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Los Altos School District
55% Approval Required
Pass: 8671 / 57.40% Yes votes ...... 6435 / 42.60% No votes
Index of all Measures
|Results as of Dec 28 11:41am, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (34/34)|
|Information shown below: Yes/No Meaning | Impartial Analysis | Arguments | Tax Rate Statement | Full Text|
To accommodate growing student enrollment and avoid public elementary and junior high school overcrowding by expanding and upgrading schools, preserving quality small neighborhood schools, upgrading classrooms and labs to keep them safe, clean and in good repair, updating learning technology, maximizing energy efficiency and acquiring, constructing or equipping classrooms, facilities and sites, shall the Los Altos School District issue $150 million in bonds at legal rates, with independent citizens' oversight, annual audits and no money for administrators' salaries?
The Board of Trustees (Board) of Los Altos School District (District) proposes issuing bonds in the amount of $150,000,000. As identified in the measure, bond proceeds would be used for purposes including, but not limited to: (1) expanding and upgrading schools; (2) preserving small neighborhood schools; (3) upgrading classrooms and labs to keep them safe, clean and in good repair; (4) update learning technology; (5) maximizing energy efficiency; and (6) acquiring, constructing or equipping classrooms, facilities and sites. A detailed list of projects and allowed expenditures is included within the full text of the measure. The District's resolution authorizing the sale and issuance of bonds does not include information about any other District debt obligations that may exist.
The California Constitution provides that proceeds of school district bond measures cannot be used for teacher and administrator salaries and other school operating expenses, and requires independent annual performance and financial audits. State law requires the establishment of an independent citizens' oversight committee for ensuring that bond proceeds are expended only for the school facilities on the bond project list included in Measure N.
The District's estimate of the maximum tax rate to be levied to fund the proposed bonds during each fiscal year is $30.00 per $100,000 of assessed value. This includes the fiscal year after the initial sale of the bonds (expected to occur in 2015-2016), and the fiscal year after the final sale of the bonds (2019-2020).
Measure N was placed on the ballot by the Board.
A "yes" vote is a vote to authorize the issuance and sale of the bonds in the amount of $150,000,000 to be secured by the levy of ad valorem taxes on property located within the District.
A "no" vote is a vote to not authorize the issuance and sale of the bonds in the amount of $150,000,000 to be secured by the levy of ad valorem taxes on property located within the District.
Orry P. Korb
By: /s/ Susan Swain
|Arguments For Measure N||Arguments Against Measure N|
|Vote YES on N to preserve excellent education and high-quality, small
neighborhood schools in our community.
Our award-winning elementary and junior high schools consistently rank in the top 1% of California public schools. Our small school model is a source of pride, attracting new families to our neighborhoods and protecting high property values for everyone.
Due to our excellent schools, student enrollment has increased by 1,129 students in the last ten years--a level unsurpassed since the 1970's, when there were 12 school sites instead of the nine we have today.
With a commitment to public input, the Los Altos School District enlisted diverse citizens' committees to analyze enrollment growth and facilities needs. Comprised of parents and teachers from all public schools, including the public charter school, and community members from each city in LASD, these groups provided critical input that is the foundation of Measure N.
Measure N is a community-driven plan to accommodate growing student enrollment, without sacrificing the excellent education in local schools.
Vote YES on N to protect academic excellence.
/s/Roy E. Lave
/s/Robin A. Abrams
/s/ Lawrence Chu, Sr.
/s/ John Radford
We can preserve the quality and increase the capacity of our schools without passing a bond measure, with this cost-effective plan:
Vote No on N.
/s/ John Inks
/s/R. David Roode
/s/Robert L. Fagen
/s/ Kendle K. Bahl
/s/ Edward Leo Wimmers
We all want good schools and a great education for all our district children. It's the right thing and it enhances our property values. But that doesn't justify spending our taxpayer dollars without a clear, prioritized plan.
