Measure L - 2020 Bond

  • The Future of Facilities in SMUHSD - Measure L

    The Board and staff take seriously both the work of educating each and every member of this and future generations of students as well as our fiduciary responsibility to use taxpayer funding wisely. 

    The District has worked hard to maximize the quality of facilities available to our students while minimizing the cost to local taxpayers by refinancing outstanding bonds to take advantage of historically low interest rates saving taxpayers millions and has also participated in the no interest bond program offered by the Federal Government. SMUHSD applied for and received matching grants totaling over $13 million from the State that would have otherwise funded improvements in other school districts.

    While the State used to provide funding for school improvements, today this falls primarily on local communities and districts. At this point, however, remaining available funds for facility improvements are insufficient to fund identified priority projects to improve academic success and better ensure student safety, sustainability, parity and technology for our schools. Some projects have exceeded their useful life,and yet we want each and every student to have access to safe, high-quality classrooms, labs and school facilities.

    On November 14, the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to place a $385 million bond on the March 2020 ballot. If approved by 55% of voters, the bond would levy $15.55 per $100,000 of assessed home valuation annually while bonds are outstanding. This means the bond would cost the owner of a median-valued home about $106 in taxes per year.

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    Project List
    The Board of Trustees is committed to improving the quality of education in local public schools by providing safe, secure, upgraded classrooms, labs and technology needed to support high quality instruction in math, science, engineering and technology.

    To that end, the Board evaluated the District’s urgent and critical facility needs, including safety issues, class size reduction, basic repairs, computer and information technology in developing the types of projects to be funded by this measure as described below. The District conducted a facilities evaluation and received public input in developing this Project List. Teachers, staff, community members and the Board have prioritized the key health and safety needs so that the most critical facility needs are addressed.

    A partial project list being considered for schools:

    Remove hazardous encapsulated asbestos from older classrooms and facilities (Aragon, Hillsdale, Mills)

    Safety and security improvements at all schools:

      • Surveillance camera systems
      • State-of-the-art locking systems to allow for instant lockdowns
      • Up-to-date fire, smoke and carbon monoxide systems
      • Sophisticated communications systems - allowing schools to convey information effectively during an emergency and on a day-to-day basis

    Update Classrooms, Facilities and Technology to Support High-Quality Instruction in Math, Science, Engineering and Technology: All Schools

      • STEM Academies (Mills, Capuchino)
      • Student Union Activity Centers (All schools)
      • Upgrade Lighting and Utility Technology (All schools)
      • Maker Space (Mills)
      • Update Gym Complex (Burlingame)
      • New Gym (San Mateo)
      • Add Student Multipurpose/Lunchroom (Aragon)
      • Redesign Classroom Connections/Create Outdoor Learning Spaces (Hillsdale)
      • Convert Computer Labs to Classrooms/Reconfigure Libraries to Encompass Project-Based Work & Collaboration (All schools)

    Upgrade Aging Infrastructure: All Schools

      • Update Athletic Complexes (Capuchino, Mills)
      • Additional Artificial Turf Fields (San Mateo, Aragon)
      • New LED Stadium Lights (Burlingame)
      • Sophisticated Ventilation System in Gyms (All schools)
      • Re-plaster Swimming Pools (Aragon, Capuchino, Hillsdale, Mills)

    Update Computer Systems and Instructional Technology to Meet Today’s Standards: All Schools

      • Upgrade Bandwidth and Fiber Optics to Classrooms
      • Upgrade Wireless Networks
      • Install Fast USB Chargers

     

    Frequently Asked Questions About a Potential Bond Measure

    How are local high schools performing?
    By virtually every measure, SMUHSD schools are both leaders in student success and are showing gains in areas such as college preparedness, graduation rates and student behavior.

    Do local high school facilities need to be improved?
    Yes. Over the past 20 years, the District has renovated some of our aging school facilities and constructed new ones. Although some classrooms have been upgraded, others have yet to be updated or replaced. We want each and every student to have access to safe, high-quality classrooms, labs and facilities to help them develop the strong background needed in science, technology, engineering, math and the arts to be successful in the global community.

    What improvements are needed to ensure student safety?
    Issues of individual and collective student safety have evolved in the past few decades, making this our top priority. Our schools need improved security cameras and communication systems for emergencies. In addition, hazardous materials, like encapsulated asbestos, need to be removed, and fire/security alarms need to be upgraded to meet state standards.

    Does the State provide funding for school improvements?
    The State does not provide adequate funding for school improvements. While the State used to provide funding for school improvements, today this falls primarily on local communities and districts.

    How have past school improvements been funded?
    Most of the past improvements have been funded by school facility improvement bond measures generously approved by our local voters and on occasion are matched by State grants. The District has delivered on past promises contained in previous bond measures, and the independent citizens’ oversight committee commends SMUHSD for its facility work to date. The District has worked hard to maximize the quality of facilities available to our students while minimizing the cost to local taxpayers

    When will the bond measure appear on the ballot?
    The Board of Trustees voted to place a measure on the March 3, 2020 ballot. The measure would need to be supported by 55% of those who vote in order to pass.