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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Smart Voter
Santa Clara County, CA November 4, 2008 Election
Measure S
School Improvements
Oak Grove School District

Bonds - 55% Approval Required

Pass: 25,589 / 74.96% Yes votes ...... 8,550 / 25.04% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Nov 25 11:10am, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (63/63)
Information shown below: Yes/No Meaning | Impartial Analysis | Arguments | Tax Rate Statement | Full Text

"To provide a safe, secure, and improved learning environment for all elementary and intermediate students, improve fire safety and security systems, rehabilitate electrical, heating, ventilation, roofing and plumbing systems, construct gyms, increase energy efficiency and add solar power, make schools accessible, and upgrade technology systems and equipment, shall the Oak Grove School District issue $125 million in bonds at interest rates within the statutory limit, with a citizens' oversight committee to review expenditures and progress?"

Meaning of Voting Yes/No
A YES vote on this measure means:
A "yes" vote is a vote to authorize the issuance and sale of the bonds in the amount of up to $125,000,000.

A NO vote on this measure means:
A "no" vote is a vote not to authorize the issuance and sale of the bonds in the amount of up to $125,000,000.

Impartial Analysis from the County Counsel
Approval of Measure S does not guarantee that the proposed project or projects in the Oak Grove School District that are the subject of bonds under Measure S will be funded beyond the local revenues generated by Measure S. The school district's proposal for the project or projects may assume the receipt of matching state funds, which could be subject to appropriation by the Legislature or approval of a statewide bond measure.


Upon approval of 55% of the votes cast by voters in an election, California law permits school districts to issue bonds. Bonds are secured by the levy of ad valorem taxes on property located within a district and bond proceeds can be used for the purpose of acquiring or constructing school facilities and real property. Bond measures must meet certain requirements, such as stating proceeds from the sale of the bonds will only be used as specified in Article XIIIA, section 1, subdivision (b)(3) of the California Constitution, listing specific facilities projects to be funded, and specifying that annual audits are conducted.

The Board of Education of the Oak Grove School District (the District) proposes issuing bonds in the amount of up to $125,000,000. Proceeds will be used at each and any one of the District's school sites for projects including, but not limited to, improving fire and safety systems; upgrading electrical and voice systems, plumbing and piping, parking and kitchen facilities and equipment; constructing or repairing roofing and locker facilities; constructing new gymnasiums, classroom facilities and multipurpose buildings for instructional and physical education purposes; renovating and improving athletic fields and facilities; refinishing exteriors; and improving walkways, landscaping and irrigation.

The District certifies that it has evaluated safety, class size reduction, and information technology needs in developing the list of projects the measure will fund. The projects proposed by the District to be funded by this measure are consistent with the permissible use of proceeds from school bonds. The District will conduct annual independent audits to ensure funds are expended only on projects specified in the measure, and annual independent audits of the proceeds of the bond. These accountability measures meet the requirements of Article XIIIA, section 1, subdivision (b)(3). Additionally, an independent citizens' oversight committee will be appointed to ensure bond proceeds are expended only on the projects included in the measure. Bond proceeds will not be used for teacher and administrative salaries.

The District's best estimate of the tax required to be levied to fund the bonds during the first fiscal year after the sale of the first series of bonds is $4.00 per $100,000 of the assessed value of taxable property in the District for fiscal year 2009-2010. The District's best estimate of the tax required to fund the bonds during the first fiscal year after the sale of the last series of bonds, is $12.00 per $100,000 of assessed valuation in fiscal year 2015-2016. The District's best estimate of the highest tax required to fund this bond issue is $30.00 per $100,000 of assessed valuation in fiscal year 2025-2026.

A "yes" vote is a vote to authorize the issuance and sale of the bonds in the amount of up to $125,000,000.

A "no" vote is a vote not to authorize the issuance and sale of the bonds in the amount of up to $125,000,000.

Ann Miller Ravel
County Counsel
By: /s/ Susan Swain
Lead Deputy County Counsel

  Official Information

Oak Grove School District

Map of Oak Grove School District
News and Analysis

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Official Version of Ballot Measure

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Arguments For Measure S Arguments Against Measure S
Excellent schools make a difference! Student achievement, greater safety, enhanced property values, and access for recreational activities all signify quality and show that local schools are important to a community. Oak Grove School District serves nearly 12,000 students and staff members in buildings that desperately need to be modernized to meet current code requirements and accessibility standards.

