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Smart Voter
San Mateo County, CA November 5, 2013 Election
Measure P
School Bond
San Mateo-Foster City School District

55% Approval Required

Fail: 8,002 / 46.5% Yes votes ...... 9,195 / 53.5% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Jan 15 5:15pm, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (75/75)
25.4% Voter Turnout (91,335/359,535)
Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments | Tax Rate Statement | Full Text

To improve local schools and protect high quality math, science, reading and writing instruction with funding that cannot be taken by the State, shall San Mateo-Foster City Elementary School District upgrade classrooms, science labs, and libraries, relieve school overcrowding, update classroom technology for higher 21 st
- century academic standards, and repair, construct, or acquire equipment, classrooms, sites and facilities by issuing $130,000,000 in bonds at legal rates, with citizen oversight, no money for administrators, and all funds staying local?

Impartial Analysis
Education Code Section 15100 authorizes a school district to issue bonds for specified purposes. However, the voters must first approve the issuance of the bonds at an election. Education Code Section 15266 provides the measure passes if 55% of those voting on it vote for the measure.

The Board of Trustees of the San Mateo-Foster City Elementary School District has proposed this measure, which would authorize the District to issue bonds in an amount not to exceed $130 million. The bonds will have an interest rate not exceeding the legal maximum and will mature in a maximum of 25 or 40 years from the date of issuance of the bonds, depending on how they are issued. The District's best estimate of the average tax rate levy per year per $100,000 of assessed valuation to fund this bond is $19.00 for fiscal year 2014-2015 and also for fiscal year 2021-2022. The District's best estimate of the highest average tax rate levy per year per $100,000 of assessed valuation to fund this bond is $19.00.

The California Constitution requires the listing of specific school facilities projects to be funded from the bond revenue and certification that the Board has evaluated safety, class size reduction, and information technology needs in the development of that list. The District's "Project List" for the proposed bond is attached to the full text of the measure and lists four general types of projects: core school renovation, repairs, and upgrades; relieving school overcrowding by adding classrooms and rebuilding aging schools to accommodate growing student enrollment; improving district-wide instructional technology; and improving health and safety, including earthquake safety and energy efficiency. These categories include specific improvements such as upgrading libraries, upgrading building systems (electrical, plumbing, lighting, heating, and ventilation), upgrading classroom and other facility equipment, upgrading accessibility of classrooms and facilities, upgrading labs, building new classrooms, rebuilding aging facilities, improving classroom equipment, upgrading computers, removing environmental hazards (asbestos, lead paint, and mold), installing energy-efficient systems, upgrading emergency communication systems, and improving student drop-off areas. The Project List should be reviewed for further specifics.

The California Constitution and Education Code require the District to take certain steps to account for the proceeds from the sale of the bonds. The District will direct the funds to be deposited into a special account, appoint a citizens' oversight committee, conduct annual independent performance and financial audits to assure that funds are spent only on the listed improvements and for no other purposes, and prepare annual reports listing the amount of funds collected and expended and the status of any funded project.

A "yes" vote on this measure would authorize the San Mateo-Foster City Elementary School District to issue bonds in an amount not to exceed $130 million for the purposes listed in the "Project List."

A "no" vote would preclude the San Mateo- Foster City Elementary School District from issuing the bonds.

This measure passes if 55% of those voting on the measure vote "yes".


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Arguments For Measure P Arguments Against Measure P
Vote YES on Measure P to continue excellent education and student success in our San Mateo and Foster City neighborhood elementary and middle schools.

To protect the academic excellence in math, science, reading and writing that we expect from our schools, we must ensure that all students learn in safe, modern classrooms, science labs and libraries, with updated classroom technology, to meet new, rigorous 21 st
-century academic standards.

Our highly ranked schools are attracting new families to our community, causing overcrowding in local schools. The typical local elementary school was built for 300 students; but now, many of our schools have over 500 students. Measure P is critical to relieve school overcrowding and continue the excellent education for which our schools are known. Every penny of Measure P will benefit San Mateo and Foster City schools, be controlled locally and cannot be taken away by the state.

