SCOTTS VALLEY - Fresh off a hard-fought victory for Scotts Valley schools, officials will spend the coming weeks doing behind-the-scenes work before a parcel tax measure voters approved last week goes into effect.
"Personally, I have felt an extraordinary amount of weight lifted off of me," board member Sue Roth said at Tuesday's Board of Trustees meeting. "It has been a very difficult few months, just wondering."
Measure K, which goes into effect July 1, aims to retain teachers and maintain basic services by adding $48 to property tax bills for the next three years.
A form will soon be sent out to all district voters, outlining who can claim an exemption: Anyone ages 65 and older, who receives Supplemental Social Security Income or owns contiguous parcels. But the form will also include a box residents can check to decline an exemption.
Most property owners pay their bills in installments, with the first due Dec. 10 and the second April 10. This year, exemption requests are due Aug. 1, but will be due June 30 in 2013 and 2014.
An oversight committee will also be assembled, and tasked with watching over the estimated $1 million the tax is expected to raise.
Board members also enthusiastically voted to reinstate some of the positions that were eliminated earlier this year. Some pink slips were revoked because of labor negotiations, while others are a direct result of Measure K, whose goal is to retain teachers and maintain basic services in the four-school district.
Santa Cruz County Clerk Gail Pellerin has until July 3 to certify the elections. But with 76 percent voter approval, board members are confident.
"We won't be completely whole, but we'll get as close as possible," Superintendent Penny Weaver said.
In other business, Mark Hodges, who heads the County Office of Education's Regional Occupational Program, gave a short presentation about the program, which offers 128 classes at 22 locations throughout the county. Out of the 174 graduating seniors from Scotts Valley High School this year, he said, 110 of them took at least one ROP course.
"Vocational ed used to be for kids who weren't going to college," he said. But now, "it's not either/or, it's both."
Many of the courses can transfer for college credit, including criminal justice, computer graphics, culinary arts and fire technology.
In the fall, the ROP roster will include a new Music Production & Recording Arts course that offers students insight into the music business. They'll learn software programs, how to produce a song in a commercial format and become familiar with music industry business practices.
Follow Sentinel reporter Kimberly White on Twitter: @kwhite95066