The 240-student Wilson Elementary School just west of Petaluma is one of the top schools in the region with test scores to rival most Petaluma-area schools, technology in the classroom and a thriving music program.
Wilson owes its recent success to the residents in the Wilmar Union School District who, since 2004, have generously voted for a parcel tax to supplement the school’s budget when state education funding went south.
A renewal of the district’s parcel tax is on the ballot this Nov. 7 as Measure F. Voters in 2015 turned down an extension of the $50 per year parcel tax, and last year the district came 17 votes short of passing a $75 per year tax measure. This year, the district has lowered its ask to $65.
Wilmar voters should pass this important measure. Superintendent Eric Hoppes has efficiently managed these funds and the proceeds of a $4 million bond measure that voters passed in 2012.
With the bond funds, the district has greatly improved the 58-year-old school, including rehabilitating its sewer line, building a new entryway, adding a security fence and fixing its roof. With the parcel tax funds, which is expected to raise $71,000 per year in the future, the school will be able to bolster its academic performance.
An extension of this tax would allow the school to maintain small class sizes, keep the library open, provide books and technology in the classroom and continue the music program.
For the 1,900 registered voters in the Wilmar School District, $65 per year does not seem like a huge burden in order to maintain the quality of education at Wilson School. Property owners 65 or older are exempt from paying the tax, which would expire in eight years, and no group is publicly against this measure.
Passing Measure F is the right thing to do, and the Argus-Courier encourages a “yes” vote.