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Poll: Do You Support Measure H, the San Carlos School Bond Measure?

Supporters say, though local schools are scoring high, they are far behind the times when it comes to the condition and modernity of facilities, and funds from Measure H are needed to bring them into the 21st century.

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.”

 

PATCH WANTS TO KNOW – Do you support Measure H? Why or why not? Take our poll and tell us in the comments below.

 

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Addy C. Rios September 06, 2012 at 04:54 PM
Every year it seems that we are being asked to pass a new bond measure for the schools and we are told if we do not our schools will be bad. Enough is enough work with the money you have just like normal citizens. This bond has no specifics on what the money will be used for. The requirements are vague and generic, we could use it to upgrade classrooms, build classrooms, Administrator salaries etc. You are asking me to pay for something where I'm not sure exactly what I am getting. Lastly the last couple of bonds were passed to upgrade the facilities and now you are again telling me that our buildings are falling down. How is it we need to renovate once again when all the schools got to renovate their MU rooms and upgrade their classes with the last bond measures? I don't even renovate my home every three years yet our school district continues to use the same line for every bond measure.
Ken V September 06, 2012 at 11:32 PM
I'd like to see a listing of schools with itemized issues this extra funding will address - does such a listing exist and if so, how is it accessible?
Marc Parent September 07, 2012 at 03:45 PM
Another bond measure after we just passed one last year after the other one timed out. Enough is enough, tired of the district crying poor when its proven that money does not make a good education. I wish the unions and districts (Dr Baker) would stop stating that the schools and children will suffer unless we give them more money, please stop the madness. The district also has started taking children from out of san carlos for $$ and now they want the San Carlans to pay that bill too.
Carline October 02, 2012 at 10:43 AM
I am happy to support the schools. But I don't see how it's fair to base the assessment on purchase price. All should be required to contribute the same amount,especially since San Carlos has a fairly high number of young families living in homes owned by their parents with laughably low property taxes, enjoying the good schools while essentially being subsidized by the newest homeowners. Why shouldnt all homeowners be asked to pay the same for schools that benefit all?
Jim Fulton October 07, 2012 at 06:37 PM
Yes, it was just mailed this past week to voters' addresses and is online at https://www.shapethefuture.org/elections/2012/nov/documents/14_ENG_M_H.pdf
Jim Fulton October 07, 2012 at 07:15 PM
There are several reasons why communities throughout the country have historically chosen a progressive-rate approach (i.e., linking to property tax values instead of a flat tax) to funding schools and other public services: (1) Strong schools boost property values, so higher-value properties ultimately receive more of a benefit than lower-value ones, when sold. (2) A flat tax rate would have to be significantly higher than a progressive rate, placing more of a burden on lower-income families. This is the same reason why income tax rates are usually progressive. (3) A progressive rate minimizes the burden on longer-term residents whose houses have a below-market assessment but who may also being living on more of a fixed income. Since they most often no longer have children in the town's schools, their benefit (beyond the quality of life that comes from living in a vibrant community) will be deferred until they sell their house. At that point, they will reap a higher value from living in a town with strong schools. (4) While there are some families living in their parents' lower-assessment-value houses, the turnover rate of houses likely still has more housing owned by the people who reside in them. Most young families strive to eventually own their own home, so this tends to equal itself out in the long term.
Jim Fulton October 07, 2012 at 07:30 PM
Actually, as a parent of multiple children in this district, my experience has been that San Carlos is a proof point that you can have good schools even when resources are lacking. Our district receives less money per student than most other communities in the area. There can -- and should -- be strong debates upon the priorities, but examine the financials and you'll see that the risks to our schools and our children are quite real. The issue isn't one of people crying poor or throwing money at a problem; nobody is doing that. Spend time in schools and you'll see that the issue is having even the bare necessities to ensure that our children receive the education they will need and that our schools are strong enough to sustain the property values of the people who live here. Neither of these issues ones where you can take a risk and say "Oops, I guess we (not "they") really did need 'modern' equipment like computers, music classes, physical education, etc. afterall." If you are intimately familiar with the financials of the district and disagree with their allocation, I would strong urge you to join the School Board.
Kali October 11, 2012 at 10:46 AM
