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School District Says Measure B Passage Prevents Layoffs in Mill Valley, Prop 30 Staves Off Cuts

Measure B is what mattered most in Mill Valley, but local officials are also rejoicing in the passing of Proposition 30, which means no increase in "state take-backs."

While Mill Valley School District officials are grateful California voters passed Proposition 30, they're really breathing a sign of relief that residents approved the Measure B local parcel tax.

"Prop 30 is going to help the majority of revenue-limit schools across the state," said Mill Valley Superintendent Paul Johnson. For instance, Ross Valley School District , while the Novato Unified School District and San Rafael Elementary School District would also have suffered as one of the county's three "revenue limit" districts that rely on a large amount of funding from the state.

Prop. 30, a $6 billion-a-year package, is a combination of new taxes and an extension of some taxes that are about to expire. Backed by Gov. Jerry Brown, it raises the sales tax by one-quarter of one cent for four years while increasing personal income taxes for Californians who earn over $250,000 for seven years.

It's unikely that Mill Valley, one of Marin's basic aid districts which generates most of its education funding through property taxes, will see any new funds from Proposition 30. 

"It may help Mill Valley, but it's too early to tell," Johnson said. But he's not holding his breath.

"I frankly don't trust the state to give us any money as a basic aid district," he said.

However, had Proposition 30 failed, Mill Valley could have felt a fiscal impact in the form of additional so-called "state take-backs" in funding.

The city has already "given back" about $4.2 million over the past five years, said Robin Moses, president of the Mill Valley School District Board of Trustees.

"Had Prop 30 not passed, there was a chance that basic aid districts like ours would have to give even more money back," Moses said. "It's passage doesn't put anyone ahead, per se, but for the time being staves off further education cuts."

Yet the city has seen no increase in property taxes - which would mean more funding - and at the same time enrollment has risen dramatically, Moses said. More students mean more teachers, materials, and other resources, and Mill Valley has been feeling the squeeze.

Therefore it's Measure B, which voters passed by 73.6 percent, that will make a real difference for Mill Valley schools by keeping the district in the black, and preventing layoffs of teachers and other cuts, she said.

"With the help of our education partners and the Mill Valley voters, we won't have to cut school days or raise class sizes," Moses said.

The , will be used primarily for core academic programs, teacher salaries, physical education, library services and intervention services when the money becomes available for the 2013-2014 school year, Johnson said.

Parents, teachers, administrators and many residents lined up behind the ballot measure, and launched a major campaign in support of it that included fundraisers, mailings, phone banks, street corner rallies and more.

"Our community has stepped up with the passage of Measure B," Moses said, "and for that we are extremely grateful."

Here's what else is happening on Mill Valley Patch

  1. Mill Valley School District Parcel Tax Prevails
  2. Mill Valley’s Priciest Homes: 8 Walsh Drive
  3. School District Eyes Turning 'TBD Area' at Edna Maguire into a Sports Field

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