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San Diego Unified is sharing new details about a proposed parcel tax to help fund local schools.

The idea has been kicking around for a while, but a new school district website that lays out more details about the tax:

*The tax would last for five years, starting in 2011-2012, and would generate $58 million annually. Single family residences would pay $98 per parcel per year, while apartments and condos would pay $60 per unit. Business would pay based on their buildings’ square footage. Low-income seniors would be exempt.

*The funding would be split up in a few ways: First, each school would get $150 per student from the tax, meant for academic programs at their sites. Second, roughly half of the remaining money would go to keep class sizes as small as possible in grades K-3. The rest would be split between other instructional programs, including math and science classes, training to help teachers build students’ English skills and classroom technology. Charter schools would get a proportional share of the funding.

*Like the school construction and renovation bond that voters passed almost two years ago to refurbish buildings, the parcel tax would have a citizens oversight commitment, charged with ensuring that the tax is only spent for the purposes that voters approved.

The school board will hold a public hearing on July 13 to discuss the potential tax. You can check out the full text of the proposed ballot measure here.

This should be interesting.

Parcel taxes require roughly 66 percent of voters to pass, a higher threshold than construction bonds, which typically pass. Will voters see the tax as a sensible way to alleviate the impact of school cuts, which stripped nearly $135 million from the budget this year?

And with the city mulling a tax of its own, will a school tax end up on a collision course with it?


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