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Community college parcel tax falling short

Original post made on Nov 2, 2010

With 54 of 271 precincts reporting, it appears that a majority of Peninsula voters are in favor of a proposed parcel tax that proponents say will bring much needed money to the Foothill-De Anza Community College District.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, November 2, 2010, 10:55 PM

Comments (20)

Posted by Alfred W, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 2, 2010 at 11:45 pm

Good thing you need a 2/3 majority to raise taxes
Today Mortgage rates are around 4% and property tax rates around 1.4% all inclusive in Mountain View
This means that homeowners are spending 26% of their monthly payment on property tax
That's way too much already


Posted by James, a resident of Whisman Station
on Nov 3, 2010 at 6:25 am


There wont be any property value appreciation without investment in education.


Posted by Alfred W, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 3, 2010 at 8:06 am

Correction:" an estimated $7 million over six years "
It should say "an estimated $7 million a year, $49 million over six years"

James: local high school / elementary school ratings affects property value, not community college


Posted by Hardin, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 3, 2010 at 8:44 am

There's more to property value appreciation than grade 1-12 school ratings.

On a macroscopic level, educating and training those individuals who will be entering our work force, and preparing them for the new industries this region requires to remain prosperous is a contributing factor to property values, and more importantly, to quality of life. Community colleges, along with our distinguished 4 year universities, play an essential part in that.


Posted by Alfred W, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 3, 2010 at 9:33 am


Hardin wrote: "educating and training those individuals who will be entering our work force"

According to the demographic data on the Chancellor of Community Colleges web site, the percentage of "young" people (less than 19-24 years old) at Foothill-De Anza is only 27%. The rest are over 24 years old. There is no reason that people over 24 can't pay the full cost of their tuition.


Posted by Hardin, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 3, 2010 at 10:00 am

"According to the demographic data on the Chancellor of Community Colleges web site, the percentage of "young" people (less than 19-24 years old) at Foothill-De Anza is only 27%. The rest are over 24 years old. There is no reason that people over 24 can't pay the full cost of their tuition."

--------------

The data you cite shows that the percentage of "young" people between the ages of 19-24 constitutes close to 50% of all students, not 27%, for years 2010, 2009, and 2008.

I agree with you that a means test should be put into place to determine who should receive lower tuition, but age alone is not a good indicator.

One option I would support is increased tuition rates across the board, with a means test to qualify for discounted rates.


Posted by Sean, a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 3, 2010 at 10:21 am

Hardin- I think 1 in 10 of Foothill-Deanza students go on to 4 year universities or earn an AA degree while in school there. I'm not sure your point carries much water at that rate.

As far as property values go, that's probably a wash. Look around. There is a tremendous population in this area of non-natives. Silicon Valley will go find top level talent from this area or any other. The state of the community colleges are not going to be a limiting factor for these companies.

If the community colleges feel they need more funding, then they should make an effort to get some of the black marks off their record. This didn't get defeated on accident.


Posted by Hardin, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 3, 2010 at 12:45 pm

"Hardin- I think 1 in 10 of Foothill-Deanza students go on to 4 year universities or earn an AA degree while in school there. I'm not sure your point carries much water at that rate."

-------------------

I attribute some of this due to poor preparation in grade 1-12 education, since the remedial demand on community colleges also appears to be high. To be sure, community colleges aren't the deus machina for what ails the education system, but neither are they the root cause. With tuition at 4 year university's skyrocketing, there is a definite need to have something in the middle.


Posted by Hardin, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 3, 2010 at 12:52 pm

"As far as property values go, that's probably a wash. Look around. There is a tremendous population in this area of non-natives. Silicon Valley will go find top level talent from this area or any other. The state of the community colleges are not going to be a limiting factor for these companies."

----------------------

Agreed, companies will find top level area irrespective of where they are from, but that mostly applies to highly educated, white collar workers with specific skills, advanced degrees, or in depth experience. With these folks, companies are willing to shill out the added expense of relocation.

However, for lower skilled jobs that do not require advanced degrees, having a local work force that is tech savvy and trained in the specific industries endemic to Silicon Valley is an advantage no company would turn down. Perhaps this is why the Gates Foundation is working with community colleges on specialized educational programs. It's not cost effective to relocate your entire work force, if you don't have to.

From a public policy perspective, keeping jobs local adds to the tax base as well as improving the demographics and prosperity of residents.


Posted by James Hoosac, a resident of another community
on Nov 3, 2010 at 4:44 pm

Many people attend Community College classes for some hobbies such as music, photography or home networking. It is not fair that tax payers should pay the bills of such learning.

For example, an earlier article in MV Voice reported that a photography teacher earned more than $200K a year by teaching many classes. That $200K should primarily come from those who attended the classes, not from tax payers.

