Why Another Tax?
The Short Answer
Nobody likes taxes. But public schools are funded through taxes. And while state and federal taxes fund most public school expenses, these taxes do not pay for new buildings, or renovating old ones. In California, property taxes are the only way to pay for buildings. Sometimes, if a school district already has a bond in place, the state will provide matching funds.
So, the community decides whether or not to improve their own public school facilities. And it was presumed that a community would enact the taxes necessary to keep their school facilities in proper condition. Our elected school board members, with the help of engineers, architects, and educators have established the tax rate needed to meet the proper conditions for our school facilities.
The Long Answer
The way schools are funded in California traces a complex history. The most impactful change happened in 1978 with the passage of Prop 13, which restricted property value increases to 2% per year until a property was sold. This clearly does not keep pace with actual housing price increases. It also placed strict limits on how much government could tax property. So Prop 13 drastically reduced a key revenue source for schools. Ultimately, the community decides whether or not to improve their own public school facilities by voting to tax themselves when necessary.
Further explanation of this history and tax rules can be found in the articles below.