Measure S is a No Tax Rate Increase bond. As current bonds are repaid, new bonds will be issued over the next 10 years to allow school modernization to continue. Your tax rate will be kept at or below the current rate.

In 1995, our community voted overwhelmingly to support a bond measure for repairs and upgrades of facilities. All 21 school sites have benefited. Our buildings and grounds have always been well maintained, and more work must be done.

Measure S will continue to improve classrooms and other school facilities. We will:

  • Identify and take care of safety hazards and security issues.
  • Repair and replace outdated/leaky roofs and renovate bathrooms.
  • Install more energy efficient heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, and electrical systems.
  • Improve technology and enhance student access to computers.
  • Provide improved gymnasiums and multipurpose rooms, ball fields and grounds for student and community use.
Measure S will ensure accountability and taxpayer protection (as required by law).

  • Funds can be spent only to improve buildings and grounds and not for teacher or administrative salaries.
  • All spending will be audited annually by an independent citizens' oversight committee.
We are very proud that our previous bond program was well managed. Help us ensure that ALL our children continue to have safe, healthy, and universally accessible environments to learn and thrive. Please vote YES on Measure S, the No Tax Rate Increase bond!

/s/ Forrest W. Williams
Community Member/San Jose City Council, District 2
/s/ Dennis D. Hawkins
President, Oak Grove School District Board of Trustees
/s/ Ash Kalra
Community Member
/s/ Rita Ledesma
Community Member
/s/ Leslie Gaynor

Parent, Oak Grove School District President, District Advisory Committee

Rebuttal to Arguments For
The Oak Grove School District claims twice in its argument, in bold print, that this is a "No Tax Rate Increase" bond. Surely this claim is nonsense.

Read the District's own Tax Rate Statement, required by law to be in your ballot pamphlet. You'll see the following:

1) $4 per $100,000 assessed value, the tax rate they expect for the first year of the bond.
2) $12 per $100,000 the tax rate they expect by the time the last of these bonds is issued in 2015.
3) $30 per $100,000 the tax rate they expect by 2025.

How is this NOT a tax rate increase?

The District concedes that it already has a bond on which taxes are being collected, passed in 1995 and due to expire in 2025, at which point you would expect the tax rate to drop to zero dollars per $100,000. But, per the Tax Rate Statement, it is in exactly that year that the maximum new tax rate for THIS bond starts up. You'll pay not zero, but $30 (the maximum allowed, by the way.). And of course that goes on for an extra 13 years, to 2038.

How is this NOT a tax rate increase?

Vague promises of work to be done, with no SPECIFIC indication of where, at what cost, by what time, in violation of the spirit of Prop 39. Odd perceptions of what a tax rate is. Pity the Committee trying to do its oversight job on THIS bond!


/s/ Douglas McNea
Resident of District
/s/ Brian S. Darby
Chair, Libertarian Party of Santa Clara County
/s/ Allen M. Rice
Treasurer, Willow Glen Libertarian Alliance

We get the government we deserve.

It's our responsibility to review and question the methods of those we elect as our public servants. This is especially true when it comes to taxes; unrestrained taxing leads to wasteful spending, and corruption.

Before 2000, it took a 2/3 (67%) supermajority to pass school bonds. Prop 39 changed that to 55%. In return, for the taxpayers, it also created an implied contract requiring school districts using the lower threshold to SPECIFICALLY describe how they plan to spend the bond money, and to appoint a Bond Oversight Committee to ensure that the plan is followed.

We do not believe that the Oak Grove School District is honoring its half of the Prop 39 contract; it is NOT providing you with a SPECIFIC plan for spending the money, certainly not one that the Oversight Committee could check against.

Refer to your voter information pamphlet, where the District's "Full Text" for the bond is provided. Start at "Bond Project List". Here you will find a list of tasks and (maybe) a list of schools, preceded by the vague promise that the listed tasks will be completed "at each or any" of the schools.

Does this imprecision exist because the District HAS no plan, no idea of the scope of work or the costs at each school? If so, then how did it arrive at the total amount of the bond?

If the District HAS based the amount of the bond upon a plan of work to be done, why does the Measure not contain this plan, stated specifically enough for you (and the Committee) to determine what work is actually going to be done, where?

This is not a school bond; it's a $125M blank check. Don't sign it.


/s/ Douglas McNea
President, Silicon Valley Taxpayers' Association
/s/ Brian S. Darby
Chair, Libertarian Party of Santa Clara County
/s/ Allen Rice
Treasurer, Willow Glen Libertarian Alliance

Rebuttal to Arguments Against
Opponents to Measure S have not given you all the facts.

