Sep 8 2014

School Tax Review Committee Needs Members

Are you interested in Piedmont School Parcel Taxes and learning A to Z how the Piedmont Unified School District (PUSD) expends funds?

An important opportunity is presented by the voter required PUSD School Support Tax Subcommittee of the Budget Advisory Committee (BAC).

The voter approved parcel tax started at $2,406 per parcel and can be increased 2% on a compounded basis each year by the School Board.  The parcel tax is currently $2,454 per year.  The Advisory Subcommittee is based on voter action requiring an annual report to the School Board on the need to levy the parcel tax and any increase for the following year. Three appointments to the subcommittee will be made on the recommendation of the President and Vice President of the Board to the full Board.

None of the meetings of the Budget Advisory Committee or Subcommittee have been publicly broadcast.  In the past, all meetings and deliberations on the parcel tax by the Subcommittee have been held in private and were not open to the public.

Piedmont Unified School District is seeking applicants for seats on its Advisory Subcommittee for the School Support Tax (Measure A) passed by the voters on March 5, 2013. Applicants must be Piedmont property owners subject to the School Support tax and cannot be current PUSD employees or consultants.  Contact the Piedmont Unified School District for an application. 

Applications must be received on or before Friday, October 17, 2014 at 5:00 p.m.

The following was approved at the Board of Education meeting of 4-10-13.

The Subcommittee will operate independently of the BAC and report directly to the Board of Education. The Subcommittee will establish its own meeting schedule and agendas. In addition to the budget information provided to the BAC, the Subcommittee may request additional information relating to the budget or School Support Tax from the Assistant Superintendent for Business Services, who will be the primary point of contact for the Subcommittee.

Charge to the Subcommittee

The Subcommittee shall serve in an advisory capacity to the Board of Education to help review and project the financial needs of the PUSD with respect to the levy of the voter approved School Support Tax. The Subcommittee shall conduct an independent examination of the District’s budget and related documents prior to making formal recommendations in its annual report to the Board.

The scope of work for the Subcommittee shall be limited to advice on whether and to what extent to levy the School Support Tax, as set forth below. If the Board wishes to expand the Subcommittee’s charge to consider other items, the Board must do so by majority vote.

As part of the District’s annual budget development process and during the term of the School Support Tax, the Subcommittee shall submit an annual report to the Board of Education showing:

A high level, comprehensive analysis of the District’s budget, including relevant metrics, historical trends, and comparisons with similar school districts, that provides an analytical basis for the Subcommittee’s recommendations.

The amount of funds collected and expended from the proceeds of the School Support Tax in the current fiscal year and projected for the next fiscal year, as well as the status of any projects or programs required or authorized to be funded from the proceeds of the School Support Tax, as described in the Full Text of the March 5, 2013 Ballot for Measure A (Exhibit A).

A recommended levy amount for the School Support Tax, up to the maximum allowable for the subsequent year’s tax. The Subcommittee shall recommend to the Board whether to (1) maintain the existing School Support Tax levy; (2) increase the existing levy up to a maximum of no more than two percent; or (3) decrease the existing levy. The Committee shall explain the basis for its recommendation, including the fiscal impacts of recommended and alternative funding levels on the District’s budget.

Board of Education Responsibility

Establish the Charter for the Subcommittee no later than May 5, 2013, after two public hearings at Regular School Board meetings.

Appoint to the Subcommittee, by November of each year, a total of 3 to 5 members representing a variety of stakeholder groups, and with appropriate finance knowledge and experience.

Appoint at least one Board liaison to the Subcommittee, to serve on an annual basis.

Revise and/or clarify interpretation of the Charter as necessary at regular meetings of the Board.

Operations of the Subcommittee

The Subcommittee shall elect officers by majority vote. Offices shall be limited to a Chair and Secretary, who are elected annually at a meeting of the Subcommittee.

The Chair is responsible for preparing agenda materials, administering meetings, and ensuring that the Subcommittee’s charge and expectations for the annual report are fulfilled by the Subcommittee each year.

The Secretary is responsible for preparing minutes of the meetings and administering meetings when the Chair is absent.

Meetings shall be held a minimum of two times per year, but otherwise as the Subcommittee decides

Recommendations shall be made by majority vote provided, however, that a minority recommendation may be submitted.

A quorum shall consist of a majority of the full Subcommittee.

The Subcommittee should coordinate with District administration and staff to secure information and input in ways that are not unduly burdensome.

The Subcommittee’s annual report to the Board will be submitted at least one month before the Board votes on the School Support Tax levies for the following budget year.

In general, the report would be due in January or February of each year.

Standards of Conduct of Committee and its Members

Although each Subcommittee member may have differing perspectives on the financial budget information, analysis and recommendations made by the Subcommittee, individual members will conduct themselves in ways that reflect mutual respect for different perspectives, and work collaboratively to develop the Subcommittee’s annual report.

Committee Composition and Length of Service

Membership: Three to five members, with Board option to expand as needed.

Term of Service: Two years, except that two of the members first appointed to the Subcommittee should be prepared to serve for three years to allow for staggering of membership terms.

Removal: Repeated absences, failure to prepare for and participate in meetings, routine failure to attend Budget Advisory Committee meetings, health matters, or professional or personal demands.

Compensation/Reimbursement: None.

Membership Requirements

Subcommittee members must be Piedmont property owners and subject to the School Support Tax.

Current PUSD employees or consultants are not eligible to serve on the Subcommittee.

Members of the Subcommittee should include representatives from various groups in the community, including parents, senior citizens, taxpayer advocates, and those without students in the schools.

Subcommittee members shall also be active members of the BAC who have appreciable financial knowledge and experience.

Application Procedure

Must submit application by facsimile, mail, email or in person to the Office of the Superintendent, 760 Magnolia Avenue, Piedmont, CA 94611. Applications will be available at the District Office or from the District website:

Selection of the Committee

The Board will work with the Superintendent’s office to recruit new Subcommittee members and set a reasonable timeframe for filling openings on the Subcommittee.

The Superintendent or designee will review applications to verify eligibility to serve on the Subcommittee (i.e., homeowner and taxpayer).

Board President and Vice President will review applications and as needed interview potential candidates for new and open positions on the Subcommittee.

Nominees will be confirmed by the Board of Education at a Regular Board Meeting.

Additional information:


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