BEFORE THE BOARD OF EDUCATION OF THE
BERKELEY UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
RESOLVED by the Board of Education (“Board”) of the Berkeley Unified School District (“District”), a school district of the County of Alameda, State of California, that:
WHEREAS, the California State Legislature fails to provide adequate funding for schools, and as a result of this lack of financial support, California is ranked among the lowest in the nation for state education funding per student; and,
WHEREAS, the District is committed to offering a high-quality educational program to all students in the District, and due to inadequate state funding, increased local revenues are necessary to meet this goal; and,
WHEREAS, the District is facing an educator recruitment and retention crisis which led to the 2019-20 school year opening with many teaching and paraprofessional positions unfilled, with highly qualified educators choosing to take jobs in other school districts where compensation is higher; and,
WHEREAS, a solution is needed to bring additional revenue to address educator recruitment and retention, provide competitive compensation, and build more pathways for both classified and certificated staff toward increased professional development, so that our students are supported by a stable team of highly qualified professionals; and,
WHEREAS, Berkeley voters have consistently supported necessary education parcel taxes and bonds as an investment in the future of children, as a reflection of the values of the Berkeley community, and as a significant reason that individuals, families, and organizations are attracted to live and work in Berkeley; and,
WHEREAS, a special tax, partly modeled on successful measures that have been passed in many other school districts, has been structured to address the pressing need to attract and retain a highly qualified educator staff; and,
WHEREAS, every dollar raised by this special tax will be used for the benefit of the students of Berkeley schools, and cannot be taken away by the State; and,
WHEREAS, California Constitution, Article XIIIA, section 4 and Government Code sections 50075 et seq. authorizes the District, upon approval of two thirds of the electorate, to levy qualified special taxes on property in the District for the purpose of providing quality educational programs in the District and other lawful purposes of the District; and
WHEREAS, in the judgment of this Board, following a public hearing and comment, it is advisable to request that the Alameda County Superintendent of Schools call an election and submit to the voters of the District the question of whether the District shall levy a special tax within the District, for the purpose of raising revenue for the District; and
WHEREAS, pursuant to the Education Code and Elections Code such election may be completely or partially consolidated with any other election held on the same day and in the same territory or territory that is in part the same.
NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS DETERMINED AND ORDERED as follows:
Section 1. Recitals. This Board hereby finds and determines that the foregoing recitals are true and correct.
Section 2. Resolution Constitutes Order of Election. This resolution shall constitute an order of election pursuant to the Education Code to the Alameda County Superintendent of Schools (“County Superintendent”) to call an election within the boundaries of the District on March 3, 2020.
Section 3. Date and Purpose of Measure. Pursuant to the California Constitution and Government Code, an election shall be held within the boundaries of the District on Tuesday, March 3, 2020, for the purpose of voting on a measure (“Measure”) which will be presented to voters in substantially the form attached hereto as Exhibit A, containing the question of whether the District shall impose a special tax for the educational purposes stated therein. In addition, the full text of the Measure (“Full Ballot Text”) shall appear in the ballot pamphlet in substantially the form attached hereto as Exhibit B.
Section 4. Collection of the Tax. Pursuant to provisions of the Full Ballot Text, beginning July 1, 2020, if adopted by voters, the special tax shall be collected by the Alameda County Treasurer-Tax Collector (“Tax Collector”), at the same time, in the same manner, and subject to the same penalties as ad valorem property taxes collected by the Tax Collector. Unpaid special taxes shall bear interest at the same rate as the rate for unpaid ad valorem property taxes until paid.
With respect to all matters within their respective jurisdictions, the District, Tax Collector, appropriate County official, or the City of Berkeley shall make all final determinations of tax exemption or relief for any reason, and that decision shall be final and binding. The procedures described the Full Ballot Text, and any additional procedures established by the District shall be the exclusive claims procedure for claimants seeking an exemption, refund, reduction, or re-computation of this Special Tax. Whether any particular claim is to be resolved by the District, City of Berkeley, or County of Alameda shall be determined by the District.
Section 5. Authority for Ordering Election. The authority for ordering the election is contained in the Education Code, Elections Code, Government Code, and California Constitution.
Section 6. Authority for Specifications. The authority for the specification of this election order is contained in the Education Code.
