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June 5, 2018 — California Primary Election
Special District

Ravenswood City School District
Measure S - 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

1,795 votes yes (69.74%)

779 votes no (30.26%)

School District Bond
— undefined

To continue improving classrooms and facilities; repair more aging buildings; and further upgrade safety, technology, science labs, and energy efficiency; shall the Ravenswood City School District issue $70 million in bonds, at legal rates, averaging an estimated $3.95 million in taxes raised annually for approximately 32 years at projected tax rates of 3 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, and requiring audits, citizens' oversight, no money for administrators' salaries, and all funds used for Ravenswood schools?

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

The Board of Trustees of the Ravenswood City School District ("District") proposes this measure which would authorize the District to issue bonds in a principal amount not to exceed $70 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. The District's best estimate of the average annual tax rate levy to fund this bond is $30 per $100,000 of assessed valuation. This means that a property assessed at $800,000 would likely have an annual tax obligation of $240 under this measure. The District estimates that the total amount repayable during the life of the bond, including principal and interest, will be approximately $126,510,000.

The California Constitution requires the listing of specific projects to be funded from the bond revenue and certification that the Board of Trustees has evaluated safety, class size reduction, and information technology needs in the development of that list. The Bond Project List can be found in the full text of the measure and includes, among other projects:

 * repairs, renovations, and upgrades to classrooms, labs, restrooms, and other facilities

 * removing hazardous materials, such as asbestos and lead, from school buildings and grounds

 * HVAC, plumbing, and electrical system and infrastructure acquisition, upgrades, and repairs

 * parking and pick-up/drop off construction, upgrades, and repairs

 * ADA required or recommended construction, upgrades, repairs, and replacements

 * furniture and equipment acquisition and replacement

 * technology equipment and infrastructre acquisition, upgrades, and repairs

 * fire and safety system acquisition, updates, and repairs

 * energy efficiency projects

The measure authorizes equipment acquisition, upgrades, repairs, services, construction, and other items related to the listed projects. Projects are authorized at all District locations.

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

State law requires that the District 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 for the purposes listed in the Bond Project List and for no other purposes, and prepare annual reports listing the amount of funds collected and epxended 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 $70 million for the purposes listed in the Bond 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

At Ravenswood City School District, we face many challenges - but we continue to overcome them!

With our community's help, we are committed to the goal of providing every one of our students the education they deserve, in a classroom and on a campus they can be proud of.

However, all our schools were built over 50 years ago and have deteriorating classrooms and facilities. We began the process of making them what they should be by developing our Facilities Master Plan more than three years ago and then took a signifcant step forward with your overwhelming support for Measure H in 2016.

But much more remains to be done. And the repairs continue to be urgent and our students cannot wait. We must act now - vote YES on Measure S!

Beyond repairs, our children must also be ready for the jobs of tomorrow. Measure S will provide classrooms, science and computer labs that expand opportunities in science, egineering, and math.  It will improve technology and strenghten career education and college preparation facilities, all to ensure our students are prepared for 21st century jobs.

So vote YES on Measure S to:

 * continue improving classrooms and facilities

 * repair more aging buildings

 * further upgrade safety, technology, science labs, and energy efficiency, AND

 * provide a quality learning environment for current and future students

Measure S has strict accountablity requirements and can only be used to repair and upgrade our neighborhood schools. Measure S requires:

 * a Citizens' Oversight Committee

 * NO money for administrators' salaries

 * annual audits

 * all funds spent locally on Ravenswood classrooms and facilities

Measure S makes sense. Measure S will continue improving Ravenswood schools - and we know that improving our schools makes our community a more desirable place to live, do business, and raise a family.

Vote YES on Measure S!

 

/s/ Ana Pulido, Board President

/s/ Sharifa Wilson, Board Vice-President

/s/ Millicent Grant, Executive Director East Palo Alto Senior Center

/s/ Rev. Mary Frazier, Pastor

/s/ Daniel Cesena, Belle Haven resident 

 

Arguments AGAINST

Ravenswood ?City School District claims they need $70M (plus 32 years of interest) to "repair more aging buildings", virtually identical to the "repair aging buildings" statement for the $26M bond in 2016.

