FAQ

What challenges are kids in Marin facing?
Research shows that children benefit greatly from access to key services, including quality health care, preschool, child care and afterschool academic support. Access to these important services is linked to academic achievement, successful careers, healthy communities and an overall strong start in life. However, many children in Marin County don’t have access to these critical support systems.

What is being done to address these issues?
A coalition of grassroots organizations committed to providing children with the support systems they need for successful and healthy futures came together to assess potential ways to address these issues. The coalition is made up of leaders in education, health care, business, local government, child care, youth and community services, civic organizations, neighborhood groups, and more from communities across Marin County. The coalition recognized that a stable, local funding source was necessary to provide these services, which led to the formation of Measure A.

What is Measure A?
In order to provide a dedicated funding stream to address the challenges Marin’s most vulnerable young children face, the Marin County Board of Supervisors voted to place Measure A on the November 8, 2016 ballot to provide a dedicated funding stream for early childhood education, healthcare and other critical support systems.

Specifically, what will Measure A do?
Measure A aims to:

  • Ensure all children have access to quality preschool education
  • Expand after-school and summer learning programs promoting reading, writing and math achievement
  • Provide affordable child care for infants, toddlers and young children
  • Expand access to comprehensive health care services such as vision, dental and behavioral and mental health services for all children

How does Measure A help our children succeed in school?
Measure A also prepares our youngest children for success in school by increasing access to quality preschool. Research shows that attending preschool has lasting, positive impacts on student reading and math scores and dramatically reduces dropout rates. Children that attend quality preschool consistently demonstrate improved academic performance and school attendance, increased graduation and college attendance rates, decreased juvenile arrests and increased chances for success. 

How does Measure A support our children’s health and safety?
Measure A protects the health and safety of our children by providing after-school academic support and supervision, which studies show keep kids in school and away from alcohol, drugs and crime. It also provides health care services that make early detection and intervention in developmental, health and emotional problems possible for low-income families, improving children’s long-term health and quality of life.

What mechanism does Measure A use to generate funding for these services?
Measure A will enact a one-quarter cent sales tax throughout Marin County. 

How will we know funds will be spent wisely?
Measure A includes strong fiscal accountability protections:

  • Measure A requires local control over local funds for local needs
  • No money can be taken away by the State
  • Independent citizens’ oversight, mandatory audits and annual reports are required to ensure funds are spent as promised
  • Measure A builds in evaluation to assess effectiveness and quality of
    program investments
  • Even with Measure A, our sales tax rate will remain the same as we currently pay due to a scheduled decrease in the statewide sales tax rate next year

Does Measure A increase our sales tax rate?
No. Because of a scheduled decrease in the statewide sales tax rate next year, our sales tax rate will still be the same with Measure A. This is due to the expiration of the sales tax component of Prop. 30 (2012).

How much funding does Measure A generate?
Measure A will generate an estimated $12,000,000 annually.

How long will Measure A be in effect?
Measure A will expire in 9 years and can’t be renewed without voter approval.

Marin is an affluent county; do we really need Measure A?
Yes. Even in affluent Marin County, there are underserved children who lack access to services critical to giving them a strong start in life. For example, one in three Marin children does not attend preschool. Fewer than 50% of poor children start school ready compared to 75% of children who are not poor – a 27% gap – and by third grade, 66% of economically disadvantaged children in Marin did not read at grade level in 2013. The high cost of living in Marin County puts services like quality preschool and health care even further out of reach for underserved families. Measure A is essential to ensuring every child in Marin has the opportunity to succeed.

When can I vote for Measure A?
Measure A will appear on the ballot in the November 8, 2016 election. Vote-by-mail voters will receive their ballots in the mail in early October. The deadline to register to be eligible to vote in this election is October 24 and the deadline to request a mail ballot is November 1.

How many votes does Measure A need to pass?
It must be supported by a two-thirds majority of those who vote on it in order to pass.

Who can vote for Measure A?
All registered voters in Marin County will be eligible to vote on this measure.

How can I register to vote or learn more about voting?
You can register to vote at www.registertovote.ca.gov. To find out more about voting in this election, please contact the Marin County Registrar of Voters at (415) 473-6456 or visit www.MarinVotes.org.