Maintaining Excellence: Today, Tomorrow, and Beyond
Tamalpais Union High School District (TUHSD) boasts some of the highest-rated public high schools in the country. Our graduation rates are exceptionally high and the vast majority of our students move on to college.
Our schools have earned an excellent reputation over the years, and it is our responsibility to ensure they remain the best.
More Students, Greater Costs
In just the past two years, the District’s enrollment has grown more than 16 percent; by the 2021-2022 school year, TUHSD’s enrollment is projected to have increased by nearly 30 percent. We are working diligently to absorb this unprecedented growth. In order to maintain TUHSD’s high standards for this larger student body, we need more teachers and staff, more classroom space, and more programs to serve them.
While some schools receive additional state funds for each new student, TUHSD is known as a community funded district. Our funding is primarily generated from local property taxes. As such, our present demographic bubble isn’t offset by new revenue from the state. We have to accommodate the additional funding costs locally, or consider reducing programs and increasing class sizes.
The District has diligently cut costs to mitigate anticipated shortfalls. We convened Budget Study and Enrollment Growth Committees to analyze our options and make recommendations for fiscally prudent ways to meet our growing needs. For example:
- We are actively exploring alternative schedules and taking steps to improve our facilities’ energy efficiency.
- Instead of asking taxpayers for expensive, permanent capital improvements, we have used local resources to add portables ensuring instruction could continue.
- We have maximized staffing and classroom usage with many teachers traveling and many classrooms being shared.
- We have begun collecting fees on new real estate developments in our district.
This gets us closer to making up the difference, but not close enough. Without new sources of revenue, difficult choices will have to be made. We do not want to sacrifice any of what makes our District so exceptional.
While enrollment grows and our costs continue to increase, we have been forced to dip more than $5 million into our dwindling financial reserves. Not only is that unsustainable, but the District is poised to lose over $10 million a year in revenue when the existing parcel tax expires in 2022. That would translate into dramatically fewer dollars available to spend on our students.
Now is the time to plan for the District’s future financial health and ensure a high- quality education for all of our students. To that end, we are exploring new sources of revenue, including an extension and/or increase of the existing parcel tax. We want to hear our community’s thoughts and ideas about how we might work together to meet this urgent challenge.
We’re in This Together
Our goal is to continue providing the world-class public high schools, award-winning teachers, small class sizes, exceptional programs, and impressive graduation rates our community has come to expect.
We invite our neighbors to engage in a dialogue with us about their priorities, insights, and ideas.
Thank you for your continued support of our students.
More information on the District and its finances:
- Basic Aid Funding Fact Sheet
- Enrollment Growth Committee Report
- Budget Certification Letter from MCOE dated 1-16-18
- Budget Information
- Full District Budget