UNION CITY -- Facing further cuts of up to $10.7 million in the coming school year, New Haven school district officials are placing another parcel tax measure on the ballot in June.
The $180-per-parcel tax, like the one that failed narrowly in May, would raise about $3 million a year for district schools. The tax would expire in four years.
"This is one of those things that I would encourage people to support," trustee Jonas Dino said. "We definitely need it in this district. ... We need to find a source of revenue for our kids."
The tax would include exemptions for seniors and the disabled and a citizens oversight committee to review spending, according to the ballot statement.
No money could be used to pay administrators' salaries. School board members voted unanimously Tuesday night to put the measure on the ballot, just before they heard an update on the district's fiscal status.
Nobody spoke against the measure at the meeting, and no organized opposition has emerged so far.
There also was none in May, and no ballot argument against was submitted for that mail-in election.
Chief business officer Akur Varadarajan told trustees that, based on Gov. Jerry Brown's budget proposal that assumes passage of a state tax measure in November, New Haven would have to cut $4.5 million from its $99 million budget for the 2012-2013 school year.
If the state measure fails, the district would have to slash another $6.2
The district already has reduced its budget by more than $15 million over the past four years, forcing class-size increases, cuts to the instructional year, the elimination of transportation and dozens of layoffs.
"Bad things have happened, and worse things will happen," trustee Michael Ritchie said.
The looming cuts, which must be negotiated with employee unions, include nine nonstudent furlough days; increasing the student-to-teacher ratio to 30-to-1 in kindergarten, first and second grades; the elimination of media specialists and library media technicians; and the reduction of elementary specialists and middle school electives.
"We need to preserve our school system," Superintendent Kari McVeigh said. "This is about preserving a school system that has a lot to offer."
A January survey of 300 registered New Haven voters found the initial support for a potential parcel tax is similar to what Measure B received in May, when it fell short of the required two-thirds majority by a few dozen votes.
"I just want to remind everyone at home watching right now that your vote does count," trustee Linda Canlas said. "Every single one of those 'yes' votes counts. You will make a difference."