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Smart Voter
San Mateo County, CA November 2, 2010 Election
Measure O
San Mateo Union High School District

55% Approval Required

Pass: 43,251 / 61.9% Yes votes ...... 26,603 / 38.1% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Jan 6 3:01pm, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (162/162)
65.3% Voter Turnout (226,259/346,516)
Information shown below: Official Information | Arguments |

To better prepare local students for college/ 21st century jobs, shall San Mateo Union High School District provide classrooms/ labs for science, math, and job-training, update educational facilities to meet current safety codes, provide modern classroom technology/ computers, support academic programs/ teachers by eliminating debt, and repair, construct and acquire equipment, sites, schools/ facilities, by issuing $186,000,000 in bonds at legal rates, with citizen oversight, no money for administrators' salaries and all funds supporting only local schools?

Official Sources of Information

  Partisan Information

Yes on O
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Arguments For Measure O Arguments Against Measure O
Vote Yes on O to continue strong student achievement in our local high schools with funding that cannot be taken away by the state or used for administrators' salaries.

Our community believes in providing students with a high quality education so they graduate prepared for college and 21st century careers. Many families move here for the quality of our San Mateo Union High School District schools, protecting everyone's property values.

Continuing quality education in our community depends on attracting and retaining qualified teachers, as well as providing safe, modern classrooms with updated technology.

That is why voting Yes on O is so important. It will provide a modern learning environment and updated technology for all high school students, including hands-on job training opportunities.

Measure O will also create local construction jobs, boost economic activity, and help protect teacher and staff jobs in our schools.

Vote Yes on Measure O:

  • provide additional classrooms and labs for academic programs like reading, writing, science, math, engineering as well as job training and programs to help struggling students catch up to their grade level
  • upgrade computer technology so students are prepared for college and high paying 21st century careers
  • create more than $1 million in annual savings to help retain teachers and protect academic programs by refinancing outstanding loans and improving energy efficiency
  • ensure all classrooms meet current fire and safety codes and provide disabled access
  • give local high schools the opportunity to apply for millions in state matching funds

Mandatory Fiscal Safeguards:

  • no money for administrators' salaries
  • the state cannot take away a single penny of Measure O funds
  • required annual audits, yearly community reports, and citizen oversight

Measure O will provide all students with equal access to modern, high quality educational facilities, preparing them for college and careers. Please join us - Vote Yes on O.

/s/ Cindy Montgomery, SMUMSP Parent Teacher Organization Council President

/s/ Mildred K. Swanson, Juvenile Justice Commissioner

/s/ Craig Childress, Teachers Association President

/s/ Dave Pine, President, San Mateo Union High School District Board

/s/ Jack Van Etten, Retired Burlingame Police Chief

Rebuttal to Arguments For
We supported the voter approved Measure D 2000 and Measure M 2006 bonds to build new and/or remodeled buildings/classrooms on the district's six high campuses, the continuation high school, and the San Mateo Performing Arts Center.

At the completion of Measure M, each of the six comprehensive high schools will have new and/or remodeled, seismically safe, modern buildings, classrooms, labs, new or expanded libraries, gyms, theaters, cafeterias, be accessibility and safety compliant, energy efficient, and have security systems. Some will have new fields and landscaping.

So what is Measure O for?

There are no "urgent and critical" needs that justify an $186,000,000 bond.

Unlike previous bonds, the project list fails to state where improvements would be made.

Measure O is about:

  • buying land and building a new continuation high school
  • updating district adminstrative facilities
  • giving the district a blank check

What's wrong with this picture?

  • the district already has property (Crestmoor site) on which sits a model continuation high school but it wants to sell that as well as sell property on the Hillsdale campus. Further, Measure M dollars were designated to improve the Crestmoor site - where have those dollars gone?

The voters have approved nearly $500,000,000 to fix these schools. They are safe; they are modern; they are well-equipped to prepare students for the 21st century. Measure O is not needed and we urge you to

Vote No on O

Voters already generously support the San Mateo Union High School District:

Measure D, 2000: $137,500,000 "to repair and rehabilitate school facilities..." Measure M, 2006: $298,000,000 ... renovation of buildings and facilities"

The San Mateo Union High School District now asks for another $186,000,000!

Bond total since 2000 if Measure O passes: $621,500,000

With interest, the total cost to taxpayers would be over $1 BILLION. That's $115,000 for each class of the district's current 8,600 students or over $3 million per 27-student class.

All this debt - in just 11 years!

You and your children will be paying it down for decades to come!

The federal government is spending money it does not have. Our state is broke for the same reason. There is not much you, the voter, can do about either but you can vote to limit this district's unsustainable, eye-popping long term debt:

Vote NO on Measure O

The San Mateo Union High School District pleads poverty but its general fund revenue per student has risen from $9,056 in 2000-2001 to $12,480 in 2008-2009*, a 38% increase well above inflation. The district should set aside excess revenue in good times to pay for future needs, rather than spending like there is no tomorrow - and then expecting taxpayers to provide yet another bailout.

The San Mateo Union High School District must live within its means - as we do --- in these uncertain times.

/s/ Douglas McNea, President, Silican Valley Taxpayers' Association

/s/ Raymond Bell, Libertarian Party of San Mateo County

/s/ Don Pettengill, San Mateo Resident

/s/ Kevin Peterson, Software Engineer

Rebuttal to Arguments Against
Measure O represents only a $5 tax rate increase for local proeprty owners - yet it matters tremendously in San Mateo, Foster City, San Bruno, Burlingame, Millbrae, and Hillsborough.

Our area is known for great schools. Families moved here and stayed for decades because of our schools. We can't sit back and do nothing while ongoing state imposed budget cuts impact math, science, job training, and other instruction our students need today. And, we can't wait for the state government to update our local high schools and prepare students for the 21st century.

Measure O will provide vital investment in 21st-century learning tools and technology that our students need for higher education and tomorrow's jobs. It will update aging classrooms used for job training and basic classes like math, reading, and writing. Measure O will improve science and computer labs, disabled student access, and fire safety.

Measure O provides local funding that the State can't take away and guarantees improvements to our high schools. All projects will be subject to oversight by an independent committee of local citizens. Also, Measure O will give local high schools the opportunity to apply for millions in state matching funds - resources that otherwise will go to other parts of California.

Our schools and our students need our support today. Measure O is a small investment for each of us that will pay huge dividends to our students, our local high schools, and our entire community.

Please join us: Vote YES on O.

/s/ Michael Loy, Chair, SMUHSD Bond Oversight Committee

/s/ Mary Griffin, Former San Mateo County Supervisor

/s/ Mark D. Hudak, Board Member, San Mateo-Foster City School District

/s/ Monica Diaz, Capuchino High School, PTO Co-President

/s/ Heidi Bowman, Accountant & Businessowner

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