CORRECTION (Published 3/7/2014)

Because of an editor's error, a story named the wrong county handling the Dublin mail-in election for Measure B. The Alameda County Elections Office is handling the election.

DUBLIN -- The Dublin Unified School District is holding a special mail-in election to ask voters to extend a five-year, $96 per-year parcel tax for educational funding.

In 2008 the parcel tax, then known as Measure L, passed with 72 percent of the vote, well beyond the 66.67 percent supermajority required to pass.

This time, the tax will be on the ballot as Measure B, but the substance is the same: The tax charges $8 per month, per parcel in Dublin, to give general funding to Dublin's schools and includes an exemption for senior citizens.

The measure also requires that a citizen's oversight committee be formed to ensure that the revenue is spent how it's supposed to be.

District Superintendent Stephen Hanke said it is important for Dublin schools to receive these extra funds because of changes to the state's local control funding formula for K-12 schools, which imposed revenue limits and shifted a larger amount of funds to districts with a higher concentration of lower-income students than the Dublin district has.

"The amount of dollars coming into our district is going to be significantly less than it is in other districts, and this would really provide us with some local control, like we've had over the last five years, to really make a difference for kids in this community," Hanke said.


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The way the measure is written, it allows the money to be spent "sustaining academic achievement" in all K-12 subjects, as well as attracting and keeping teachers, maintaining libraries and updating learning material and technology. It requires all funding stay within Dublin schools and explicitly forbids the money be spent on administrator salaries.

When the parcel tax first came into effect in 2009, city officials estimated it would bring the district $1 million in extra funding. Since then, the district has received an average of about $1.3 million per year from the tax, according to a report taken by the Parcel Tax Oversight Committee.

The Alameda County registrar of voters will begin sending ballots to registered voters on March 27, and early voting begins April 7. Ballots must be received by May 6 to count. Voters must be registered no later than April 21 to vote on Measure B.

School Board President Sean Kenney said the revenue is important for the district to maintain a high level of math and science programs, as well as the district's high-school-level engineering academy.

"If we didn't have this, we'd have to slow down the growth of some of our capabilities around our core academics," Kenney said. "There's no place else that that money's going to come" from. The oversight committee has held two meetings per year in each of the last three fiscal years and publicly posts an annual report each fiscal year, detailing where and how the money was spent and adding future projections.

DUBLIN'S MEASURE B ELECTION:
The Alameda County registrar of voters will begin sending ballots to registered voters on March 27. Early voting begins April 7. Ballots must be received by May 6 to count. Voters must be registered no later than April 21 to vote on Measure B.