Section 7. Resolution to County Officials. The Secretary to the Board is hereby directed to cause certified copies of this Resolution and order to be delivered not later than December 4, 2019, to the County Superintendent, the Alameda County Registrar of Voters (“Registrar”), and the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors of Alameda County (“Board of Supervisors”).
Section 8. Formal Notice. The County Superintendent is hereby requested to prepare and execute a Formal Notice of Parcel Tax Election and consolidation order in substantially the form attached hereto as Exhibit C (the “Formal Notice”), and to call the election by causing the Formal Notice to be posted in accordance with the applicable law no later than December 4, 2019, or to otherwise cause the notice to be published as permitted by law. The Secretary to the Board, on behalf of and as may be requested by the County Superintendent, is authorized to cause all notices required by law in connection herewith to be published and posted, as the case may be.
Section 9. Conduct of Election.
(a) Request to Registrar. Pursuant to State law, the Registrar is requested to take all steps to hold the election on March 3, 2020, in accordance with law and these specifications. The election may be consolidated with another election as specified below, if such consolidation is feasible and appropriate.
(b) Voter Pamphlet. The Registrar is hereby requested to reprint the Full Ballot Text in substantially the form attached hereto as Exhibit B in the voter information pamphlet to be distributed to voters pursuant to the Elections Code. In the event the Full Ballot Text will not be reprinted in the voter information pamphlet in its entirety, the Registrar is hereby requested to print, immediately below the impartial analysis of the Measure, in no less than 10-point boldface type, a legend substantially as follows:
“The above statement is an impartial analysis of Measure __. If you desire a copy of the Measure, please call the Alameda County Registrar of Voters at 510-267-8683 and a copy will be mailed at no cost to you.”
(c) Consolidation. The County Superintendent and the Board of Supervisors are hereby requested to consolidate the election ordered hereby with any and all other elections as may be held on the same day in the same territory or in territory that is in part the same.
(d) Canvass and Declaration of Results. The Board of Supervisors is authorized to canvass the returns of the election and declare the result pursuant to the Elections Code.
(e) Cost of Election. The District will reimburse the Registrar and the County for costs associated with the election as required by law.
Section 10. Appropriations Limit. The Board shall provide in each year for an increase in the District’s appropriations limit as shall be necessary to ensure that the proceeds of the special tax may be spent for its authorized purposes.
Section 11. Ballot Arguments. The Board President and/or their designees are hereby authorized to prepare and file with the Registrar any ballot argument prepared in connection with the election, including a rebuttal argument, each within the time established by the Registrar, which shall be considered the official ballot arguments of the Board as sponsor of the Measure and to take all necessary action to prevent inclusion of false and/or misleading information in ballot materials related to the Measure.
Section 12. Official Actions. The District Superintendent, Board President, or their respective designees are hereby authorized to execute any other document and to perform all acts necessary to place the Measure on the ballot, including making alterations to the Measure and Full Ballot Text stated in Exhibits A and B hereto, and to this Resolution to comply with requirements of law and election officials or which are, in the judgment of the Superintendent and/or Board President, or their respective designees, in the best interests of the District.
Section 13. Effective Date. This Resolution shall take effect from and after its adoption.
The foregoing resolution was introduced by Ka’dijah Brown, who moved its adoption, seconded by Julie Sinai, and adopted on November 20, 2019 by the following vote:
WHEREUPON, the President declared the foregoing resolution adopted, and SO ORDERED.
Beatriz Leyva-Cutler, Board President
The Measure shall be summarized in the following form, and the County of Alameda Registrar of Voters is requested to cause this summary of the Measure to appear on the ballot:
Educator Recruitment and Retention Act of 2020
To recruit and retain qualified teachers and prevent shortages of essential school staff, shall the Berkeley Unified School District adopt a measure to levy a special tax of 12.4¢/square foot on improvements, and $25/parcel on unimproved parcels, for 12 years, with annual cost-of-living adjustments, low income exemptions, and independent citizen and auditor oversight, generating approximately $9,500,000 annually in local funds for Berkeley public schools that cannot be taken away by the State?
FULL BALLOT TEXT
Is found at https://berkeleyschools.net/recruit-retain.