School board to consider supporting Propositions 51, 55

New Dougherty Valley High principal, 2015-16 financial report, Hispanic Heritage Month also on tap

The San Ramon Valley school board will debate Tuesday whether to throw its support behind two state propositions that would increase funding for public schools if approved by California voters in November.

Proposition 51 would authorize the state to issue $9 billion in general obligation bonds to fund facility construction and improvements at K-12 schools and community colleges in the state. Proposition 55 would extend temporary income taxes on high-income earners to fund education and health care.

The school district's administration recommends the board approve resolutions in support of each proposition Tuesday night, according to superintendent Rick Schmitt.

Formally "The Kindergarten through Community College Public Education Facilities Bond Act of 2016," Prop 51 aims to create $9 billion in state funding for local school and community college facility projects.

Bond proceeds would be allocated with $3 billion for new school construction, $3 billion for school facility modernization, $2 billion for community college facilities, $500 million for charter school facilities and $500 million for facilities for career technical education programs.

State officials estimate it would cost the state about $17.6 billion to pay off the principal and interest on the bonds, with payments of about $500 million per year for 35 years from the state's general fund.

Prop 55, "The Children's Education and Health Care Protection Act," would extend for 12 more years the temporary personal income tax increases on high-income earners -- approved in 2012 as part of Prop 30 -- to fund education and health care.

The tax applies to single-filer incomes over $250,000, joint-filer incomes over $500,000 and head-of-household incomes over $340,000, with specific tax rates different depending on which of four high-income tax brackets residents fall into.

State officials estimate the tax extension would generate between $4 billion and $9 billion per year from 2019-30, depending on economic conditions. Tax revenues would be allocated at 89% to K-12 schools and 11% to community colleges, with up to $2 billion in certain years for health care programs.

Without an extension, the Prop 30 temporary income tax would be phased out starting in 2018 and then expire in 2019. The sales tax component of Prop 30, a 0.25% statewide sales tax, is set to expire at the end of this year.

As part of its proposed support resolution for Prop 55, the school board would urge the state legislature "to work with the public education community to identify stable, long-term, adequate funding solutions for public schools."

The regular school board meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday inside the boardrooms at the district administrative complex, 699 Old Orchard Drive in Danville.

In other business

* The board will consider accepting the 2015-16 annual financial report, unaudited actuals -- figures that establish the beginning balance for each district fund for the 2016-17 budget.

The district's general fund ended last school year with almost $55.8 million, representing a reserve of about 10.7%, according to the report.

* Board members will declare Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 as Hispanic Heritage Month in the district.

* They will hear a presentation from the San Ramon Valley Council of PTAs (parent-teacher associations).

* The board will discuss accepting an easement from Shapell Industries, Inc. at the Bella Vista Elementary School site for a 21-foot strip of land at the end of Goldfield Place and the Bella Vista field.

* Earlier in the evening at 6:45 p.m., the board will meet in closed session to talk about appointing a principal and assistant principal at Dougherty Valley High School. The San Ramon campus is looking for a new leader after principal Daniel Hillman was appointed as the district's new director of facilities-construction last week.

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13 people like this
Posted by Greg T
a resident of Alamo
on Sep 6, 2016 at 7:40 am

I thought the lottery was supposed to cure all the financial challenges of the California school system?

19 people like this
Posted by Herman Glates
a resident of Danville
on Sep 6, 2016 at 8:41 am

Herman Glates is a registered user.

The state is already $400 billion in debt and has no realistic way of paying that off.

Now Democrats want us to go even deeper in debt?

Before you max out a new credit card, why don’t you pay down the ones you got?

Our state has a spending problem. Our budget has increased from around $50 - $60 billion per year during the 1990’s to around $150 billion per year today, and growing!!

We’ve got the highest taxes of any state.

Stop spending like drunken sailors!!!

1 person likes this
Posted by Quail Run Parent
a resident of San Ramon
on Sep 6, 2016 at 11:20 am

Quail Run Parent is a registered user.

Hmmmm. and yet per pupil Calif still at the bottom of the State list. Explain, that?

6 people like this
Posted by Herman Glates
a resident of Danville
on Sep 6, 2016 at 2:18 pm

Herman Glates is a registered user.

Other states are more responsible than California. They make adequate annual contributions to their teacher pension plans. This costs a lot of money and drives up their annual per pupil spending. For example, Alaska and New York pay around $4,000 per pupil annually for their teacher pensions.

In contrast, the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) relies on optimistic long-term earnings projections and aggressive unfunded liability repayment schedules in order to pay the absolute minimum into their pension fund. This lowers annual per pupil spending. This is like making the minimum payment on your credit card.

Lower pension contributions frees up money for California government to spend on other priorities, such as tax credits for wealthy Tesla owners and the $25 billion California spends annually on illegal immigrants.

By making unrealistically low pension contributions, CalSTRS is passing a mountain of debt, higher taxes and fewer services onto our children and grandchildren.

Like this comment
Posted by Gowri Mahesh
a resident of San Ramon
on Sep 7, 2016 at 2:29 pm

Time for administrators to make money!

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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