  • Opponents have chosen not to study the specific list of projects.
  • The Oak Grove School District has a specific facilities master plan detailed by schools. You can see the list yourself at
  • The opponents are part of a group that submitted the identical argument against school bonds throughout Santa Clara County, regardless of the facts.
  • Two of the authors do not live in our Oak Grove School District.
The meaning of every YES vote is clear for residents of our community:
  • YES on S means safer, better schools for students of today and tomorrow. A no vote abandons a long history of community support for our schools.

  • YES on S will NOT raise tax rates. A no vote means that school facilities for math, science, computer technology, arts, music and athletics will not be improved.

  • YES on S requires an INDEPENDENT oversight committee of taxpayers, business people, and senior citizens to hold public meetings and audit the use of bond funds. State law prohibits district employees, vendors, or consultants from serving on the panel. A no vote rejects local control over our tax dollars.

  • YES on S means our schools get modernized for more energy efficiency and cost savings. A no vote means higher energy costs and takes money from classroom instruction.
Vote YES on S to improve our neighborhoods, property values, and provide safe schools for our children.

We strongly urge your YES vote on Measure S.

/s/ Jim Beall, Jr.
Assemblymember, District 24
/s/ Nancy A. Pyle
San Jose City Council, District 10
/s/ Muhammed Chaudry
President/CEO Silicon Valley Education Foundation
/s/ Diane M. Lewandowski
Community Member
/s/ Jorge Prado
Community Member

Tax Rate Statement
An election will be held in the Oak Grove School District (the "District") on November 4, 2008, to authorize the sale of up to $125,000,000 in bonds of the District to finance school facilities as described in the proposition. If the bonds are approved, the District expects to sell the bonds in several series over time. Principal and interest on the bonds will be payable from the proceeds of tax levies made upon the taxable property in the District. The information presented in numbered paragraphs 1-3 below is provided in compliance with Sections 9400-9404 of the Elections Code of the State of California.

1. The best estimate of the tax which would be required to be levied to fund this bond issue during the first fiscal year after the sale of the first series of bonds, based on estimated assessed valuations available at the time of filing of this statement, is four-tenths of one cent per $100 ($4.00 per $100,000) of assessed valuation in fiscal year 2009-10.

2. The best estimate of the tax rate which would be required to be levied to fund this bond issue during the first fiscal year after the sale of the last series of bonds, based on estimated assessed valuations available at the time of filing of this statement, is 1.2 cents per $100 ($12.00 per $100,000) of assessed valuation in fiscal year 2015-16.

3. The best estimate of the highest tax rate which would be required to be levied to fund this bond issue, based on estimated assessed valuations available at the time of filing of this statement, is three cents per $100 ($30.00 per $100,000) of assessed valuation in fiscal year 2025-26.

Voters should note that the estimated tax rates are based on the ASSESSED VALUE of taxable property in the District as shown on the County's official tax rolls, not on the property's market value. Property owners should consult their own property tax bills to determine their property's assessed value and any applicable tax exemptions.

The foregoing information is based upon the District's projections and estimates. Approval of the ballot measure authorizes the issuance of bonds under certain conditions, and is not approval of a specific tax rate. The actual tax rates and the years in which they will apply may vary from those presently estimated, due to variations from these estimates in the timing of bond sales, the amount and repayment structure of bonds sold, market interest rates at the time of each sale, and actual assessed valuations over the term of repayment of the bonds. The dates of sale and the amount and repayment structure of bonds sold at any given time will be determined by the District based on its need for construction funds and other factors, including the legal limitations on bonds approved by a 55% vote. The actual interest rates at which the bonds will be sold will depend on the bond market at the time of each sale. Actual future assessed valuation will depend upon the amount and value of taxable property within the District as determined by the County Assessor in the annual assessment and the equalization process.

Full Text of Measure S
This Proposition may be known and referred to as the "School Improvement Bond of 2008" or as "Measure S".


By approval of this proposition by at least 55% of the registered voters voting on the proposition, the Oak Grove School District shall be authorized to issue and sell bonds of up to $125,000,000 in aggregate principal amount to provide financing for the specific school facilities projects listed in the Bond Project List below, and in order to qualify to receive State matching grant funds, subject to all of the accountability safeguards specified below.

Proceeds from the sale of bonds authorized by this proposition shall be used only for the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or replacement of school facilities, including the furnishing and equipping of school facilities, or the acquisition or lease of real property for school facilities, and not for any other purpose, including teacher and administrator salaries and other school operating expenses. Proceeds of the bonds may be used to pay or reimburse the District for the cost of District staff when performing work on or necessary and incidental to the bond projects.


