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March 3, 2020 — Primary Election
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Special District

San Mateo Union High School District
Measure L - 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

Failing

22,433 votes yes (54.15%)

18,995 votes no (45.85%)

43,733 ballots counted

To upgrade local high schools that prepare students for college and today's competitive global job market; improve school safety; provide modern classroom technology; aquire, construct, repair classrooms, facilities, sites/equipment; update classrooms/labs for science, math/engineering instruction; shall San Mateo Union High School District's measure authorizing $385,000,000 in bonds at legal rates, levying $15.55 / $100,000 assessed value ($27,200,000 annually) while bonds are outstanding, be adopted, requiring oversight/audits, and no money for administrators' salaries?

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 approved at an election by 55% of those voting on issuance of the bonds.

The Board of Trustees of San Mateo Union HighSchool District (“District”) proposes this Measure, which would authorize the District to issue bonds in a principal amount not to exceed $385 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 30 years. The Districts best estimate of the average annual tax rate levy to fund this bond is $15.55 per $100,000 ($0.01555/$100) of assessed valuation. Thus, for example,a property assessed at $800,000 would likely have an annual tax obligation of $124.40 under this Measure.The District estimates that the total amount repayable during the life of the bond, including principal and interest, will be approximately $815 million.

The California Constitution requires the listing of specific projects to be funded from the bond revenue and certification that the Board ofTrustees has evaluated safety, class size reduction, and information technology needs in the development of that list. The Bond Project Listcan be found in the full text of the Measure,and includewithout limitation:

Repair of deteriorating restrooms and roofs, replacement of outdated electrical, lighting, heating, and air conditioning systems, and update of fire alarm and sprinkler systems;

Construction of affordable housing dedicated to school employees;

Improvement of energy efficiency and sustainability, including renovation of buildings and installation of turf fields;

Upgrades to classrooms, computer systems, internet access, and science labs;

and Campus access improvements and other security system upgrades for emergencies to provide safe learning environments for students.

The Measure authorizes equipment acquisition, upgrades, repairs, services, construction, and other items related to the listed projects. The Bond Project List does not imply a specific prioritization among the projects, and should be reviewed for further details.

No proceeds from the bonds shall be used for teacher or administrator salaries or operating expenses.  

State law requirethat the District take certain steps to account for the proceeds from the bonds. Accordingly, the District will direct that the proceeds are deposited into a special account, appoint an independent citizensoversight committee, prepare annual reports, and conduct annual independent performance and financial audits to ensurethat funds are spent only for the purposes listed in the Bond ProjectListand for no other purposes.

A “yes” vote on this measure would authorize the District to issue bonds in a principal amount not to exceed $385 million for the purposes listed in the Project List.

A “no” vote would prevent the District from issuing the bonds.

This Measure passes if 55% of those voting on the measure vote “yes.

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR

Vote YES on L to update San Mateo Union High School District schools for outstanding student achievement.

We are proud that students in Burlingame, Foster City, Hillsborough, Millbrae, San Bruno, and San Mateo receive a high-quality education. However, some of our classrooms and schools have not been updated in years and are in dire need of basic improvements and upgrades.

Many classrooms lack up-to-date learning technology necessary for today's competitive economy. Technology has advanced significantly over the past few decades yet our classrooms and labs have not kept pace.

Essential health and safety updates are needed. Outdated classrooms have aging roof and electrical systems, as well as walls containing asbestos. Security systems need to be updated to reflect today's challenges and safety risks.

Your YES vote is critical to ensure all students in Aragon, Burlingame, Capuchino, Hillsdale, Mills, Peninsula, and San Mateo high schools have access to the same quality education.

Vote YES on L for Strong Student Achievement

* Repair deteriorating walls containing asbestos

* Update classrooms, labs, and academic technology to prepare students for competitive careers

* Replace aging and inefficient electrical, mechanical, and plumbing systems

* Update fire and security systems

* Provide updated classrooms for science, technology, engineering, and math instruction

Locally-Controlled Funding for Local High Schools

* Every penny stays local to support San Mateo Union High School District schools

* No funds can be taken away by the State

* Independent citizens' oversight and annual audits are required

* No funds can go toward administrator salaries

The longer we wait to make these updates, the more expensive it will be. Our District has delivered on past promises and we know Measure L is locally-controlled and will directly support our students.

Join local community leaders, elected officials, seniors, business leaders, teachers and parents in voting YES on L to make essential repairs and updates to local high schools.

