News

School district to host community forum on bond measure

The San Ramon Valley Unified School District will hold four forums in January and February to discuss a possible school facilities bond measure. The potential bond measure would pay for construction, modernization and possibly solar power at several schools, most notably at Stone Valley Middle School and San Ramon Valley High.

"We want to hear from our community," said Board of Education President Greg Marvel. "We know that our 2002 facilities bond was not meant to complete all of the critical school construction projects. We also have had continued enrollment growth which has created a need for additional facilities. These forums are very important because we want to hear from our community regarding the timing of an election and what size the bond should be."

During the 90-minute forum, district officials will give details about school facility needs and solicit community feedback. SRVUSD staff hopes to get the bond measure on the June 5 ballot.

"The district's identified large ticket maintenance items that are well over $100 million. The bond amount is dependent upon what the board thinks is necessary and what the electorate might support," Gary Black, assistant superintendent for business services, recently told the Express.

Although the district is still in discussion mode, it has identified a list of potential capital projects that total over $235 million. The bond amount has not yet been determined, but will be solidified through resident polling and further deliberation by the board.

The forums, held in both Danville and San Ramon, will include historical information about school facility improvements and feature break-out sessions for community and staff for small group input. While each forum will be similar in structure, each one will focus on the particular high school where it is being held, along with the middle schools and elementary schools that feed into each high school.

Forum dates are as follows, from 7 -8:30 p.m.:

* Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012, California High School (9870 Broadmoor Drive, San Ramon)

* Monday, Jan. 23, 2012, San Ramon Valley High School (501 Danville Blvd, Danville)

* Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012, Monte Vista High School (3131 Stone Valley Rd, Danville)

* Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012, Dougherty Valley High School (10550 Albion Road, San Ramon)

For more information, contact the district office at 552-2933 or visit www.srvusd.net www.srvusd.net.

Comments

Posted by I think NOT!, a resident of Danville
on Jan 16, 2012 at 7:44 am

I will not be voting in favor any new bond measures. Between bond measures, parcel taxes, property taxes, school donations...I'm worn out! Count me as a definite NO.


Posted by Another "NO", a resident of Danville
on Jan 16, 2012 at 2:32 pm

Just say NO!


Posted by [rermoved], a resident of San Ramon Valley High School
on Jan 16, 2012 at 3:36 pm

Dear Editor,

Interesting commentary on the neighborhood exchanges this afternoon concerning this SRVUSD press release. There is a question: "Why would anyone but parents come to a school to hear a presentation and make commentary on facilities' measures? The information should be thoroughly posted on the SRVUSD website with specific methods to receive feedback. Further, the SRVUSD Board should be in the communities and especially neighborhoods to gather broader commentary than that of parents."

Would you please update this release with an explanation from the school district on the lack of effective outreach in a manner appropriate to SRVUSD residents' interests and methods of communication?

A CDSI Research courtesy


Posted by hmmmm, a resident of Danville
on Jan 16, 2012 at 5:01 pm

I'm surprised that there is so little interest... People: what do you think? I, for one, am totally against a bond measure... Drive by our schools...they are better than ever... It's just another way of spending our hard earned dollars... I think what it comes down to are those families that have children in school and those who no longer have children in the district. I, for one, am fed up. On social security....can't afford even MORE taxes/bonds, etc. Help those of us on a fixed income. SAY NOT TO MORE BOND MEASURES/TAXES/ETC.! Thank you!


Posted by Wise Owl, a resident of Alamo
on Jan 16, 2012 at 10:24 pm

Not every school is "better than ever." In fact, some of the schools in the SRVUSD are quite shabby. One of the worst is in Alamo.


Posted by Wiser Owl, a resident of Danville
on Jan 16, 2012 at 11:00 pm

Every bond measure promises to be the last one. Got three sitting on my last tax bill. Didn't SRVHS just get a new (undersized) gym and solar panels to boot? Remember when they lottery passed so we would never ever have to worry about funding our schools again? How many times are we going to play Charlie Brown with Lucy and the football??


Posted by Betsy, a resident of Alamo
on Jan 17, 2012 at 7:37 am

Another Bond measure to fund teacher retirement. Perhaps it's time they start paying for their own retirement just like the rest of us do.


Posted by Wise Owl, a resident of Alamo
on Jan 17, 2012 at 8:09 am

One of the strict requirements of facility bond issues is that they cannot be used for anything other than facilities. It's "no fair" and ILLEGAL to use them for teacher's salaries.


Posted by Nancy, a resident of Danville
on Jan 17, 2012 at 9:48 am

Yet if the SRVUSD did not have such a HUGE burden paying for the retirement packages for the union workers, they would have plenty of money to fund the needed facilities. Do the math, there is plenty of money funding the SRVUSD, they just choose to bow down to the unions.


