Under current state law, school districts can augment the local funding of their schools in just a few ways. Two commonly used methods requiring voter approval are general obligation bonds, for school facilities, and parcel taxes, usually used for academic programs.
Voters approved 44% (17) of the 39 parcel taxes put before them in 2010 (based on the best available information). Of those that failed, 13 would have met a 55% threshold. From 1983 through November 2010, voters approved 289 parcel taxes in 542 elections; 179 would have met a 55% threshold.
G.O. bonds on the ballot fared better. Based on the best available information, in 2010, districts put 77 G.O. bonds on the ballot. Of those, 76 sought 55% approval and 57 (75%) passed. One sought two-thirds approval and passed. Local bond elections generated a total of about $77 billion from 1986 through 2010, and about $66 billion (86%) of that was generated from 1998 through 2010.
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