SAN JOSE (KCBS) – Faced with looming budget deficits, more than a half-dozen Peninsula and Silicon Valley school districts have put parcel taxes on the May ballot. In short, they’re asking voters to help fund education in what they call a time of crisis.

KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

Seven school districts in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties have appealed to voters directly, asking them to pass parcel tax increases to help avoid teacher layoffs and keep libraries open: Los Gatos, Los Altos, Sunnyvale, Cupertino, San Carlos, Ravenswood and Jefferson Union.

The proposed parcel tax increases range from $49 annually in Los Gatos to $193 in Los Altos.

The elections are by mail only, and ballots are due May 3.

KCBS political analyst and San Jose State University political science professor Larry Gerston warned that, as state funding dries up, voters all over the Bay Area could expect to see more of these types of mail-only elections at the local level.

“They will hold it at the appropriate time, hold it as a stand-alone election and woo that local electorate so that they see what they’re going to get for their money very directly,” he said. “It is the election type of the future.”

A two-thirds majority would be required for each parcel tax increase to pass, something parents and school districts were hopeful they would get – considering the strategic timing of the election while school is still in session.

“The parents are reminded this is why we need to go out and vote and there may be other people in the community who vote one way or the other, but you’re getting that large push of parents,” Gerston pointed out. “It helps to gain that two-thirds vote.”

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