Posted by don't buy it, a resident of Diablo
on Jan 17, 2012 at 10:41 am

I recommend against attending the so-called information sessions about the bond measures. I went to the one about the parcel tax (that ultimately passed) and the organizers broke us into classroom-sized groups supposedly to get our input on the budget problems of SRVUSD and possible solutions. Needless to say, the discussions of trying to hold the line on the largest (something like 86%) item in the budget (teachers' salaries and benefits) fell on deaf ears. The organizers want you to attend the sessions to get you to buy into their scheme, not to solicit new ideas or hear reasons for opposing the bond measures. Don't go unless you are already sure you will vote "yes" on the bond measure.


Posted by Louie, a resident of Danville
on Jan 17, 2012 at 1:03 pm

When I was in the classroom, I tried to assist my students in understanding the difference between an emotional response and an informed response. Some of the above responses are from an emotional platform and do not help the cause.

What is the "cause?" Say "NO" to the bond measure.

(I am a retired teacher, who paid into my pension and paid into Social Security- but am penalized. I worked in the private sector every Summer for 30 years- supplementing my teacher's salary.) Those of you who so quickly pounce on teachers might try spending a day "shadowing" a teacher to get a realistic view of the job. But I digress.

The District has gone off its rocker. Money is being spent on the wrong things. District administration has a poor track record with capital spending. How is it that the Superintendent and School Board keeps under the radar while contributors to this site so readily point angry fingers at teachers?

Say "NO." But help us defeat this nonsense with an informed "NO."


Posted by I think NOT, a resident of Danville
on Jan 17, 2012 at 3:56 pm

OK...let's face it... I come from the "Those who can...DO....those who can't... TEACH" philosophy... What is so amazing is that we live in a District that is so highly rated...yet, some of the teachers are so mediocre. In comparison, they make a decent salary...for working nine months out of the year. OK...I know I will hear a backlash of all the hours spent after hours, etc. Come on...everyone in the "working world" spends more than their 9-5 to get the job done. I'm NOT buying it. I've had my share of good....great...TERRIBLE...teachers. EVERY teacher in the District should be a GREAT teacher before I spend any more of my hard earned dollars on a new bond measure.


Posted by Douglas, a resident of Blackhawk
on Jan 17, 2012 at 5:25 pm

Although there are many teacher issues, I do agree with Louie that our illustrious Superintendent and School Board need to be reined in. They are "politicians" and are ALWAYS posturing for the cameras. They do not have the best interests of our children at heart, they just want the kudos from the media for the idiotic ideas they come up with. We all need to say "NO" and make them spend within the means they have. BTW, we do also need to abolish the teacher unions and have them stop draining our funds as well. Time also for teachers to do their retirement planning just like the rest of us!!


Posted by Betsy, a resident of Alamo
on Jan 18, 2012 at 8:14 am

How is it possible that students at SRVH do not have text books for certain classes?


Posted by C. R. Mudgeon, a resident of Danville
on Jan 18, 2012 at 11:51 am

As someone noted above, facilities bond funds can't be used for teacher salaries, nor other "current operating expenses". But, part of the "beauty" of the solar-panel improvements (and partly to explain why they are so popular with the district) is that you CAN use bond funs for solar panel projects, and then the savings in electricity costs (which are part of current operating expenses) CAN be redirected to teacher salaries.

In the case of facilities projects that are intended to reduce current operating expenses (as opposed to building or repairing facilities), it would be more appropriate to apply the resulting savings toward paying down the bonds that were used to finance the project. Otherwise, it serves as a clever way to re-direct bond funds into (effectively) a higher operating budget.


Posted by keith, a resident of Danville
on Jan 18, 2012 at 12:21 pm

I say a big firm NO to the bond idea. We already have 3 on our tax bills from the previous overspending. If they can't stay within the budgets, they should resign and we should elect people who can.


Posted by Eric, a resident of Blackhawk
on Jan 18, 2012 at 1:12 pm

Quality education with top notch learning technologies, campuses are the way to stay competitive in a global economy. I am open to listening where these funds would be used.


Posted by Louie, a resident of Danville
on Jan 18, 2012 at 4:52 pm

1. Vote "NO" on the bond measure.
2. Take note of the Superintendent and School Board.
3. Put aside emotional responses based on, I suspect, very personal grievances. Focus on the issue.
4. Revisit priorities. Expensive technologies become obsolete overnight. Unless your student is headed for M.I.T., the much touted "technology" in schools is simply consumer electronics. (The District has squandered plenty on that.)
5. Eliminate the mindset that education must be "fun" and "interesting." (Ah, "entertaining.") Higher order math, science, and writing skills(like the ones being taught in countries overtaking the US) are the foundation needed for higher order thinking, real technology use and invention.
6. And finally, a tip 'o the hat to "NOT." Let's get rid of mediocre teachers.... and an equal dose of mediocre parents!


Posted by Ron, a resident of San Ramon
on Jan 21, 2012 at 11:59 am

Please urge all of your friends in the community to give resounding NO to this tax increase. These bonds are a way to divert capital back to the operating budget. District Salaries and Benefits already account for 86% of the operating budget. There are currently 4 bond measures on your property tax bill. The SRVUSD wants this bond to be added, and also is working on the next parcel tax. These are stacked up and never come off our property taxes. The schools are fine, the teachers are well paid, and their benefits are already better than in the private sector. Do you have a pension coming when you retire?


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