There are less than two months to go before San Carlos residents will be asked to vote on Measure H and decide whether San Carlos schools will get a boost of taxpayer money to upgrade campuses throughout the district.
Members of the Strong San Carlos Schools organization say that, while parents should be happy that San Carlos schools are scoring so high on the (API) and on , it has been too long since facilities have been improved and modernized.
“With great academic programs in math, science, reading and writing, and qualified teachers, our schools rank among the best in San Mateo County,” the organization declares on its website. “However, our oldest schools were built between 1920 and 1950 and need critical repairs to improve student safety, as well as upgrades for modern science and technology instruction.”
The organization says the money earned through Measure H would be used to replace inefficient heating and lighting systems, upgrade classrooms with 21st-century technology, add additional classrooms to overcrowded schools, and much more.
“Many local schools are 20 percent over capacity, and student enrollment is expected to grow by another 20 percent in just a few years,” the group’s website states. “To avoid severe overcrowding, which hurts students’ ability to learn, local schools require additional classrooms.”
The organization also says that replacing the aging heating, lighting and other electrical systems in schools, the district could save itself more than $7 million in maintenance and operating costs over the life of the bond.
Representatives also say, many schools are so old, they are in danger of not meeting health and safety codes.
School board member Seth Rosenblatt says that the positive effects of Measure H will not only benefit families with school-age children, but also the average homeowner as well.
“The number one reason young families move to San Carlos - and have kept up our property values - is because of the great reputation of our schools,” he said. “Measure H will actually be a net benefit for all property owners and members of the community, whether or not they have kids in the school system.”
Rosenblatt added, schools are overcrowded, and are only expected to get more crowded in the near future, so he feels it’s best to get a jump on fixing the problem now, before it gets even worse.
“This continually increasing enrollment has created severe overcrowding in our schools and requires that we build greater capacity,” he said. “Passing Measure H is crucial to build those facilities and invest in modern technology to support both our current students as well as the additional increase in enrollment we're expected to get over the next decade. “
According to the group, many local and regional leaders support the passage of Measure H, including City Councilmembers Ron Collins and Mark Olbert, State Assemblyman Rich Gordon, County Supervisors Dan Horsely and Dave Pine, and many more.
There is also a long list of community members and parents who support Measure H, as the website allows anyone to sign on and “endorse” the bond measure.
How much will Measure H cost taxpayers?
The measure is guaranteed not to cost taxpayers more than $30 for each $100,000 in assessed value on a homeowner’s home. Therefore, if you paid $650,000 for your home when you bought it, Measure H will cost you roughly $195 in extra taxes per year, as taxes are often calculated on the price one paid for his or her home originally, and not its current market value.
Also, since Measure H is a local bond measure, none of the proceeds can be taken away by the state. Also, none of the money can be used for administrators’ salaries, pensions or benefits, and a Citizens’ Oversight Committee will be formed to ensure the proceeds are used properly and as promised, as required by law.
What needs to happen in order for Measure H to pass?
Measure H will appear on the Nov. 6 election ballot. By law, 55 percent of voters must vote Yes in order for the measure to pass.
Are there any alternatives to Measure H?
Members of Strong San Carlos Schools say, without Measure H, there is no way anyone can see to perform these improvements and upgrades to local school facilities.
“No other reliable source of funding exists to make the necessary renovations and upgrades to our local schools,” the members state on their website. “As the state continues to reduce education funding year after year, the district does not have the budget for these repairs without Measure H.”
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