Questions and Answers About Measure D
Q:Why does SRVUSD need to upgrade its schools?
A: The San Ramon Valley Unified School District is committed to providing all students with a quality education in a safe and well-maintained learning environment. Student achievement is among the best in the state, however, our schools need to be upgraded to prevent overcrowding and ensure we have enough classrooms so students can attend their neighborhood school. Up-to-date technology and science labs are needed to support a 21st-century learning environment. Additionally, many of our schools have been renovated, yet others are in need of repairs and upgrades. To ensure all of our students have a safe and modern learning environment that prepares them to succeed in college and future careers, the SRVUSD School Board voted unanimously to place Measure D, a $260 million local school facilities bond measure, on the November 6, 2012 ballot.
Q: What will Measure D do?
A: Measure D will address key upgrades and school repairs to provide a safe, 21st-century learning environment and avoid school overcrowding. Measure D will:
- Keep schools well-maintained and in good condition
- Provide additional classrooms to better ensure that students can attend their neighborhood schools
- Update technology infrastructure for 21st-century teaching and learning
- Renovate aging science labs, classrooms and school facilities
- Upgrade fire, security, and earthquake safety systems
- Bring all schools up to the same high facility standards
Q: Is Measure D fiscally accountable?
A: Measure D includes fiscal oversight and accountability.
- Every penny will support San Ramon Valley schools
- The State can’t take Measure D funds
- Independent citizens’ oversight is required
- No funds can be used for administrators’ salaries
- This measure qualifies our schools for state matching funds
Q: Is there any other way to fund these repairs?
A: The State does not provide the levels of funding we need to renovate our local schools. Our schools need safety upgrades, up-to-date technology and science labs, as well as additional classrooms to prevent overcrowding and provide a safe learning environment. The only way to upgrade our schools is to pass a local school bond measure.
Q. Can the State take any Measure D funds?
A: No. Every penny of Measure D will in the San Ramon Valley Unified School District. No funds can be taken away by the State.
Q: Why is Measure D needed now?
A: Over time, our facilities will continue to get older and costs to upgrade our schools will increase. With a growing student enrollment, many of our schools are becoming overcrowded and students are not able to attend their neighborhood schools. Measure D will help protect our community’s investment in our schools and the education we provide for our students. By acting now, we can take advantage of historically low construction costs and interest rates and maximize local funds.
Q: Have we passed a bond measure before?
A: Our community has a tradition of supporting local measures to renovate and update our San Ramon Valley schools. First in 1998 and again in 2002, local voters overwhelmingly approved local school bond measures. These measures have provided locally-controlled funding that Sacramento cannot take away to make critical updates to our schools, making them safer for students, bringing them into the 21st century and accommodating growing enrollment where needed.
Q: How much will Measure D cost?
A: Measure D will upgrade our local San Ramon Valley schools by extending but not increasing our voter-approved tax rates beyond what we were already scheduled to pay starting next year in 2013-14.
Q: How can Measure D update our local schools without increasing tax rates beyond what we were already scheduled to pay in 2013-2014?
A: Each year, SRVUSD reviews current interest rates and other factors to ensure the district is achieving the best deal for taxpayers. As part of the routine review earlier this year, the District’s financial analysis determined that refinancing certain outstanding bonds to lock in historically low interest rates would save local taxpayers millions of dollars over the life of the bonds. In addition to looking for ways to reduce the cost of existing bonds to taxpayers, the District’s analysis also allowed us to develop Measure D, a locally-controlled school facilities bond measure, without exceeding the tax rate local property owners were projected to pay.
This became the plan for Measure D, which if approved by 55% of local voters on November 6, 2012, will provide the funding needed for the next phase of updates and improvements to our local schools By leveraging low interest rates and our stable tax base, Measure D is structured so that, when combined with the cost of our existing bond measures, would be no more than the rate we were already projected to pay in 2013. In other words, local schools receive millions in locally-controlled funding and our taxes stay at the same amount they were projected to be.
This August, the District received more good news when the Contra Costa County Assessor’s office released the latest information related to local assessed values. Due to greater growth in the local property tax base, the tax rate that will be assessed for our local bond measures will be about $5 per $100,000 of assessed value lower than had been estimated. See the chart below.
Q: Will Measure D help improve the energy efficiency of our schools and save the District money?
A: Yes. By improving the energy and operational efficiency of our schools, Measure D will help provide annual savings that could go directly into the classroom to support retaining qualified teachers and protecting academic programs.
Q: Will Measure D allow our schools to qualify for State matching funds?
A: Yes. If Measure D passes, our schools will qualify for additional funding from the State. These matching funds are only available to our schools if we pass Measure D and will allow us to maximize our local funds, increasing the repairs and upgrades to our local schools. California schools typically are unable to receive matching funds without the passage of a bond.
Q: How can I find out which projects will be completed at my school?
A: While some schools have been upgraded and repaired, others have not. Measure D will help bring all of our schools up to the same high facilities standard. To view the full project list, click here:
Q: How can I get more information or ask questions?
A: For more information, please contact the Office of the Superintendent at (925) 552-2933 or visit www.srvusd.net