Learn More About the BSEP Renewal in 2024
What is BSEP?
Berkeleyâ€™s local special tax in support of our public schools.
A community response to school funding shortages in the wake of Prop. 13, the Berkeley Schools Excellence Program (BSEP), has made a huge difference in the quality of our childrenâ€™s education since 1986. With a successful thirty-year history, this special local tax was on Berkeleyâ€™s November 2016 ballot as Measure E1, the Berkeley Public Schools Educational Excellence Act of 2016, where it won the approval of close to 89% of the voters, and was extended for 8 years.
Thoughtful oversight of BSEP funds
Among the cities that have created local tax initiatives to supplement their schoolsâ€™ budgets, Berkeleyâ€™s BSEP Measure is unusual in that it specifies the purposes for which the funds may be used, and requires extensive community involvement in planning and overseeing the expenditures. The BSEP Planning and Oversight (P&O) Committee, comprised of parent representatives from each school, meets regularly to review the implementation of the Measure, and to ensure that BSEP funds are spent in compliance with the Measure. An outside audit is also mandated by the Measure, providing an additional layer of assurance that funds are being spent according to the votersâ€™ wishes.
Current BSEP Measure Purposes
High Quality Instruction (66% of net revenue)
Small Class Sizes:
- Provides 30% of all classroom teachers in the K-12 Berkeley Public Schools.
- Grades K-5 school-wide average goal of 23
- Grades 6-12 average class size goal of 28
- Support for Teaching, including professional development, classroom support, program evaluation, and expanded course offerings
Essentials for Excellence (27% of net revenue)
School Site Programs 10.25%
Gives each school discretionary funds for site-based programs such as arts and sciences instruction, academic tutoring and counseling, athletics and student activities, and before and after-school programs.
Music, Visual and Performing Arts Programs 6.25%
Provides 4th-8th grade teachers and staff, professional development, musical instruments and materials, services and equipment.
School Libraries 7.25%
Provides all funding for school libraries, including staff and books, materials, services, and equipment in every school.
Instructional Technology 3.25%
Provides instructional technology in schools, and access for students to computers and learning technology.
Effective Student Support (7% of net revenue)
â€˘ Student Achievement Strategies improve academic outcomes for struggling students
â€˘ Counseling and Behavioral Health funds provide support for behavioral and social-Â Â Â Â emotional issues that affect student learning.
â€˘ Family Engagement and Access.
Public Information and Oversight
Before allocation of resources to the above purposes, 2% of revenues are allocated in support of the BSEP Planning and Oversight Committee, School Site Councils, communication and outreach services.
Learn More About BSEP
- History of Community Support 1986-2006
- 2016 Board Resolution and Full Ballot Text (PDF)
- BSEP Annual Plan and Site Plan Archives
- Planning and Oversight Committee
- School Site Councils
See BSEP at Work
2020 Bonar Street, Room 325
Berkeley, CA 94702
Tel: 510.644.8717 | Fax: 510.540.5358
Hours: Monday – Friday, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Danielle PerezÂ – BSEP Program Specialist
Craig Kaufman – Budget Analyst II