 

/s/ Dave Pine, San Mateo County Supervisor

/s/ Wayne J. Lee, Mayor, City of Millbrae

/s/ Ann Rhee, San Mateo High School PTO President

/s/ Cassandra Robinson, PTSO President, Hillsdale High School

/s/ Michael Salazar, San Bruno City Councilmember

Arguments AGAINST

How greedy can you get?

In 2010 voters approved $186,000,000 in debt to "provide classrooms" and in 2006 they approved $298,000,000 in additional debt to "build new and replace old classrooms."

Now they want another $385,000,000 to do the same things all over again??

Do schools really need upgrading every four to six years?

Have they even spent the $186,000,000 from the 2010 bond or the $298,000,000 from 2006?

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

When bond debt measures like Measure L are put before the voters, they are admitting that everrything 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. San Mateo High School District is saying every educational dollar spent today is going to a higher priority than to "provide classrooms."

Do you agree?

The website: www.ed-data.org shows at least 9,484 students in the district, which means this bond expense is $40,594 per student on top of the $19,611 per student expenses from 2010 and the $17,534 per student in the annual school budget.

Would you take out a 25-30 year loan to buy a personal computer? Nuts, right? But that's what the District wants you pay for now, like they did in 2010. They issued bond debt to purchase technology in 2010 that is now obsolete but you are still paying for it.

You deserved to know the full truth about Measure L.

If you value school maintenance more than making principal and interest payments for 25-30 years, vote NO on Measure L.

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

More for information: www.SVTaxpayers.org

 

/s/ Thomas Jay Weissmiller, Former Assistant Professor

/s/ Nickolaus R. Fermer, Former Corporate Exectutive

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

Replies to Arguments FOR

How greedy can you get?

In 2010 voters approved $186,000,000 in debt to "provide classrooms" and in 2006 they approved $298,000,000 in additional debt to "build new and replace old classrooms."

Now they want another $385,000,000 to do the same things all over again??

Do schools really need upgrading every four to six years?

Have they even spent the $186,000,000 from the 2010 bond or the $298,000,000 from 2006?

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

When bond debt measures like Measure L are put before the voters, they are admitting that everrything 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. San Mateo High School District is saying every educational dollar spent today is going to a higher priority than to "provide classrooms."

Do you agree?

The website: www.ed-data.org shows at least 9,484 students in the district, which means this bond expense is $40,594 per student on top of the $19,611 per student expenses from 2010 and the $17,534 per student in the annual school budget.

Would you take out a 25-30 year loan to buy a personal computer? Nuts, right? But that's what the District wants you pay for now, like they did in 2010. They issued bond debt to purchase technology in 2010 that is now obsolete but you are still paying for it.

You deserved to know the full truth about Measure L.

If you value school maintenance more than making principal and interest payments for 25-30 years, vote NO on Measure L.

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

More for information: www.SVTaxpayers.org

/s/ Leo Patrick McArdle, Veteran Activist 

/s/ George W. Smith,SMFD, Retired

/s/ Andrew Trepani, Retired Developer

/s/ Karen Kennedy, Homemaker

/s/ Cora Jean Kleppe, Retired Teacher

Replies to Arguments AGAINST

Don't let the opponents mislead you. They submitted almost identical arguments against every school measure in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties - without considering specific needs addressed by Measure L.

As community leaders, we know that Measure L is needed.  Here are the facts:

* It has been 10 years since San Mateo Union High School District passed a local measure addressing necessary classroom improvements

* Measure L will complete the next phase of updates to improve our high schools for today's competitive global economy, removed encapsulated asbestos, and make essential safety improvements for generations to come.

* The District has not and will not finance short-term technology with long-term bonds. Technology infrastructure improvements include upgrading classroom bandwidth, Fiber Optics, and Wireless Networks.

* The State does not provide adequate funding for capital improvements to our local high schools. Local measures like Measure L are the only way to make necessary modernizations and improvements. Funds from Measure L will stay in our community and cannot be taken away by the State.

* Independent citizen oversight and public audits prove that our local high school district has effectively managed its budget and past bonds. Read the reports at www.smuhsd.org/Page/5192. San Mateo Union High School District has refinanced bonds to save taxpayers millions and secured millions more in matching state dollars to maximize the value of our local dollars.

We all benefit from living in communities with outstanding high schools that attract families to our neighborhoods and protect strong property values.

Join us and vote YES on L for local high school students.

 

/s/ Carole Groom, San Mateo County Supervisor

/s/ Neal Kaufman, Finance Executive

/s/ Cindy Montgomery,Chair, Citizens' Oversight Committee

/s/ Ligia Andrade Zuniga, Disability Rights Activist

/s/ Jimmy Ikeda, Biotechnology Teacher, San Mateo High School

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