a facilities bond, which can only be spent on buildings. It would entail charging homeowners a flat annual fee.

The idea was floated last year, but never actually pursued. School board members believed that the rift between the school district and the teachers union made it impossible to move forward on such a plan. It would be the first such tax in San Diego County.

The $130,000 consulting contract would cover two phases of work: $90,000 to study whether such a tax would be feasible, including a public opinion poll, and $40,000 to actually develop a tax proposal and reach out to voters. The consultant hired would be Larry Remer, who also guided the campaign for Proposition S, the $2.1 billion facilities bond passed by voters last November.


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