Voter's Edge California Voter Guide
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Tuesday November 6, 2018 — California General Election
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Special District

Vallejo City Unified School District
Measure S Bond Measure - 55% Approval Required

To learn more about measures, follow the links for each tab in this section. For most screenreaders, you can hit Return or Enter to enter a tab and read the content within.

Election Results


25,744 votes yes (69.7%)

11,179 votes no (30.3%)

100% of precincts reporting (45/45).

38,872 ballots counted.

To improve classroom education, safety, and college/career preparation by repairing/updating classrooms, roofs, and bathrooms; updating science/technology labs; improving security/disability access; acquiring, constructing, and modernizing sites/facilities/equipment, shall Vallejo City Unified School District issue $194,000,000 of bonds raising approximately $10 million annually on average for 33 years at a projected rate of 6¢ per $100 of assessed value at legal interest rates with citizen oversight, annual audits, and no money for administrators' salaries/pensions?

What is this proposal?

Details — Official information

YES vote means

A “Yes” vote on this measure means: general obligation bonds totaling $194,000,000 will be issued to fund specified school facilities projects.

NO vote means

A “No” vote on the measure means: general obligation bonds totaling $194,000,000 will not be issued to fund specified school facilities projects.

Impartial analysis / Proposal

Solano County Counsel

Impartial Analysis of Measure S

A “Yes” vote on this measure means: general obligation bonds totaling $194,000,000 will be issued to fund specified school facilities projects.

A “No” vote on the measure means: general obligation bonds totaling $194,000,000 will not be issued to fund specified school facilities projects.

Measure S would authorize the sale of general obligation bonds of the Vallejo City Unified School District (“District”) in series in the aggregate amount of 194,000,000, for the purpose of funding the acquisition, construction, renovation, furnishing and equipping of school facilities and properties (“Bond Projects”). This measure will not amend any existing laws. The District’s governing board placed the measure on the ballot.

Measure S requires approval by two-thirds (2/3rds) of the voters of the District voting on it.

The bond proceeds shall be used to improve classroom education, safety and college and career preparation by: repairing or updating classrooms, roofs and bathrooms; updating science and technology labs; improving security and disability access; and acquiring, constructing, and modernizing, sites, facilities and equipment.

The District cannot guarantee that the bonds will provide sufficient funds to allow completion of all Bond Projects. Certain projects may require State matching funds for their completion.

The District will reactivate its bond oversight committee (“Committee”) to monitor and report on the expenditure of bond proceeds and to inform the public concerning such expenditures. The District’s Board will establish the membership requirements and procedures of the Committee.

The bonds must mature no later than 25 years from the date of the bonds and the maximum interest rate on the bonds shall not exceed 12 percent.

The bonds shall be repaid through a property tax levied and collected by the County each year on all taxable property within the District in an amount sufficient to pay the interest and principal coming due prior to the next year’s tax levy.

The procedures required for the approval and issuance of the general obligation bonds, including the process of submitting Measure S to the vote of the District’s electors, are as specified in the California Government, Education and Elections

Dennis Bunting
Solano County Counsel

EC § 9500

Tax rate

[This information has not yet been made available by the Solano County Registrar of Voters. Voter's Edge will add this information when the sample ballot pamphlets are released after October 9.]

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against

Arguments FOR

Argument in Favor of Measure S

Vote YES on Measure S to make critical repairs and updates to Vallejo schools and improve classroom education to prepare local students for college and careers.

Most of our schools were built decades ago and deteriorating classrooms are in need of significant repairs.

Measure S makes the basic health and safety upgrades our schools need, including replacing outdated electrical, heating and air conditioning systems, and updating fire alarms and sprinkler systems.

Now is the time to make these vital improvements. The longer we wait the more expensive these repairs will get.

Vallejo schools are lacking the up-to-date technology students need to succeed. Voting YES on S will upgrade classrooms, science labs, and computer labs to provide students with the 21st-century education and skills necessary to compete in an increasingly competitive economy.

By law, Measure S funds can only be used to improve Vallejo schools and are prohibited from going toward administrators' salaries or pensions.

Vote YES on S:

  • Improve programs that prepare students for careers in the trades, as well as college and career preparation programs
  • Repair leaky roofs and deteriorating restrooms and update outdated electrical systems and wiring
  • Improve student safety by installing security fencing, cameras and lighting
  • Ensure all schools are accessible for students with disabilities
  • Upgrade science labs, computer labs and classroom technology for 21st-century learning

Measure S: Strict Fiscal Accountability

  • All Measure S funds must stay local for Vallejo schools
  • No money can be taken away by the State
  • An independent citizens' oversight committee and annual audits ensure all funds are spent as promised

Measure S provides the safe and up-to-date learning environment our students need.

Vallejo's teachers, parents, and respected leaders agree - support our schools and our community, vote YES on S!

[The signatories and signatures of this argument were redacted from the PDF posted by the Solano County Registrar of Voters at . Voter's Edge will add this information after the sample ballot pamphlets become available after October 9.]

— Sonoma County Registrar of Voters

Arguments AGAINST


Our failed school district never stops coming to voters for handouts. Now, they want $194 million for 'facilities' bonds. We're paying millions in taxes for existing bonds until 2028, dedicated to the same improvements! For many, these bonds already cost over $1000/year in additional taxes.

