Mystery Education Theater 3000

Month: September 2012

WCCUSD Response to Grand Jury to Be Discussed at Wednesday CBOC

Ever since the County Grand Jury report on all citizen bond oversight committees in the county, “School Bond Oversight – Raising the Bar,” was released in May, I’ve been waiting for the response from the district. At the August 15th joint CBOC/BOE meeting, staff was unprepared even though it was the main item for the agenda and the dead-line was looming. At the CBOC meeting today, staff is sharing it’s reply for discussion.

Tom Waller on Citizens Bond Oversight Committee Now

For the mandated members required to be on the Citizens Bond Oversight Committee, Ed. Code 15282. (a) (1) says:

One member shall be active in a business organization representing the business community located within the district.

That slot has been unfilled for some time. However, at the September 19, 2012 meeting, the Board of Education appointed Tom Waller to this position.

He is a past president of the Richmond Chamber of Commerce and a current Board member. Tom is also the Chair of the Chamber’s Education Workforce Readiness Committee.

He graduated from Harry Ells High School in Richmond. After a varied career, he now works as an independent business consultant here.

I know him from some previous parcel tax campaigns in the district. I’m looking forward to him being on the Citizens Bond Oversight Committee.

School Bond Tax Rates Compared to Northern Alameda County School Districts

I recently posted School Bond Tax Rates by School District in Contra Costa County to show just how ridiculously out of line our West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) school bond tax rate at $232/$100K assessed value is, even before adding on the proposed new Measure E (Nov. 2012) bond to jack the rate up to $280/$100K. A commenter suggested looking at districts with more seismic issues, so I collected information on northern Alameda County school districts like Berkeley.

Here are my results for the last billing cycle displayed as a table and a Tableau-generated chart. We are still way out of line before Measure E passes.

School DistrictTax Rate
West Contra Costa$232.20
Albany$164.50
Piedmont$153.40
Berkeley$147.80
Oakland$130.50
Emeryville$66.60
AVERAGE$132.56
MEDIAN$147.80

How I Got This

I didn’t have access to a County Auditor list of ad valorem (per assessed value) tax rates like I did for Contra Costa. Luckily, all of these school districts are unified and have the same boundaries as their cities, so I just used Google Maps to zoom in and find homes in the different cities. I then got an address and looked up the last property tax bill using the search page. Tedious, but it works.

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