The provisions in this section are specifically included in this proposition in order that the Oak Grove School District's voters and taxpayers may be assured that their money will be spent wisely to address specific facilities needs of the Oak Grove School District, all in compliance with the requirements of Article XIII A, Section 1(b)(3) of the State Constitution, and the Strict Accountability in Local School Construction Bonds Act of 2000 (codified at Education Code Sections 15264 and following).

Evaluation of Needs. The Board of Trustees has prepared an updated facilities plan in order to evaluate and address all of the facilities needs of the Oak Grove School District at each campus and facility, and to determine which projects to finance from a local bond at this time. The Board of Trustees hereby certifies that it has evaluated safety, class size reduction and information technology needs in developing the Bond Project List.

Independent Citizens' Oversight Committee. The Board of Trustees shall establish an independent Citizens' Oversight Committee (pursuant to Education Code Section 15278 and following), to ensure bond proceeds are spent only for the school facilities projects listed in the Bond Project List. The committee shall be established within 60 days of the date when the results of the election appear in the minutes of the Board of Trustees.

Annual Performance Audits. The Board of Trustees shall conduct an annual, independent performance audit to ensure that the bond proceeds have been expended only on the school facilities projects listed in the Bond Project List.

Annual Financial Audits. The Board of Trustees shall conduct an annual, independent financial audit of the bond proceeds until all of those proceeds have been spent for the school facilities projects listed in the Bond Project List.

Special Bond Proceeds Account; Annual Report to Board. Upon approval of this proposition and the sale of any bonds approved, the Board of Trustees shall take actions necessary pursuant to Government Code Section 53410 and following to establish an account in which proceeds of the sale of bonds will be deposited. As long as any proceeds of the bonds remain unexpended, the Superintendent of the District shall cause a report to be filed with the Board no later than December 31 of each year, commencing December 31, 2009, stating (1) the amount of bond proceeds received and expended in that year, and (2) the status of any project funded or to be funded from bond proceeds. The report may relate to the calendar year, fiscal year, or other appropriate annual period as the Superintendent shall determine, and may be incorporated into the annual budget, audit, or other appropriate routine report to the Board.


Specific Purposes. All of the purposes enumerated in this proposition shall be united and voted upon as one single proposition, pursuant to Education Code Section 15100, and shall constitute the specific purposes of the bonds, and proceeds of the bonds shall be spent only for such purposes, pursuant to Government Code Section 53410.

Joint Use. The District may enter into agreements with other public agencies or nonprofit organizations for joint use of school facilities financed with the proceeds of the bonds in accordance with Education Code Section 17077.42 (or any successor provision). The District may seek State grant funds for eligible joint-use projects as permitted by law, and this proposition hereby specifies that bond funds are to be used to fund all or a portion of the local share for such eligible joint-use projects, as the Board of Trustees shall determine.

Other Terms of the Bonds. When sold, the bonds shall bear interest at an annual rate not exceeding the statutory maximum, payable at the time or times permitted by law. The bonds may be issued and sold in several series, and no bond shall be made to mature more than 30 years from the date borne by that bond.


The Bond Project List below describes the specific projects the Oak Grove School District proposes to finance with proceeds of the bonds. Listed projects will be completed as needed at a particular school site according to Board-established priorities, and the order in which such projects appear on the Bond Project List is not an indication of priority for funding or completion. The final cost of each project will be determined as plans are finalized, construction bids are awarded, and projects are completed. Certain construction funds expected from non-bond sources, including State grant funds for eligible projects, have not yet been secured. Until all project costs and funding sources are known, the Board of Trustees cannot determine the amount of bond proceeds available to be spent on each project, nor guarantee that the COMPLETE TEXT OF MEASURE S - Continued bonds will provide sufficient funds to allow completion of all listed projects. Completion of some projects may be subject to further government approvals by State officials and boards, to local environmental review, and to input from the public. For these reasons, inclusion of a project on the Bond Project List is not a guarantee that the project will be funded or completed. The Board of Trustees may make changes to the Bond Project List in the future consistent with the projects specified in the proposition.

Unless otherwise noted, the following projects are authorized to be completed at each or any of the District's school sites.

