Santa Barbara School administrators say the recently passed parcel taxes are making a big impact on students and schools. Last November, voters passed Measures A and B, to continue funding for the arts, music, and science programs at the elementary and junior high school levels.The money goes directly to important school programs, including weekly music classes at Roosevelt Elementary School in Santa Barbara.”This made it a very well articulated K-6 curriculum–which benefits kids in every way,” explains Principal, Dr. Donna Ronzoni.The curriculum is similar at all elementary schools in the Santa Barbara School District. Students in each grade level will learn to play a new instruments each year. When they reach fifth and sixth grades, they can choose the instrument they’d like to focus on. Hannah Mendez picked the flute. “At first it was really hard, but now its fun…I’m really glad we have the music program here.”Voters approved the annual tax of $48 dollars on each residential and commercial parcel, over the next four years, extending a similar measure that would have expired.The tax generates about one million dollars a year.Rich Lashua is a performance art teacher at Santa Barbara Junior High School–a program also fully funded by measure a monies. “Supporting not only the arts, but the science programs, and so many other elective programs.”Senior citizens are able to opt out of the tax. The funds cannot be used for administrator salaries or benefits, and use of the money is monitored by an independent citizens oversight committee.
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