Measure P will:

  • Upgrade classrooms, libraries and middle school science labs

  • Relieve school overcrowding

  • Update classroom computers and instructional technology to meet higher 21st -century academic standards

  • Improve energy efficiency to save nearly $1 million per year--savings that will support academic programs and help retain teachers

Measure P ensures fiscal accountability:

  • All funds stay in our San Mateo and Foster City schools and will be controlled locally

  • Citizen oversight and annual audits ensure all funds are used for voter-approved purposes

  • No funds can be used for administrators' salaries, pensions or benefits

  • Makes local schools eligible for millions of dollars in state matching funds, which would otherwise go to other communities

Measure P benefits more than our community's children. Our excellent local schools contribute to the value of our homes,making our neighborhoods more desirable and protecting property values for all.

Please join San Mateo and Foster City community leaders, parents, teachers and senior citizens -- vote Yes on P.

/s/ Jerry Hill California State Senator

/s/ Carole Groom Supervisor, San Mateo County

/s/ Pam Frisella Mayor, City of Foster City

/s/ Craig Courtin Foster City Chief of Police (Retired)

/s/ Melodie L. Lew Senior Advocate

Rebuttal to Arguments For
Read Measure P. Do you know where your tax dollars are really going? Does the language tell you where the money is going to be spent? It doesn't. It gives vague and general ideas of the wonderful things a bond could provide. Measure P will not provide all the things listed in their argument. $130 million will not buy all that Measure P promises. The San Mateo-Foster City School District's last bond (Measure L) equitably divided its proceeds based on student and voter population, 34%-Foster City/66%-San Mateo. Measure P will NOT divide the proceeds fairly or equitably.

A new grades 5-8 middle school in Foster City will cost $80,000,000, with no seats allocated for any San Mateo children and no approved plan in place to pursue that. Approximately $15,000,000 or 11% will go toward the renovation of San Mateo's Knolls. The remaining approximately $35,000,000 (29%) is distributed around the district for other items; however, the language is very ambiguous and does not clearly define how your money will be spent or if all these projects will be completed with this money. This allocation is roughly 75%-Foster City/25%-San Mateo, and not fair to San Mateo taxpayers. where are the funds to improve other San Mateo schools? or add capacity? or educate our district's neediest children who live in San Mateo? As taxpayers, you ask these questions because you deserve to know where your money goes and you decide how much money you are willing to borrow with your votes.

Vote No on Measure P.

/s/ Heidi Bowman Measure L Treasurer (November 2008)

I would be remiss as an elected trustee and San Mateo resident if I did not speak out against Measure P. Measure P is not equitable for San Mateo. Although this measure is purported to reduce overcrowding, it is a quick fix solution for only a portion of the district without proper planning for the current and projected overcrowding and aging facilities in San Mateo. I co-chaired the last bond campaign and the proceeds were divided equitably by student population, which was fair and effective. Remodels and new buildings, site improvements and classroom upgrades were completed for students in both Foster City and San Mateo, and that was good for our community. Measure P does not divide the proceeds equitably, and to me that is unacceptable. I feel it is extremely important for proceeds to be distributed equitably throughout the district so that capital improvement projects benefit all students. Taxpayer monies should benefit the entire community.

Technology and Solar are very sexy topics; however, I don't think they belong on this bond measure. Bonds, especially considering the facilities needs in our district, should be used for buildings and site expansions. Borrowing $30 million to buy tech devices with a 7 year shelf life and $15 million for solar panels feels fiscally irresponsible to me when there are better options available. Looking at leasing options and partnerships will allow the district to acquire high tech devices and solar systems at a fraction of the cost, and then leverage the partners' expertise to maintain them, keeping our students connected with the latest technology available.

