Part of the Bay Area News Group

Tax resolution passes, with some reservations

By Eric Kurhi
Friday, March 9th, 2012 at 12:03 pm in Castro Valley, Cherryland, Hayward, San Leandro, San Lorenzo, Schools, Union City.

Correction: Oops, the link below isn’t to the final story after all, but this one is.

 Here is the final story on the board’s approval of the parcel tax measure. I had a voice mail from Trustee Luis Reynoso this morning, he wanted people to know that he tried to get a low-income exemption added to the measure but the addendum was not accepted by Trustee Maribel Heredia, who made the motion on the item.

He said at the meeting that when he was a teacher he stockpiled granola bars and snacks because a lot of kids were coming to school unfed because they lived in poverty. He added that includes homeowners, and said to look at the number of foreclosures as evidence.

“So when you tell me it’s only $58, go tell people who lost their homes that it’s only $58,” he said. “Tell them when they can’t feed their kid when they send them to school.”

Also of note: Trustee William McGee said he’s wary of the tax because of the “way the school board conducts business.” He expressed disappointment earlier in the meeting because he has requested a demographics study be taken up by the board, and it has yet to happen. Also said they have yet to address the matter of new schools opening, some of which will be underenrolled.

“I hear the community wanting us to support this, but I’m not hearing the board talking about agenda construction, and the schools opening up,” he said. “I’m not sure staff has direction.”

He wanted to discuss the matter, but Board President Jesus Armas said the matter at hand is the resolution concerning the parcel tax.

“Wow,” McGee said. “This is an issue. I’m asking when are we going to start talking, as a school board, about how to maximize dollars if this gets passed. … I’m looking for an answer and not getting it.”

For the sake of school district comparison, here are stories on what’s going on in Castro ValleySan LorenzoSan Leandro and New Haven.

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  • http://NA Kathi Booth

    PLEASE READ THE ENTRY POSTED BY SHERRY BLAIR ON THE FIRST PARCEL TAX BLOG ARTICLE (IT IS #45. I am going to encourage her to repost it on this article so that all can read it without searching in an older posting.

    Eric,
    Thank you for expanding your article, while I understand the constraints that are placed on the size of your article(s), this information was really something that ALL of Hayward should have been able to read in the paper. Kudos to Mr. Reynoso for asking you to include it.

  • Sherry Blair

    RE-POST:

    Here’s some more, a copy of the email I just sent to the BofEd:

    “Now I remember why I quit going to school board meetings a long time ago.

    I can’t tell you how sorry I am that you, our elected representatives, are so blind to what is happening in the world, much less in our community today. It’s like you didn’t even hear about the Tea Party or Occupy Wall Street or the Arab Spring. What newspapers do YOU read?

    How can you miss the economic struggle of the people of Hayward and the need for our government to change? How dare you call for a flat tax on property when people are losing their homes? How can you ignore the harm you do to those who do not have the money to pay? How dare you compare the cost to a latte’ when real people, including the children you are entrusted to educate are having difficulty securing food? Don’t you realize that it is not any one cost, but the “death by a thousand cuts” that is killing off the poor?

    Then, to top it off, you exempt the rich for no apparent reason. How generous you are with our money! Can’t you see this only perpetuates a system that already favors the rich and drives the poor into the ground? Or do you think we are too stupid to see that?

    How do you think we the people feel when of our so called leaders and officials who have money and jobs and power, whine about what they need without regard for what we need? Sure you have had losses, but you are so much better off than so many of us. You should be grateful. In fact, you should worry about your jobs.

    I have been arguing politely for quite a while in favor of non-violent change through citizen participation. But I see clearly, mostly from watching the Hayward board of education for 38 years that the change that is needed is not going to happen in the board room, but on the streets. Our children’s most necessary education is not going to happen in the classrooms, but outside with us. The choice is very clear now.

    Count on me to campaign against your tax and your re-election. Count on me to wake people up. Yesterday, listening to Dr. Luz Calvo at Hayward’s teach-in honoring women, I realized that I have become a “radical woman of color” now and that nothing will do but fundamental change whatever that takes.

    When my children first entered Hayward Schools, we stood on the picket line with the teachers. Will the teachers join us now? I want my grandchildren to see how change really happens, from the bottom up; out in the open where we the people come together.

    Sherry Blair”

  • Sherry Blair

    I’m glad you wrote the rest of the story too Eric. The people need to have the full story.

    I had forgotten to thank Mr. Reynoso who stands out as the lone dissenter. It is unfortunate that he has been so marginalized by the majority. It’s heartbreaking to watch him struggling to make a difference. More of the people he represents should come out to support him. It’s too much to expect him to do it alone.

    I actually thought I had missed the presentation on the demographics. My neighborhood was asking about that a year ago, before the city voted to put more housing on the Burbank residual site. What is going on with it?

  • John Kyle

    All;

    MS.BLAIR WHICH SUGGETS EXISTENCE OF A STIGMA UPON THE PERFORMANCE OF husd TRUSTERES WHICH IDENTIFIES THOSE TRUANTS ‘DISAPPEARING’ FOR AT LEAST 3 SUCCESSIVE DAYS.
    Filing a complaint with the District Attorney goes to the heart of the problem which is, the fact that the parents are totally responsible to see that their children are provided with housing, clothing, food and education.
    My own children were provided parochial education at my open voluntary expense even while their tuition was heavy on the ‘household purse; I did not begrudge the taxes paid by me to support public schools… it was my choice!
    Now I see parents of Truants allowing their children to waste the time necessary to their children’s future success, at a direct cost to me in the form of the new ‘parcel’ assessment voted by the board. They ( the trustees) compound the offense of the parents by ignoring the existence of Senate Bill 1317 which became effective on January 1, 2011
    Parents are legally required to provide shelter, food, clothing and EDUCATION to THEIR progeny!
    The trustees do not seem to mind offending me….. but not the parents of truants! Something is wrong and those trustees not up for re-election ought be the target of a recall if they do not soon exercise the opportunity afforded them under California Senate Bill 1317 Parents who ignore serious loss of education in the form of Truancy by their children can spend up to a year in prison for failing to see that that their children are educated.