  • Improve fire safety and life safety systems, including alarms, smoke/fire detection systems, and sprinklers

  • Upgrade/install school-wide and District-wide security systems, clock and bell systems, public address, etc., including alarms, security cameras, exterior and schoolsite lighting, locks, monitoring systems, fencing, etc.

  • Upgrade climate control systems for heating, ventilation, cooling/air conditioning, including alternative and passive technologies to conserve energy, such as energy-efficient windows, window coverings and shade control, shade canopies, etc.

  • Upgrade electrical systems as well as main power service and distribution, which may include active and passive solar power and heating system acquisition, installation and construction

  • Construct or install improvements required to comply with access requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and existing state and local building codes, including upgrade, modify, or construct restroom facilities, ramps, doors, parking, etc.

  • Construct, repair, replace or modify roofs or portions of roofs

  • Construct new gymnasiums, and renovate student locker rooms at intermediate school sites (may be joint-use projects)

  • Reimburse other District funds for costs of authorized projects incurred prior to the election

  • Replace, repair or upgrade plumbing, piping and drainage systems, including water supply, meters, water heating, and wastewater systems, plumbing fixtures and sinks, etc., within buildings and sites and to connect with city supply and drainage systems

  • Upgrade/install voice and data communications systems, including network and electrical infrastructure to accommodate technology upgrades

  • Repair, modify, upgrade or reconstruct structural elements of existing campus structures

  • Refinish the exterior finishes of school buildings, including stucco, wood and metal trims, framing and siding, paint, etc.

  • Replace doors and door hardware, including install safety/security locks

  • Upgrade and expand parking and vehicle access to school sites, including off-street parking areas, pickup/drop-off, ingress/egress, signage, etc.

  • Upgrade, repair, replace, modify or construct site improvements, paths, sidewalks and walkways, canopies, exterior shade structures, landscaping improvements, irrigation and drainage, etc.

  • Renovate, improve, repair or install playgrounds, hard courts, athletic play fields, tracks and turf, including new synthetic fields at intermediate schools, including irrigation and drainage, bleachers, lighting, fencing, etc., and field equipment and facilities (including nets, basketball standards, goals and goalposts, backstops)

  • Upgrade classroom and other facility interiors, including floor and ceiling finishes, carpeting, windows, cabinets and casework, replace, install or construct interior walls, and equipment attached to wall surfaces (including white boards, marker boards, tack boards, television mounts, scoreboards, fire extinguishers, kitchen cabinets/equipment, etc.)

  • Construct new permanent classrooms and classroom buildings or acquire and install relocatable classrooms to accommodate enrollment growth and expanded programs

  • Construct new multi-purpose buildings, for instructional and physical education and recreational uses (may be joint-use projects)

  • Upgrade and renovate kitchens, and acquire and install food preparation equipment and fixtures
Each project listed is assumed to include its share of costs of the election and bond issuance and other construction-related costs, such as construction management, architectural, engineering, inspection and other planning costs, legal, accounting and similar fees, independent annual financial and performance audits, a customary construction contingency, and other costs incidental to and necessary for completion of the listed projects (whether work is performed by the District or by third parties), including:

  • Remove, dispose of, and otherwise remediate hazardous materials, including asbestos, lead, etc., where necessary.

  • Address unforeseen conditions revealed by construction/ modernization (including plumbing or gas line breaks, dry rot, seismic, structural, etc.).

  • Site preparation/restoration in connection with new construction, renovation or remodeling, or installation or removal of relocatable classrooms, including ingress and egress, demolition of existing structures, removing, replacing, or installing irrigation and drainage, utility lines (such as gas lines, water lines, electrical lines, sewer lines, and communication lines), trees and landcaping, relocating fire access roads, traffic lights and mitigation, and acquiring any necessary easements, licenses, or rights of way to the property.

  • Rental or construction of storage facilities and other space on an interim basis, as needed to accommodate construction materials, equipment, and personnel, and interim classrooms (including relocatables) for students and school functions or other storage for classroom materials displaced during construction.

  • Acquisition of any of the facilities on the Bond Project List through temporary lease or lease-purchase arrangements, or execute purchase option under a lease for any of these authorized facilities.

  • Furnishing and equipping of existing and newly constructed, modernized or rehabilitated classrooms and facilities on an ongoing basis, including to replace worn, broken, or out-of-date furniture and equipment for all classrooms, athletic facilities and other facilities, as needed.

  • Replace existing or acquire new computers, technology and related equipment on an ongoing basis.
The Bond Project List shall be considered a part of this ballot proposition, and shall be reproduced in any official document required to contain the full statement of the bond proposition.

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