Vote No on Measure P. Insist that the district bring together community members from San Mateo and Foster City to formulate a plan that addresses the facilities needs of the entire district with equitable allocation of bond proceeds.

/s/ Ellen Mallory Ulrich Trustee, San Mateo Foster City School District

Rebuttal to Arguments Against
It's disappointing that after supporting a similar measure to renovate her own neighborhood elementary school, the opponent won't support similar upgrades for other San Mateo and Foster City schools.

All other San Mateo Foster City School District Trustees, including two from San Mateo, voted to place Measure P on the ballot because it is equitable for all local students.

Measure P is the community plan to relieve school overcrowding in San Mateo and Foster City. A citizen task force--the Superintendent's Committee on overcrowding Relief--and an independent demographic study recommended the Measure P plan to address school overcrowding. It will rebuild an aging Foster City middle school and refurbish an old San Mateo elementary school to relieve school overcrowding in both communities.

Measure P is the only source of funding for 21 st century learning technology. California adopted new, rigorous academic standards, but provided no funding for the technology necessary to implement them. Our schools require Measure P to obtain technology required to prepare students for success on new computerized statewide exams. Some of our local schools have been renovated and others have not.

Measure P completes vital projects, identified by San Mateo and Foster City school communities, to provide safe and modern classrooms for all local students. Energy efficiency upgrades save our schools almost $1 million annually to protect academics and retain teachers--a critical investment for all students.

Measure P is the equitable plan to provide all students with the same opportunity to learn in safe, modern schools with the 21st century technology needed for success.

Join us! Vote Yes on P!

/s/ Lory Lorimer Lawson President, Board of Trustees San Mateo-Foster City School District

/s/Julie Scanlon Member, San Mateo-Foster City School District Bond Oversight Committee

/s/ Gary Pollard Member, SMFCSD Superintendent's Committee on Overcrowding Relief

/s/ Daniela Relaford San Mateo Chair, Yes on Measure P Committee

/s/ James E. Sell Concerned San Mateo Education Advocate

Tax Rate Statement
An election will be held in the San Mateo-Foster City School District (the "District") on November 5, 2013, to authorize the sale of up to $130,000,000 in bonds of the District to finance projects as described in the measure. If such bonds are authorized and sold, principal and interest on the bonds will be payable only from the proceeds of tax levies made upon the taxable property in the District. The following information is provided in compliance with Sections 9400-9404 of the Elections Code of the State of California. Such information is based upon the best estimates and projections presently available from official sources, upon experience within the District, and other demonstrable factors. Based upon the foregoing and projections of the District's assessed valuation, the following information is provided:
1. 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 first series of bonds, based on a projection of assessed valuations, is $19.00 per $100,000 of assessed value for fiscal year 2014-15.
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 a projection of assessed valuations, is $19.00 per $100,000 of assessed value for fiscal year 2021-22.
3. The best estimate of the highest tax rate which would be required to be levied to fund this bond issue, based on a projection of assessed valuations, is $19.00 per $100,000 of assessed value for fiscal year 2014-15 and the subsequent fiscal years thereafter. v oters should note the estimated tax rate is based on the ASSESSED v ALUE of taxable property on the County's official tax rolls, not on the property's market value. In addition, taxpayers eligible for a property tax exemption, such as the homeowner's exemption, will be taxed at a lower effective tax rate than described above. Property owners should consult their own property tax bills and tax advisors to determine their property's assessed value and any applicable tax exemptions. The attention of all voters is directed to the fact that the foregoing information is based upon projections and estimates only, which are not binding upon the District. 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 of bonds sold and market interest rates at the time of each sale, and actual assessed valuations over the term of repayment of the bonds. The date of sale and the amount of bonds sold at any given time will be determined by the District based on the need for construction funds and other factors. The actual interest rates at which the bonds will be sold will depend on the bond market at the time of sale. Actual future assessed valuations 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.

