The Portola Valley School District (PVSD)'s nearly $1 million annual parcel tax measure to keep the district's programming afloat, which was on the May ballot, has officially passed. On Thursday, June 3, the San Mateo County Elections Office certified the results.
Measure S was the only item on San Mateo County's all-mail ballot May 4 special election, needed two-thirds majority to pass and received 1,972 or 75.1% votes in favor, according to an elections office press release. It has an eight-year term, expiring in 2029, and will raise $997,000 yearly.
"The approval to continue the parcel tax in the PVSD was only possible thanks to the hard work of 100+ community members, parents, PVSD teachers and staff volunteering their time and talent," said Linda Kamran, chair of the Yes on S campaign. "Our campaign team is grateful for the strong showing of support from the Portola Valley/Woodside community. We know that the PVSD will continue to be wise stewards of this critical funding. We look forward to being able to maintain the small class sizes and programs that have helped our kids thrive both in normal years as well as during the pandemic."
Superintendent Roberta Zarea said the district is grateful to the community for passing Measure S to help maintain its academic, music, arts, and library programs, retain teaching staff, and keep class sizes small.
"We believe the strong public schools our community values are the foundation of our thriving community and support property values," she said in an email. "We believe it is our duty to listen to stakeholders' priorities and make wise choices with tax dollars. We have worked hard to make over one million dollars in cuts over the past three years, and Measure S reflects the community's interest in a new lower parcel tax rate. Our school board and PVSD administration will continue earning the community's trust with sound financial management. The partnership between the community and PVSD is an enduring one that will see future generations of Portola Valley, Woodside, and Skylonda children succeed."
Of the 5,478 registered voters, 2,627, or 47.96%, voted in the election. Nearly all the ballots cast in this election were vote-by-mail, 2,617, or 99.6%.
Voters failed to renew the soon-to-expire tax, Measure O, last March. The district asked for less money this time around: $471 per parcel annually versus the current rate of $581.
Measure O, which expires this month, raises about $1.2 million annually for the district. It funds advanced math, science and technology, reading, writing, art and music programs; reduced class sizes; and retention of teachers for the district's two schools, Ormondale and Corte Madera, according to the district website. The tax also covers 17% of district teachers' salaries, according to the ballot measure.