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March 3, 2020 — Primary Election
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Special District

Burlingame School District
Measure O - 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

Passing

6,485 votes yes (60.17%)

4,292 votes no (39.83%)

11,411 ballots counted

To maintain the quality of Burlingame schools; modernize/renovate outdated classrooms, restrooms/school facilities to support 21st-century learning; fix damaged/leaky roofs; improve student safety; upgrade inadequate electrical systems; shall Burlingame Elementary School District's measure authorizing $97,000,000 in bonds at legal interest rates be adopted, at 2 cents per $100 of assessed value (approximately $5,600,000 annually) while bonds are outstanding, with annual audits, citizen oversight, no money for administrator salaries and no money taken by the State?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

Impartial analysis / Proposal

The California Constitution and Education Code authorize a school district to issue bonds for specified purposes if voters approve the issuance of the bonds at an election. Pursuant to Education Code Section 15274, such a bond measure passes if 55% of those voting on it approve it.

The Board of Trustees of the Burlingame Elementary School District (the “District”) proposes this Measure, which would authorize the District to issue bonds in a principal amount not to exceed $97 million. The bonds will have an interest rate not exceeding the legal maximum and will be repaid within the time permitted by law. The Tax Rate Statement printed in this pamphlet contains the District’s best estimates of tax rates required to service the bond debt during the life of the bonds, which is estimated to be approximately 34 years. The District’s best estimate of the average annual tax rate levy to fund this bond is $23.41 per $100,000 of assessed valuation.This means, for example,that a property assessed at $700,000 would likely have an annual tax obligation of $163.87 under this Measure. The District estimates that the total amount repayable during the life of the bond, including principal and interest, is approximately $192million.

The California Constitution requires the listing of specific school facilities projects to be funded from the bond revenue and certification that the District governing board has evaluated safety, class size reduction, and information technology needs in the development of that list. The District’s list of projects covered by the bond is attached to the full text of the Measure and includes, without limitation: acquisition, construction, and upgradeof classrooms, furnishings, technology infrastructure, outdoor student gathering facilities, and other school facilities;repair/replacement of roofs, flooring, walls, ceilings, grounds, landscaping, utilities, and security, fire, communication, and other safety systems;improvement of access for students with disabilities; replacement/repair of portable classrooms; and workforce housing for District employees.

The Measure authorizes equipment acquisition, upgrades, repairs, services, construction, and other items related to these listed projects. Projects are authorized at all District locations. The Project List should be reviewed for further details. No funds from this tax shall be used for administrator salaries or operating expenses.

State law requires the District to take certain steps to account for the proceeds from the bonds. Accordingly, the District will direct the funds to be deposited into a special account, appoint an independent citizens’ oversight committee, conduct annual independent performance and financial audits to ensure that funds are spent only on the listed improvements and for no other purposes, and prepare annual reports listing the amount of funds collected and expended and the status of any funded project.

A “yes” vote on this Measure would authorize the District to issue bonds in a principal amount not to exceed $97million for the purposes listed in the Project List.

A “no” vote would prevent the Districtfrom issuing the bonds.

This measure passes if 55% of those voting on this measure vote yes. 

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR

Votes Yes on Measure O: continue funding critical repairs to aging schools and provide a safe learning environment for Burlingame students

Burlingame's elementary and middle schools are among the best in the Bay Area and the State. However, students and teachers are performing at high levels despite the state of local classrooms and school facilities, some of which are over 100 years old and in need of replacement.

Some classrooms have dry rot, roofs leak, and pipes have burst. Electrical systems predate computers and deteriorating buildings simply aren't fit for a 21st century education.

Much progress has been made in recent years with Phase 1 improvements completed as promised, yet safety concerns and educational needs still need to be addressed. We can't rely on the State or any other funding source to get the job done.

Measure O provides dedicated, locally controlled funding to improve our campuses. By law, all Measure O funds can only support Burlingame School District schools - the State cannot take one penny.

Safe Schools for Modern Learning

* Repair or replace outdated classrooms and labs to support 21st century education

* Remove dry rot, lead, and asbestos

* Protect students and staff safety, including installing security cameras

* Fix leaky roofs

* Replace aging and inefficient plumbing and electrical systems

Strict Fiscal Accountability is Mandatory

* No Measure O funds can be taken by the State

* An Independent Citizens' Oversight Committee will review every expenditure

* A comprehensive project list details the exact use of funds

* Measure O funds cannot be used for administrator salaries

Burlingame's schools are intregral to the strength of our city and among the top reasons our community is a desirable place to live. Measure O is a wise investment for all residents because keeping our schools strong keeps our property values strong.

Please vote Yes on O.