This begs the question, why are repairs not part of the normal yearly budget?

Just two years ago they wanted to "upgrade school safety_ and now they want to "further upgrade safety." Deja vu all over again?

The district just got a $26M bond message approved in 2016 and now they're back for another $70M bond this election. Plus they want a separate parcel tax.

They want to "improve technology". But most technology is obsolete in 4-6 years yet the interest payments for that technology will continue for 30+ years.

Would you buy a computer and take out a 30+ year loan to pay for it?

That would be nuts, wouldn't it?

But that's exactly what the districts wants and to stick you with the bill!

If you thinks that's nuts, please vote NO on Measure S.

Ravenswood City School District is already spending $398,100 per class per year (25 students x $15,924 per student) Source: California Educational Data Partnership

The average salary and benefits for teachers is $81, 339.

Subtract $81,399 and that's still over $300K per classroom per year.

The administration just wants more of your hard earned money to pad their salaries and fat pension plans.

Tell the Ravenswood City School District Board to be fiscally responsible.

Vote NO on Measure S.

For more information, please visit us at: http://www.svtaxpayers.org/2018-ravenswood-bond

 

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

/s/ Harland Harrison, Chair, Libertarian Party of San Mateo County 

Replies to Arguments FOR

Ravenswood ?City School District claims they need $70M (plus 32 years of interest) to "repair more aging buildings", virtually identical to the "repair aging buildings" statement for the $26M bond in 2016.

This begs the question, why are repairs not part of the normal yearly budget?

Just two years ago they wanted to "upgrade school safety_ and now they want to "further upgrade safety." Deja vu all over again?

The district just got a $26M bond message approved in 2016 and now they're back for another $70M bond this election. Plus they want a separate parcel tax.

They want to "improve technology". But most technology is obsolete in 4-6 years yet the interest payments for that technology will continue for 30+ years.

Would you buy a computer and take out a 30+ year loan to pay for it?

That would be nuts, wouldn't it?

But that's exactly what the districts wants and to stick you with the bill!

If you thinks that's nuts, please vote NO on Measure S.

Ravenswood City School District is already spending $398,100 per class per year (25 students x $15,924 per student) Source: California Educational Data Partnership

The average salary and benefits for teachers is $81, 339.

Subtract $81,399 and that's still over $300K per classroom per year.

The administration just wants more of your hard earned money to pad their salaries and fat pension plans.

Tell the Ravenswood City School District Board to be fiscally responsible.

Vote NO on Measure S.

For more information, please visit us at: http://www.svtaxpayers.org/2018-ravenswood-bond

 

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

/s/ Harland Harrison, Chair, Libertarian Party of San Mateo County

Replies to Arguments AGAINST

Ravenswood schools still need our help - vote YES on Measure S!

Our Facilities Master Plan identified more than $300 million in needs. Those opposing Measure S - who do NOT live in Ravenswood - would have our students be satisfied with meeting less than 10% of those needs.

We always knew Measure H was a first step in the long journey towards providing our students with the schools they deserve. All Ravenswood schools were built over 50 years ago and, until we initiated the facilities planning process in 2014, critical maintenance had been delayed for decades.  Measure H fixed roofs, began safety improvements and will upgrade science labs - but we still need more resources for many additional repairs and improvements!  Vote YES on Measure S!

We know that resources are not abundant like outsiders claim. Compared to neighboring districts, Ravenswood receives less funding. Indeed, the District is in the process of making many painful budget cuts - so we need the community to continue supporting and investing in our schools. Vote YES on Measure S!

And just like Measure H - which has a tax rate substantially LESS than was promised and will cost taxpayers millions LESS than was expected - we know that Measure S is responsible and taxpayer safeguards are in place. Costly deferred interest bonds are prohibited and there are restrictions on total bond cost, in addition to the legally required oversight committee and other accountability measures.

Measure S makes sense and will continue improving Ravenswood schools - vote YES on Measure S! 

 

/s/ Ana Pulido, Board President

/s/ Sharifa Wilson, Board Vice-President

/s/ Millicent Grant, Executive Director, East Palo Alto Senior Center

/s/ Rev. Mary Frazier, Pastor

/s/ Daniel Cesena, Belle Haven resident 

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