/s/Dr. Cynthia Simms Superintendent San Mateo-Foster City School District

Full Text of Measure P

The Board of Trustees of the San Mateo-Foster City Elementary School District evaluated the District's urgent and critical facility needs, including safety issues, enrollment growth, neighborhood schools, class size, and computer and information technology, in developing the scope of projects to be funded. The District conducted both an enrollment evaluation and a facilities evaluation and received public input on both, and prepared an Enrollment Management Plan and a Facilities Master Plan which were presented to the Board and approved by the Board and which are incorporated herein and on file at the District's Student Services and Facilities Departments. Teachers, staff, community members and the Board have prioritized the key health, safety, and overcrowding needs so that the most critical facility needs are addressed. The Board concluded that if these needs are not addressed now, the problems will only get worse and cost much more later.

Therefore, in approving this Project List, the Board of Trustees determines that: (i) every penny of this measure must benefit local schools, be controlled locally and cannot be taken away by the State; and (ii) any measure must be subject to citizen oversight and annual audits to keep the District accountable for how funds are spent; and (iii) use the measure to be eligible for millions of dollars of State matching funds; and (iv) in responding to overcrowding by repairing or rebuilding Knolls Elementary School (San Mateo) and Bowditch Middle School (Foster City), priority shall be given to updating school library facilities, classroom computer technology, providing updated science labs and relieving overcrowding; and (v) all of its classrooms and school buildings shall be kept safe, clean and well-maintained; and (vi) the District must provide all San Mateo and Foster City students access to similar safe, modern classrooms and technology. The Project List includes the following types of projects: Core School Renovation, Repairs and Upgrades Goal and Purpose: To maintain safe, comparable neighborhood schools, schools will benefit from the renovation, repair and upgrade of outdated school buildings, including bathrooms, plumbing and sewer lines, science labs, classrooms, computer technology and labs and school libraries and equipment, allowing all children have the resources they need to learn and stay up-to-date with the latest advances in technology and education:

  • Upgrade school library facilities.

  • Replace existing water, sewer and plumbing systems to meet current codes, including the elimination of lead-containing fixtures.

  • Additional electrical service capacity to relieve overloaded electrical systems so that it can handle modern instructional technology

  • Upgrade aging restrooms by replacing pipes that leak and back-up.

  • Replace older windows, ceilings, heating, ventilation, air conditioning and lighting systems with building code compliant, energy efficient systems, which will save money on operating costs.

  • Repair or replace leaky roofs.

  • Provide improved, up-to-date computers and computer labs.

  • Upgrade and equip classrooms, science labs, multipurpose rooms, physical education facilities, kitchens, auditoriums, libraries, arts and music rooms, and educational support spaces.

  • Upgrade classrooms, science labs, restrooms and school facilities so that they comply with current standards and are accessible for students and teachers.

  • Repair aging schools.

Relieve School Overcrowding by Adding Classrooms and Rebuilding Aging Schools to Accommodate a Growing Student Enrollment

Goal and Purpose: Many of our local schools were built for 300 students and now, many of our schools serve over 500 students. To relieve this overcrowding and be eligible for State and local matching funds, and to enhance educational programs at neighborhood schools, some schools would benefit from the improvement and/or expansion of facilities, such as:

  • New classrooms/classroom buildings.

  • Provide art and music rooms.

  • Provide additional classrooms and rebuild aging schools in San Mateo and Foster City to help prevent District-wide overcrowding.

  • Multi-purpose/assembly rooms, educational support facilities, and classrooms.

  • Updated science labs.

  • Accessibility upgrades as mandated by the Division of the State Architect (DSA).

District-Wide Instructional Technology For Effective Learning Environment Goal and Purpose: To make up-to-date computers and classroom instructional technology a part of everyday classroom instruction so that our graduates are prepared to compete in a competitive 21st century job market, maintain student achievement and continue our tradition of academic excellence:

  • Provide and maintain up-to-date technology, data and communication equipment.

  • Upgrade and replace computers, hardware and San Mateo-Foster City Elementary School District software systems.