Once again, the Los Altos School District (LASD) is requesting a $150 million bond that is in addition to outstanding debt of $77 million, bringing it very near its state mandated bond limit. The true cost is at least $325 million or $71,429 per child. The existing ad valorem taxes would rise to approximately $1,186 per $100,000 of assessed value and result in a tax bill of $13,045, for the average house value of $1,100,000.
Voters should demand a detailed plan for how the funds will be used, what and where facilities will be built, and how facilities will be used. This bond contains no plan for how its $150 million will relieve over-crowding. It does not prioritize the long-term needs of our growing district over funding non-essential projects (such as renovation) at existing sites with no increase in classroom capacity.
No plans exist for additional school sites and money used to acquire new land through eminent domain will result in even more legal bills, rather than expand and efficiently use existing facilities and school district land. LASD is approximately 50% underutilized on a student-to-acreage metric with a comparable school district. Eleven years ago, LASD had 8 elementary sites averaging 512 students each; today LASD has 9 elementary schools averaging 495 students each. The district has enough student capacity for at least another four years.
Tell the trustees to spend more time prioritizing a plan before asking taxpayers for more money.
Please vote No on N.
Visit our web sites:
/s/ John Inks
/s/Mark W.A. Hinkle
/s/ Yvonne M. Sutton
/s/ Kendle K. Bahl
/s/ Edward Leo Wimmers
The opponents simply have their facts wrong.
Fact: Currently, LASD houses 10 schools on nine sites. Each site houses an average of 577 students, contrary to opponents' figures, which left nearly 750 students out of their calculations. Enrollment has grown for decades, with over 1,000 new students since 2004. Each school is past or near their peak enrollment of the 1970s. Independent demographic studies show that enrollment will continue to grow1.
Fact: Measure N is a community-driven plan, culminating after 2 years of public engagement. The Enrollment Growth Task Force--composed of community leaders from all three cities in LASD--found that a plan like Measure N was essential to relieve school overcrowding2. The citizenled Facilities Master Plan Committee recommended Measure N's projects3, included in your ballot book.
Fact: Measure N continues LASD's long history of community engagement and oversight, requiring an Independent Citizens' Oversight Committee and an ongoing Facilities Master Plan Committee to ensure all projects meet the community's needs and approval.
Fact: Measure N will never cost property owners more than $30 per $100,000 of assessed property value--not market value--per year.
Hundreds of local leaders know that our excellent schools keep our community strong. Visit http://www.ExcellentLosAltosSchools.org for a list of supporters.
Small schools=student success. Vote YES on N.
/s/ Jim Cunneen
/s/ Vaishali Sirkay
/s/Robert A. Grimm
|Tax Rate Statement|
|An election will be held in the Los Altos School District (the "District") on
November 4, 2014, to authorize the sale of up to $150 million in bonds of
the District to finance school facilities projects as described in the bond
project list. If such bonds are authorized and sold, principal and interest
on the bonds will be payable from the proceeds of tax levies made upon
taxable property in the District. The following tax rate estimates are
provided by the District in order to meet the requirements of Sections
9400-9404 of the Elections Code of the State of California.
1. The best estimate of the tax rate that will be required to be levied to fund principal and interest on bonds issued under this measure during the first fiscal year after the sale of the first series of bonds is $0.03000 per $100 of assessed value (or $30.00 per $100,000 of assessed value) in fiscal year 2015-16.
2. The best estimate of the tax rate that will be required to be levied to fund principal and interest on bonds issued under this measure during the first fiscal year after the sale of the last series of bonds is $0.03000 per $100 of assessed value (or $30.00 per $100,000 of assessed value) in fiscal year 2019-20.
3. The best estimate of the highest tax rate that will be required to be levied to fund principal and interest on bonds issued under this measure is $0.03000 per $100 of assessed value (or $30.00 per $100,000 of assessed value) in fiscal year 2015-16.