By law, bond money can't be used to educate our children. It only goes to building and improvement projects. Instead of prioritizing education, the district wants structural upgrades that don't produce a quality education.

  • This school district has been run with such incompetence they were taken over by the state after incurring $60 million in debt that they couldn't pay! That state loan costs us over $3 million/year until repaid in 2024. The district now faces another $12 million deficit caused by lower enrollment and uncontrolled spending. Bond money CANNOT be used to pay this irresponsible debt.
  • 60% of Vallejo's kids DON'T attend Vallejo schools, costing millions in state funding. The district has closed numerous schools due to falling enrollment, but still wants nearly a quarter billion dollars for "improvements". Parents paying to send their kids elsewhere also pay Vallejo school taxes, taxing them twice.
  • State records show Vallejo has a high school dropout rate of nearly 50%, performs way below standards in student testing and ranks #2 in student absenteeism, reducing state funding even more.
  • Our property values are depressed largely because of our undesirable schools, another hidden tax.
  • Our outstanding common sense school board member, Ruscal Cayangyang, points out in opposing this bond measure, district spending is "out of control" and "fiscally irresponsible". He also defends overburdened taxpayers, noting vast increases in water, sewer and garbage, city proposals for yet another sales tax increase and the coming 60% increases in bridge tolls.

Enough! VOTE NO on this outrageous tax increase!

[The signatories and signatures of this argument were redacted from the PDF posted by the Solano County Registrar of Voters at . Voter's Edge will add this information after the sample ballot pamphlets become available after October 9.]

— Sonoma County Registrar of Voters

Replies to Arguments FOR

Rebuttal to the Argument Against Measure S

The opponents of Measure S are ready to give up on Vallejo schools. They want us to just accept that Vallejo kids will go to school in 50-year-old classrooms with leaky roofs, deteriorating restrooms and outdated fire alarms. They think it's okay that many schools lack a secure perimeter and all schools need significant safety upgrades.

We disagree. It has been 20 years since our last school improvement bond. We believe we can do better.

We believe Vallejo students deserve safe, warm and dry classrooms that protect them from earthquakes, fires and intruders.

We believe Vallejo students deserve modern science labs where they can develop the science, technology, engineering and math skills needed for college and careers.

We believe Vallejo students deserve the career technical education classrooms and equipment to train them for good jobs in our new economy.

We believe Vallejo students deserve the same opportunities as students in Benicia, Fairfield and most Bay Area school districts where voters passed school bonds just like Measure S.

Measure S requires an independent citizens' oversight committee to ensure funds are spent properly to upgrade our schools. No money can go to administrators' salaries or be taken by the State.

We are Vallejo homeowners and taxpayers. We're parents, teachers, long-time residents and community leaders who believe Vallejo can do better.

Graduation rates are on the rise and so is Vallejo. Now is not the time to give up. Improving schools benefits us all.

Join us - Vote YES on S.

/s/ Marian McDowell
Chair, African American Parent Network

/s/ Lizabeth Griffin
Local Parent

/s/ Rozzana Verder-Aliga
Vallejo City Council Member

/s/ Ruperto Sampayan
Mayor of Vallejo

/s/ Buck Kamphausen
Local business owner

— Sonoma County Registrar of Voters

Replies to Arguments AGAINST


Our financially reckless school district wants to increase our total debt, paid by taxpayers, to well over ONE BILLION DOLLARS! They want $194 million in new bonds, in addition to $133 million in bonds we're now paying for. The new $194 million will cost us a total of $600 million to repay with interest and fees, according to financial specialists hired by the district.

The current $133 million in bonds has already cost us $375 million in repayments and there's still $58 million unpaid, a total of $433 million burden on Vallejo taxpayers.

Together, the tax debt from these two bonds totals over ONE BILLION DOLLARS, not counting an additional $103 million plus interest and fees the district borrowed from the state, Mello-Roos taxes and COP bonds they issued without taxpayer approval. Millions more are owed in unfunded pension obligations. This massive tax debt is paid only by Vallejo property owners!

This property tax increase adds $60 per $100,000 in assessed value to your tax bill. A $500,000 home will pay $300/year in new taxes, for 33 years, nearly $10,000! When the value of your home increases, so will these taxes. If you rent, your landlord can only recover these new taxes by passing them on to you.

By law, not one dime of this money goes to classroom education - teacher salaries remain the same, preventing retention and hiring of quality teachers.

VOTE NO on MEASURE S. Another $600 million in debt spent by incompetent administrators.

/s/ Mark Stein
Vallejo Homeowner and Taxpayer

/s/ John F. Lundberg
Vallejo Homeowner and Taxpayer

/s/ James R. Crain
Vallejo Homeowner and Taxpayer

/s/ Teresina M. Crain
Vallejo Homeowner and Taxpayer

— Sonoma County Registrar of Voters

Read the proposed legislation

Proposed legislation

[The 1-page PDF labeled "Full Text of Measure S" on the Solano County Registrar of Voters website is obviously incomplete. Voter's Edge will update it when corrected, or when sample ballot text becomes available on October 9.]

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