Editorial: YES on Measure E: Foothill-De Anza tax | October 1, 2010 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Spectrum - October 1, 2010

Editorial: YES on Measure E: Foothill-De Anza tax

The economy and state cutbacks have put our superb community college district in an tough situation in face of rising demand

Faced with a huge dilemma of slashed state support and an escalating demand for classes and programs, the Foothill-De Anza Community College District is turning to voters in the sprawling district for help in the form of a modest $69 per year parcel tax.

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Posted by Numbers, a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Oct 6, 2010 at 11:24 pm

"It takes $13,500 per year to educate each community college student."
Web Link

A foreign student pays ~$5,000 per year for tuition.
Web Link

The tax payers have been subsidizing the difference, $8,500 per yer per foreign student. ($13,500 - $5,000)

There are over 3,000 foreign students at Foothill and De Anza.
Web Link

The tax payers have been paying over $25M for the education of foreign students at Foothill and De Anza. ($8,500 x 3,000)

This measure is not necessary if FHDA charges the foreign students the actual cost of their education.

Posted by Mosh money, a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 7, 2010 at 10:38 pm

There is already a $400 comunity bond on you property tax.

Posted by alum, a resident of Los Altos
on Oct 15, 2010 at 10:11 am

I've taken courses at Foothill and have had an opportunity to witness math and science classes. The truth is that these classes are not full. If you visit one of these classes in the middle of the quarter, the classes are barely half full. And, if you visit them after the withdrawal deadline, there are even less students. I've seen about 10 students in some classes.

My friend's son signed up for a calculus class which was supposed to meet 5 hours per week and one "to be announced" hour. He asked the teacher about this "to be announced" hour and was told "oh, we don't need to." He was told that if wanted extra units, he could take a "class" where all he had to do was check in to the tutoring room, but the instructor was not there.

These are the "classes" that your tax dollars would support.

Posted by Bill, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 27, 2010 at 3:46 pm

Why can't they raise the [patheticially cheap] tuition? The tuition at these places is *very* inexpensive. We are already paying to upgrade all of the facilities in these campuses. If the state is cutting funding, they need to argue their case to the state. If they come to the local population because it is the easier route, what will happen in the next 6 years? Do you think the state will see fit to restore the previous funding? Then they will be in the hole in 6 years when this tax expires and we will hear the same 'sky is falling' arguments all over again, but this time with an even larger price tag.

Is there no end to these bonds and parcel taxes? Am I the only one in this city to think this is a rediculous way to raise money? I am paying for a stupid hospital in San Jose for crying out loud.

Posted by Nimby-maybe, a resident of Ventura
on Oct 27, 2010 at 8:43 pm

Community colleges are good places for people who went to poor high schools or spent their teen years sluffing off to get a leg up toward a college degree. I don't think we should soak these people or discard them -- we need all the well-educated workers and citizens we can get.

I do have a question about this measure, though. How do we guarantee that the state won't grab the money, as they do with other taxes? I would think state law would trump any county initiative? The measure does say that if the state reduces their funding due to this tax, it is suspended if that will restore the state funding. But what if the state doesn't then restore their funding? The college district still loses.

Posted by Butch Cassidy, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 1, 2010 at 8:43 am

How are apt buildings treated under this tax, as a single parcel? Whoops missed some revenue there!!

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