I agree 100% Addy. I called The Sup back in March when this was being proposed and basically got a " I'll get back to you". I questioned the 2005 $53/$100K parcel tax and asked where that money has gone. No answer. The language on this bond is the same as the one in '05. 7 schools. 107 million dollars. Look at how the San Ramon Bond was laid out. By the #'s and exactly what was going to be done to each school and the cost. After San Mateo College last year came at us with a 500 mil bond after they sqaundered the current bond we are still paying for ( Have you seen that State of the Art Athletic Facility ? ) or the outrageous upgrades to high level offices, I trust nothing unless hard #'s are put before me. Oh, Just got my first of many cute ( expensive ) brocheres in the mail that say nothing. I am keeping them all just to see how many I get. Vote NO everyone.
Carline October 11, 2012 at 06:35 PM
1.) Strong schools boost everybody's property values. 2.) The average assessed value in San Carlos is $300,000 according to SCEF. These lucky residents owe it to their fellow residents to pay more toward schools, as they are already not paying their share, this is implicit. 3.) The turnover effect you cite is negligible, because kids inherit the same property tax basis as their parents, courtesy of prop 13. 4.) Everybody should make a shared sacrifice. Long term homeowners are already receiving a massive subsidy, and why people won't admit that is dismaying to me.
Kali October 12, 2012 at 08:47 AM
To Mr. Fulton. I have some questions based on your comments. 1. Can you provide a list ( or know where it is ) where our 2005 Bond money has been spent? $$$$ and locations please. 2.The same language in both bonds are the same. How do the 2 differ? 3. Do any of the people with kids that live in Apts pay any Parcel Taxes or Bonds? If not, are they not reaping the benefits of everyone's tax money without sacrificing any of their own?. Oh, and please do not site their rents go up. 4. I have lived here since '04, and have seen 2 parcel taxes, 1 bond and now a huge bond. Everytime I hear the same line, "It increases property Values". Please site this study if you have it. I could go on, but as I see it, this bond lacks numerical detail as the other one did, as well as the parcel taxes. It does say alot they want to do, but so did the other one. What this says to me, " Pass this Bond to save our schools from ruin and don't worry, we will take your money, and when we decide what to do with it, we'll get back to you." Oh, and a comment. There are still many people that pay little property tax in San Carlos. They are not moving. Where are they going to go? Also, people over 65 pay no parcel taxes. So the burden, once again, falls on the Middle Class. Carline is right Everyone should pay. That especially includes anyone with kids, no matter where they live.
Kali October 21, 2012 at 09:26 AM
Just to remind everyone of something is they are still thinging about voting for this- "One of the biggest expenses that comes out of the property tax money is education. Much of the money that you pay in property taxes goes to pay for schools in your area. Public schools do receive some money from state and federal programs, but property taxes in your area likely pay for a large percentage of the expenses. This money can be used to pay for buildings, athletic programs and teacher's salaries, among other school functions." Read more: What Do Property Taxes Fund? | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/info_8035281_do-property-taxes-fund.html#ixzz29vKwbPRJ
Scott October 26, 2012 at 01:32 PM
Kali, money for san carlos schools does not come from property tax. It is a renevue limit district. The following is from the district website: How much of the revenues are provided by the State? Approximately 65% of projected revenues are provided through “Revenue Limit” funding, money guaranteed to the District by the State constitution. The State provides another 11% in funding for specific programs and charter school grants. 3% is provided by Federal funds, and the remaining 21% is provided by local funding, which consists primarily of funds from parcel taxes (Measures A and B) and money donated by the San Carlos Education Foundation.
patch November 04, 2012 at 05:15 AM
Jim, your arguments don't convince me. Communities throughout the country (at least the ones in New York and New Jersey where my husband and I grew up) share the burden of funding schools equally among ALL homeowners. eg. The school district needs $100K, there are 10 homeowners, and everybody pays $10K. None of this absolute madness where I pay 5 times as much as my neighbor - who lives in a house twice as large - just because I bought my house during the bubble and he bought his before the bubble. None of this madness of exempting seniors because we need their votes. I'm so tired of hearing about longer-term residents who may be living on a fixed income. Like my next door neighbors who are in their mid 40s, who both work, and who have 3 kids in the schools? Or like the seniors eating out at the nice restaurants on Laurel Street? Why do either of these groups of people deserve to pay less than I do? My kid isn't even in school yet! Progressive taxes make sense in communities where higher property taxes directly and consistently link to higher value properties. That isn't the case here at all. I don't even understand what you mean in (4).

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