Letter to the Editor, October 20, 2016

BeachReporterSupport C and EE

I’m writing to dispel a common misconception: “Our property taxes are high and thus our schools have ample funding.”

In truth, only a small portion of our property taxes support education. The formula to allocate property tax dollars is based on spending levels in the 1970s. At that time, MBUSD was a K-8 district and allocated a small portion of property taxes to schools. As a result, MBUSD is a “revenue limit” district and does not retain property taxes. “basic aid” districts, such as Palo Alto, funded education at a higher level in the 70s, so they retain excess property taxes. Most of the funding for our schools comes from sales, business and income tax, not from property tax.

In 2013, California implemented Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) to provide additional funding for districts with greater numbers of high-need students. While LCFF is an important step toward educational equity, funding in California remains inadequate for all students. California is 42nd in the nation in school funding, and 50th in student to teacher ratios. MBUSD receives less funding than every other K-12 district in LA county, and is fourth from the bottom in California. For more detail on school finance please visit mbef.org/how/schoolfunding/.

As one of the only highly ranked districts in California without a parcel tax, our community invests in MBEF to supplement state funding for academic and enrichment programs.

Limited state funding also impacts our district’s ability to maintain facilities—many of which have aged poorly and are unsafe. The quality of our schools has a tremendous impact on our quality of life, our property values, and our sense of community. Funds from MBEF, PTAs and bond measures are critical to ensure that our children continue to thrive.

Please join me in supporting school bond Measures C and EE.

—Farnaz Golshani Flechner, Manhattan Beach Education Foundation executive director

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