We should separate the investment in educating the next generation workforce from money spent on fulfill someone's curiosity and life enrichment. While the line is not always clear, I believe a significant portion of CC's service is for the latter.



Posted by steve, a resident of North Whisman
on Nov 3, 2010 at 4:59 pm

Why is the answer for every problem in this state a tax increase?

We already have one of the largest education budgets in the country. Unfortunately there is a 40% overhead. As I have said before there is no way you can run a business with a 40% overhead.

If we reduce that, there will be plenty of money to fund our schools. Unfortunately, our new governor will unlikely deal with this issue head on given that he is owned by the public sector unions.


Posted by Sabrina, a resident of The Crossings
on Nov 3, 2010 at 8:23 pm

As someone who attended De Anza as a transfer student (to a 4-year, no AA earned in the process) from 2005-2008 I can say that I am very disappointed that this requires a 2/3 majority to pass. I was able to receive much one-on-one attention from talented and compassionate faculty during my time at DA, and I find it hard to believe that they receive bloated salaries as stated.

Even in 2005, I wouldn't have easily been able to afford to attend a university straight out of high school. I feel the pain of those graduating from high school in 2010 who will not be able to afford the inflated tuition of a UC or CSU nor have a spot in a class at De Anza or Foothill.

It seems to me that those complaining about the extra taxes were able to attend a CSU when it was actually POSSIBLE to graduate without debt. I almost feel like attending De Anza was the equivalent cost wise of attending San Jose State in the early 1970s, as my mother did.

We really do owe it to ourselves as a community to provide this service, and it is awful that we are losing it. The more affordable price of CSU and UC only a couple decades ago was part of what made Silicon Valley possible.

I can only hope that Jerry Brown can use his wisdom and experience to help even the socioeconomic gap that Meg Whitman so concretely demonstrated with her $142 million campaign spending spree. Absolutely ridiculous.


Posted by James, a resident of Whisman Station
on Nov 3, 2010 at 8:53 pm


Alfred W: If there isn't a skilled workforce trained in community colleges there wont be jobs with purchasing power to support asset prices.


Posted by Hardin, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 3, 2010 at 11:42 pm

"Why is the answer for every problem in this state a tax increase?"

-----------

I could well ask you why the answer for every problem from you is a "No" on taxes.

Truth is, problem solving at the public policy level is never as simple or straight forward as adding funds or cutting funds. That's why having an intelligent, fact based discussion on the issues is required, as opposed to gut reaction decisions to blame administrative overhead, cut funding, and then walk away.


Posted by Hardin, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 4, 2010 at 12:00 am

"We already have one of the largest education budgets in the country. Unfortunately there is a 40% overhead. As I have said before there is no way you can run a business with a 40% overhead."

-------------

Really? Perhaps large in size, but not per capita per student.

According to the Census, New York has the highest per capita at $14,000 per student. California comes in at $8,000 per student. The lowest is Utah, at $5,200 per student.

Web Link

Also from the Census, California does not have the highest overhead or admin costs, no where near 40%.

Where are you getting your numbers from?

Finally, I don't believe that comparing the education of children to running a business is a relevant comparision. A business exists to turn a profit, measured in dollars. And more often than not, it will place a higher priority on dollars earned and costs saved, and share price appreciation, than it will in the welfare and well being of its employees, or customers for that matter.

These are not the same values and prorities for providing education, at least, they shouldn't be in this country.


Posted by ann, a resident of another community
on Nov 4, 2010 at 9:06 am

steve from north whisman.....you are so right on...


Posted by let'sgetreal, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 4, 2010 at 11:45 am

Yes, Steve from North Whisman - telling the truth!!


Posted by James, a resident of Whisman Station
on Nov 4, 2010 at 12:45 pm


"If there isn't a skilled workforce trained in community colleges there wont be jobs with purchasing power to support asset prices."

Looks like printing money and dropping it from helicopters works to inflate asset prices also.


Posted by Hardin, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 4, 2010 at 1:00 pm

"We should separate the investment in educating the next generation workforce from money spent on fulfill someone's curiosity and life enrichment. While the line is not always clear, I believe a significant portion of CC's service is for the latter."

--------------------

+1. I take courses at the community college and don't expect they be subsidized by the government. We should focus state funding on the academics, while still allowing the general public access to learn new things.


Posted by jupiterk, a resident of Gemello
on Nov 4, 2010 at 3:18 pm

if this measure had passed, the administrators will give themselves a big increase , lease nice cars and travel to unnecessary places to enrich their knowledge. They need to bring down the salaries of these administrators and instructors and spend the money on the kids who needs education most.


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