  • Sherry Blair

    Is the HARD board meeting on Monday, March 12th? The agenda hasn’t been posted yet. Doesn’t it have to be posted 72 hours prior to the meeting?

  • http://NA Kathi Booth

    All:
    Check out entry #49 from the first article on the parcel tax…very interesting.

  • John Kyle

    ALL:

    Did you know that the truancy rate in our elementary schools ranges from a low of 18.64% ( Lorin Eden) to A HIGH OF 64.72%(AT Fairview.) K-6 schools have an overall truancy rate of 42.05% !
    Middle schools have an overall truancy rate of 77.12% with a high point of 83.64% achieved by Bret Harte while our four high schools have acheiveds an overall truancy rate of 87.8% with the ‘high award’ achieved at Tennyson with 91.44% student while Brenkwitz has sunk to a low of just 85.44%
    Enrollment at October 1, 2010, totaled 18,641 students. Gone are the days when enrollment was at 20,000 or more…. Do you wonder why ?
    Each day that we experience a truancy costs the district $29.10 which is the current ADA number !
    ………Stop the whining and bellyaching on the Hayword Blog! Go to the public comment period which precedes each meeting… fill out a yellow ‘public comment’ request card, hand it to the Board Secretary, then be sure to drag out your comments for at least four minutes, ( you are allowed three minutes… but look at it this way…. Is it not better to HAVE TRUSTEES ANNOYED WITH YOU …. RATHER THAN THE OTHER WAY AROUND?
    Suggest to them,… over and over again, that they prosecute parents whose children are not attending…just concerned that they have some fun somehow … somewhere, as a preference to all that reading while attending ‘crime college’ at San Quentin ( and other similar collages,) WITH THE RESULT OF ADDING TO THEIR TRUANCY EXPENSE BY JAMMING COURTS WITH POORLY prepared APPEALS… WHICH IN TURN NECESSITATES A HIRING OF A LAWYER OR TWO….at your expense? Which will make you sore as hell ! Right?
    Well now, is it not better to have their parents sore at you in the near future when you clamor for effective use, in near time, of your right to insist that HUSD start the process to prosecute neglectful parents, under the terms of Senate Bill 1317; can you imagine them being brought to trial for neglect of their kids…. Whose future incapacity to earn a decent living, will fall back on the taxpayer for food and housing at San Quentin….. and the interim costs for losses due to theft, added insurance on household possessions etc. … is of what cost to you..?

  • John Kyle

    All:

    Approximately one year ago, HUSD announced that it would conduct a series of meetings which were to be held, one each, at the separate middle schools. They were entitled the “Call to Action Campaign”. Purportedly, the intent was to solve the deficiency in student attendance which has direct influence upon the average daily attendance money supplied by the State of California.
    I failed to attend any of the five scheduled meetings, possibly influenced by the idea that it was a dog and pony show, leading to something that at best, might only appear to be a solution to our budget busting truancy problem.
    Surely, one of our ‘Hayword Blog’ devotees is able to advise on the beneficial result of all that effort expended in the conduct of those meetings. Was there any discussion, pro or con about content and purpose of SB 1317 ?
    How many blog contributors understand the potential, positive affect that a major reduction in truancy would have upon effectiveness of class room instruction, as well as the HUSD budget?
    Because the Parochial School tuition is beyond the reach of many parishioners at All Saints Church, the Parish leaders, (laymen and women, not priests,) have been holding meetings to discuss the problem and seem to be using COR to aid them in that purposeful activity. A commendable activity which ought be followed by other congregations of varying faiths.
    I do not hide behind a nom de plume! I have supplied them with documented material, which I have gathered over the past several years and which I will supply to blog readers who are sufficiently concerned to ‘risk’ direct contact with me. Send me your name and address and a single first class stamp and I’ll send by return mail some shocking ‘official statistics’ which aid your understanding of the depth of the problem. I am listed in the phone book,use the address shown in the phone book, please supply postage amounting to a single first class stamp plus one with Geo. Washington’s face ( about $0.65 total,) and I’ll supply the manila envelope Jammed with ‘stuff you ought know’ especially if you are being hit with another Parcel tax… and you recognize your need to ‘hit back’ at the next school board election!

  • watchdog

    Wondering after conversation with concerned citizens about what happened to $3.1 million in grant money. Don’t have details other than what I heard what others told me was on the last Board meeting video.

  • http://N/A Kathi booth

    Watchdog,
    So glad I wasn’t the only one who caught that piece of info on the 3.1 million. Bet we will never hear an answer to that question.

  • Teresa Conti

    It looks like the new school head is marginalizing parents again. While one can expect a new head to bring in folks he wants to work with, I have to feel these terminations are working toward just that. Clearly, they did not involve anyone but the school chief. So, this leads to other questions. Was his hiring conditional on removing principals the district is not happy with for one reason or another? Why no contact with either the people removed or the parents? Clearly, many schools performing poorly were untouched. Since principals don’t teach in the classroom, I don’t see much hope for change due to these removals. This all sounds so much the same.