 

/s/ Lawrence Coskey, MD, Local Business Owner

/s/ Lisa Rosenthal, 39-year Burlingame Resident

/s/ Michael Barber, Burlingame School District Citizens' Oversight Committee

/s/ Emily Beach, Mayor, City of Burlingame

/s/ Alisa Ruiz-Johnson, Local Realtor 

Arguments AGAINST

In 2016 voters approved $56,000,000 in debt to "update classrooms" and in 2012 they approved $56,000,000 to "update classrooms."

Now they want another $97,000,000 in debt to do it all over again???

Do school classrooms really need upgrading every four years?

Have they even spent the $56,000,000 from the 2016 bond or before?

If not, why are they asking for more of your hard earned dollars?

When bond debt measures like Measure O are put before the voters, the school District is admitting that everything they are currently spending your tax dollars on now, is more important than the projects for which this tax increase is being sought.

Budgets set priorities. Burlingame Elementary School District is saying every educational dollar spent today is going to a higher priority than to "renovate outdated classrooms."

Do you agree?

The District does not think "student safety" is important because they are not in the current budget.

Do you agree?

The District does not think "leaky roofs" are important because they are not in the current budget.

Do you agree?

Who takes out a 25-30 year loan to buy a personal computer? No one, right? But that is what the District did in 2012.  You are paying for that now and will for decades to come, even though that technology became obsolete years ago.

The website www.ed-data.org shows 3,-57 students in the district which means this bond expense is $27,658 per student plus 25-30 years of interest, plus $10,070 per student in the annual school budget.

You deserve to know the full truth about the mountain of debt that is Measure O.

Remember financing school projects via bond debt routinely doubles the cost of the project. And purchasing technology via bonds is nuts!

Just say No to more debt. Vote No on O.

/s/ Mark W.A. Hinkle, President, Silicon Valley Taxpayers Association

For more information: www.SVTaxpayers.org

Replies to Arguments FOR

In 2016 voters approved $56,000,000 in debt to "update classrooms" and in 2012 they approved $56,000,000 to "update classrooms."

Now they want another $97,000,000 in debt to do it all over again???

Do school classrooms really need upgrading every four years?

Have they even spent the $56,000,000 from the 2016 bond or before?

If not, why are they asking for more of your hard earned dollars?

When bond debt measures like Measure O are put before the voters, the school District is admitting that everything they are currently spending your tax dollars on now, is more important than the projects for which this tax increase is being sought.

Budgets set priorities. Burlingame Elementary School District is saying every educational dollar spent today is going to a higher priority than to "renovate outdated classrooms."

Do you agree?

The District does not think "student safety" is important because they are not in the current budget.

Do you agree?

The District does not think "leaky roofs" are important because they are not in the current budget.

Do you agree?

Who takes out a 25-30 year loan to buy a personal computer? No one, right? But that is what the District did in 2012.  You are paying for that now and will for decades to come, even though that technology became obsolete years ago.

The website www.ed-data.org shows 3,-57 students in the district which means this bond expense is $27,658 per student plus 25-30 years of interest, plus $10,070 per student in the annual school budget.

You deserve to know the full truth about the mountain of debt that is Measure O.

Remember financing school projects via bond debt routinely doubles the cost of the project. And purchasing technology via bonds is nuts!

Just say No to more debt. Vote No on O.

/s/ Mark W.A. Hinkle, President, Silicon Valley Taxpayers Association

For more information: www.SVTaxpayers.org

Replies to Arguments AGAINST

Let's not be fooled by one lone ideologue. Take a look at your ballot pamphlet; our opponent submitted a boiler plate argument against every school measure in San Mateo County despite living more than 50 miles away. How does he know what's best for Burlingame schools?

We've lived, worked, and raised our families here. Our schools and community need Measure O. Here are the facts:

* Student safety is our number one priority. That's why Measure O funds security cameras and other key safety improvements.

* Burlingame School District has a proven track record of excellent fiscal management. Past measures were never promised or intended to address every need in the District. Every penny was spent as promised. View past oversight reports for yourself at tinyurl.com/BurlingameOversight.

* Measure O includes crystal clear fiscal accountability. Annual audits, independent citizens' oversight and a detailed project list are written directly into the measure, ensuring all funds are spent only on voter approved projects.

* We cannot rely on State funding: Measure O is the only option to repair our aging schools. The State does not provide funding to fix leaky roofs or remove dry rot. In fact, the only way to become eligible for State facilities funding is to pass a local measure like Measure O.

Burlingame residents recognize the value of strong local schools. They see it every day in the strength of our community and the strength of our property values. Completing urgent repairs is good for our schools and good for the community.

Vote Yes On O: Outstanding Burlingame Schools.

/s/ James Cannon, Jr; 49 Year Burlingame Resident

/s/ Eric Wollman, Retired Chief of Police

/s/ Meredith Thacker, President, Burlingame Council of PTAs

/s/ Donna Colson, Burlingame City Council member

/s/ Deborah Clifford, Chief Financial Officer 

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