  • Upgrade media and audio/visual equipment.

  • Upgrade electrical systems to accommodate modern technology.

  • Establish a 15-year technology fund to keep our technology up-to-date and allow our students to learn the skills for a 21st century economy.

School Health and Safety, Earthquake Safety and Cost-Saving Energy Efficiency Projects Goal and Purpose: Since good, clean, safe, well-maintained and up-to-date schools help protect and improve local property values and reduce maintenance and operating costs returning more money to the classroom for teachers and academic programs, schools and school sites will benefit from a variety of health and safety projects, such as:

  • Make schools safe by removing asbestos, lead paint, mold and hazardous materials.

  • Fire alarm systems upgraded to automatic systems, repair fire safety equipment, add sprinklers and fire safety doors to make students safe in the event of an emergency.

  • Replace old and inefficient windows, lighting, irrigation, heating and ventilation systems which waste money and use the savings to prevent cuts to teacher and instructional programs.

  • Replace/upgrade existing signage, bells and clocks.

  • Replace/upgrade existing security systems.

  • Install energy efficient systems, including solar panels, to save money and return the savings to the classroom.

  • Upgrade emergency communication systems to improve student safety.

  • Relocate or improve student drop-off areas for safety, including a separate area for buses.

  • * * The listed projects will be completed as needed. Each project is assumed to include its share of furniture, equipment, architectural, engineering, and similar planning costs, program management, staff training expenses and a customary contingency, and escalation for unforeseen design and construction costs. In addition to the listed projects stated above, the Project List also includes the payment of the costs of preparation of all facility planning, facility assessment reviews, environmental studies, construction documentation, inspection and permit fees, and temporary housing of dislocated District activities caused by bond projects. The upgrading of technology infrastructure includes, but is not limited to, computers, LCD projectors, portable interface devices, servers, switches, routers, modules, sound projection systems, printers, digital white boards, document projectors, upgrade voice-over-IP, call manager and network security/firewall, hand-held mobile devices and other Common Core Standards requirements, and other miscellaneous equipment and software. The repair of school facilities includes the upgrading school site parking, utilities, and grounds, playground equipment, hard court surfaces, site paving, shade structures for student assembly and protecting students from inclement weather during lunch, libraries and District support facilities, athletic and play fields and turf may be upgraded for safety and operational efficiency, demolition of existing facilities and construction of a replacement school, administrative and support space, roof replacement, upgrade student drop-off areas, eliminate dry rot, painting, carpet replacement, security fencing, locker rooms, interior and exterior floor covering, doors, drinking fountains, portable classrooms, gyms, and kitchens. The Project List also includes the refinancing of any bridge loans taken to initiate voter approved projects. The allocation of bond proceeds may be affected by the District's receipt of State matching funds and the final costs of each project. In the absence of State matching funds, which the District will aggressively pursue to reduce the District's share of the costs of the projects, the District may not be able to complete some of the projects listed above. The budget for each project is an estimate and may be affected by factors beyond the District's control. The final cost of each project will be determined as plans are finalized, construction bids are awarded and projects are completed. Based on the final costs of each project, certain of the projects described above may be delayed or may not be completed. Demolition of existing facilities and reconstruction of facilities scheduled for repair and upgrade may occur, if the Board determines that such an approach would be more cost-effective in creating enhanced and operationally efficient campuses. Some projects, such as fields, libraries, physical education facilities may be undertaken as joint use projects in cooperation with other local public agencies. Necessary site preparation/restoration and landscaping, may occur in connection with new construction, renovation or remodeling, or installation or removal of relocatable classrooms, including ingress and egress, removing, replacing, or installing irrigation, utility lines, trees and landscaping, redirecting fire access, and acquiring any necessary easements, licenses, or rights of way to the property.

Bond proceeds shall be expended only for the specific purposes identified herein. 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 District shall create an account into which proceeds of the bonds shall be deposited and comply with the reporting requirements of Government Code 53410.



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