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Schools Parcel Tax, Police in Schools: Topics at Council - School Board Joint Meeting

The El Cerrito City Council and West Contra Costa school board will hold a joint meeting at City Hall Tuesday for an overview of the ballot measure to boost parcel taxes for education, police officers in schools and other issues of mutual interest.

Schools Parcel Tax, Police in Schools: Topics at Council - School Board Joint Meeting

The , Measure K, will be reviewed at a joint meeting Tuesday night of the El Cerrito City Council and the school board of the West Contra Costa Unified School District.

Police officers in the schools

The special meeting, at 7 p.m. at El Cerrito City Hall, will also include discussion about the three El Cerrito police officers assigned to schools in the city — two at  and one at .

The school district has paid for these School Resource Officers in the past but gave notice last year that it may not continue funding them past June 30 this year. El Cerrito has been keeping three vacant positions in the police department in order to be able to absorb the cost of paying for these officers if the school district funding is not renewed.

Parcel tax ballot measure

On the parcel tax, property owners in the West Contra Costa school district already pay a parcel tax for schools. The measure on the June 5 ballot asks voters to extend and increase the parcel tax for schools. It requires two-thirds approval.

The current tax, first adopted by voters in 2004 and renewed with 79-percent voter approval in 2008, is 7.2 cents per square foot of building area and is due to expire June 30, 2014. The new tax would be increased to 10 cents a square foot, effective July 1 this year and last five years.

New schools in El Cerrito

Also on the agenda are presentation and discussion of the school facilities and bond program. The district is rebuiling Portola Middle School on the site of the former Castro Elementary School and is planning to rebuild Fairmont Elementary School.

Other items

The two bodies also plan to discuss after-school programs at the schools. The city sponsors a number of after-school classes and programs at schools in El Cerrito.

The meeting agenda, which is attached to this article, also includes remarks by Mayor Bill Jones and board President Charles Ramsey.

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