Voters should note that the estimated tax rates will apply to the assessed valuations of taxable properties in the District, not on their market values. In addition, taxpayers eligible for any property tax exemption, including the homeowner's exemption, will be taxed at a lower effective rate than described above. Property owners should consult their own property tax bills and/or 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 estimated tax rates and fiscal years shown above apply only to bonds issued under this measure and are based on current projections of the District. Actual future tax rates are likely to vary from those shown above and will be determined by the County in each future year based on principal and interest payments coming due in such year and the size of the District's tax base at the time that such rates are established. Factors influencing the amount of principal and interest payments coming due in a given future year include the timing and sizing of each bond sale, the principal repayment structure for each series, and the interest rates that are then established. The timing, sizing, and repayment structure of future bond sales will be determined by the District based on the need for project funds, projected tax rate impacts, debt management considerations and other factors. The actual interest rates established will depend on bond market conditions at the time of each sale and other factors. Actual future assessed valuations of the District will depend on the amount and value of taxable property within the District as determined by the Santa Clara County Assessor's Office in the annual assessment and equalization process.
Dated: August 4, 2014
/s/ Jeffrey Baier
|Full Text of Measure N|
|By approval of this proposition by at least 55% of the registered voters
voting thereon, the Los Altos School District shall be authorized to issue
and sell bonds of up to $150 million in aggregate principal amount to
provide financing for the specific school facilities projects listed below in
the Bond Project List, subject to all of the accountability safeguards
The Los Altos School District is committed to continuing a strong, high quality educational program for the students in all of its local public schools.
Award-winning local public schools and the public charter school have been attracting new families to the Los Altos area for years. Student enrollment increased from 4,061 students in 2004 to 5,190 in 2013. That's the highest level since the 1970s, when we had 12 school sites to serve our children rather than the nine in place today.
To meet the challenge presented by dramatic student enrollment growth, the District convened an inclusive, diverse Enrollment Growth Task Force, which recommended additional classroom and school space. A facilities specialist held site visits at all 10 local schools in April, and the Los Altos School District Facilities Master Plan Advisory Committee, made up of parents and teachers from all of our public schools including the public charter school, produced options and recommendations for increasing school capacity.
Through this process, the Los Altos School District Board determined that the District must: Develop projects to avoid overcrowding and accommodate growing student enrollment in all local public schools, including the public charter school
The provisions in this section are included in this proposition in order that the voters and taxpayers of the District may be assured that their money will be spent to address specific facilities needs of the 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 section 15264 et seq. of the California Education Code).
Evaluation of Needs. The Board of Trustees has evaluated the facilities needs of the District, and has identified projects to finance from a local bond measure at this time. The Board of Trustees hereby certifies that it has evaluated safety, student enrollment growth, class size reduction and information technology needs in developing the Bond Project List.
Facilities Master Plan Advisory Committee. An advisory committee of citizens, including parents and teachers from all public schools and the public charter school, shall be appointed or designated by the Board to provide input to the Board regarding the Facilities Master Plan and the projects to be completed consistent with the Master Plan and the Bond Project List described herein. The committee shall gather input from a cross section of the Los Altos community. The Board shall provide by resolution for the composition, duties, funding, and other necessary information regarding the committee's formation and operation, consistent with Board Policy/Administrative Regulation 1220. The existing advisory committee, with additional community representation, shall form the nucleus of this committee in the initial implementation of its duties.
Independent Citizens' Oversight Committee. The Board of Trustees shall establish an independent Citizens' Oversight Committee in accordance with Education Code Sections 15278-15282 and applicable Board policy, to ensure bond proceeds are expended 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 Board of Trustees enters the results of the election in its minutes.
Annual Performance Audit. The Board of Trustees shall conduct or cause to be conducted an annual, independent performance audit to ensure that the bond proceeds have been expended only on the school facilities projects described in the Bond Project List.
