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Two parcel tax elections in one year for Oakland schools? (Yep.)

Monday night update: State Administrator Vince Matthews put the parcel tax on the November ballot, despite the school board’s advisory measure to delay the initiative until it was vetted by the board and the public, possibly in 2009. Read the story here.

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As usual, the news didn’t stop while I was away. I checked my mail this morning, still a bit foggy from vacation, to discover that the state administrator might put a parcel tax election on the Nov. 4 ballot! And that the special meeting to discuss the issue is scheduled for 4 p.m. this afternoon!

The proposed levy is titled the “Outstanding Teachers for all Oakland Students Tax.” It would cost property owners $120 each year (per parcel) for 10 years. According to the version posted on the meeting agenda, 85 percent would go to teacher compensation, and 15 percent to charter schools.

It seems as though the additional funding would ease ongoing contract negotiations by giving the district the means (and the directive) to give its teachers more competitive pay. But the Oakland teacher’s union appears poised to oppose the tax initiative. Continue Reading