Annual Financial Audit. The Board of Trustees shall conduct or cause to be conducted an annual, independent financial audit of the bond proceeds until all of those proceeds have been spent for the school facilities projects described in the Bond Project List.
Annual Report to Board. Upon approval of this measure and the sale of any bonds approved, the Board of Trustees shall take actions necessary 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 shall cause a report to be filed with the Board of Trustees no later than January 1 of each year, commencing on the first January 1 after bonds have been issued and proceeds spent, stating (1) the amount of bond proceeds received and expended in the past fiscal year, and (2) the status of any project funded or to be funded from bond proceeds. The report may be incorporated into the annual budget, annual financial report, or other appropriate routine report to the Board.
This Bond Project List, which is an integral part of this proposition, describes the specific projects the District proposes to finance with proceeds of the bonds.
Proceeds from the sale of bonds authorized by this measure shall be used only for the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or replacement of school facilities on the Bond Project List, including the furnishing and equipping of said school facilities, or the acquisition or lease of real property for said school facilities, and not for any other purpose, including teacher and administrator salaries and other school operating expenses.
In order to meet all identified facilities needs, the District intends to complete projects using a combination of funding sources. These sources may include joint-use funds, development impact fees, state funds, and other available funds. The District will pursue state matching funds if and when they become available, and if received, they will be used for and mainly applied to projects on the Bond Project List or other high priority capital outlay expenditures as permitted in Education Code section 17070.63(c). No project is dependent on the receipt of state funding for completion.
Projects listed below may be completed at any and all school sites where such project is determined necessary, and projects are authorized to be performed at each and all of the District's schools and sites, including without limitation:
Almond Elementary School
Specific projects to be funded by the bond measure include, without limitation, the following:
I. PROJECTS TO AVOID SCHOOL OVERCROWDING AND ACCOMMODATE GROWING STUDENT ENROLLMENT
For any listed project involving renovation or modernization of a building or the major portion of a building, the District may proceed with new replacement construction instead (including any necessary demolition), if the District determines that replacement and new construction is more practical than renovation, considering the building's age, condition, expected remaining life, comparative cost, and other relevant factors. In addition, where feasible, projects may be completed in partnership with other agencies on a joint use basis.
Each project is assumed to include its share of costs of the election and bond issuance, architectural, engineering, and similar planning costs, construction management, bond project staff, staff training expenses associated with new bond-funded equipment and systems, and a customary contingency for unforeseen design and construction costs. In addition to the projects listed above, the Bond Project List also includes payment of the costs of preparation of all facilities planning and project implementation studies, feasibility and assessment reviews, master planning, environmental studies, and temporary housing for dislocated programs or activities caused or necessitated by construction projects.
The final cost of each project will be determined as plans are finalized 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. Necessary site preparation/grading/restoration may occur in connection with new construction, modernization, renovation or remodeling, including ingress and egress, removing, replacing or installing irrigation, utility lines, trees and landscaping, relocating fire access roads, and acquiring any necessary easements, leases, licenses, or rights of way to the property.
No Administrator Salaries. Proceeds from the sale of Bonds authorized by this proposition shall be used only for the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or replacement of school facilities on the Bond Project List, including the furnishing and equipping of said school facilities, or the acquisition or lease of real property for said school facilities, and not for any other purpose, including teacher and administrator salaries and other school operating expenses.
Single Purpose. All of the purposes enumerated in this proposition shall be united and voted upon as one single proposition, pursuant to section 15100 of the California Education Code, and all the enumerated purposes shall constitute the specific single purpose of the bonds and proceeds of the bonds shall be spent only for such purpose.
Other Terms of the Bonds. The bonds may be issued and sold in several series, and in accordance with a financing plan determined by the Board of Trustees pursuant to requirements of law. When sold, the bonds shall bear interest at an annual rate not exceeding the statutory maximum and with a maximum term not exceeding the statutory maximum, provided that the average useful life of bonds sold will not exceed 125% of the average life of the projects being financed or as otherwise provided by federal tax law.