School board to consider asking public about bond measure at its meeting tonight

Governor's budget, new classes also on tap for school board meeting

Pleasanton's school board will discuss tonight whether to send out a community survey about considering a bond measure to fund infrastructure and other needs.

The school board will also discuss what the governor's budget proposal means for the district, will discuss new class subjects and will schedule meetings with state legislators.

The board meeting will start at 5 p.m. in closed session and 7 p.m. in open session at the district's headquarters on Bernal Avenue.

The board will decide whether to have staff write up a public survey regarding pursuing a bond measure. Pleasanton Unified has not passed a bond measure since 1997, when a $69.8 million bond measure was passed.

Efforts in 2009 and 2011 to pass a parcel tax by voter referendum failed.

The district has identified $500 million in facility needs in its 2013 Facilities Master Plan, including modernization of existing buildings, improvements to drop-off areas and library renovations.

The board is also set to discuss how Gov. Jerry Brown's annual budget proposal and how it may affect Pleasanton Unified.

The budget includes $1.2 billion in one-time funding statewide, $2.8 billion in Local Control Funding Formula funding and the creation of a $1.6 billion block grant for early education, among other statewide programs.

Pleasanton's school board will also discuss new courses for the 2016-17 year, including Aerospace Engineering as part of Project Lead the Way, and will schedule meetings with local legislators.

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26 people like this
Posted by taxpayer
a resident of Downtown
on Jan 25, 2016 at 8:52 am

Absolutely NO! to any more money for this district to waste on bloated salaries, musical chair changes in personnel and lawsuits. Cut your expenses to match your funds, stop expecting the taxpayers of this town to fund your waste and stupidity.

34 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jan 25, 2016 at 9:41 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Taxpayer, bond funds can't be spent on anything you list.

I am disappointed, however, the article does not mention the illegal cash out refinancing of current bonds. Getting a new bond in place will require an exact list of intended projects with priority rankings for completion and a guaranteed oversight committee that meets throughout the life of the bonds. I would also want to know the justifications for each project: is class size reduction K-3 a community priority; is removing portables a priority; how many elementary schools would be needed for each and both scenario(s)? And so on.

In other words, without complete and detailed information being provided to the board and the community (broad and thorough communication), a survey is just a questionnaire without real value or purpose and could be one question: "Will you support a new tax for school facilities?"

It seems to me there is more value in educating the voters about needs before running a survey to test support.

25 people like this
Posted by DJohns
a resident of Downtown
on Jan 25, 2016 at 11:40 am

DJohns is a registered user.

Instead of knowing when Pleasanton taxpayers last passed a Bond, it is more relevant to know:
Pleasanton taxpayers have approved over 155 million dollars in PUSD bonds. That money is spent but bond debt remains.
How much debt from those bonds still remains, how long will taxpayers still be paying on the existing bond debt. How was past bond money spent? How has the debt been managed? Were past bond promises kept?
Can Pleasanton taxpayers trust PUSD integrity with future bond debt?

Much of the facilities problem is due to students from new growth. Taxpayers should not be paying for unmitigated growth of new development? How have developer fees been used, what has been the the mitigation plan?

55 people like this
Posted by I-Care
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Jan 25, 2016 at 1:06 pm

I-Care is a registered user.

If you don't have kids in schools or are not involved, know that your schools' programs are being supported by parents - their money and their time. Without them our schools would not have fully funded music, art, science, computer and other programs. PUSD's high ratings, and real estate values along with them, will decrease. Our schools are also looking old, outdated, and do not have the facilities that many schools with a lot less affluent population than Pleasanton have. Maybe not now but eventually this will take its toll on our community's reputation. It is DEFINITELY affecting students and parents NOW. Stop arguing and instead work to find a way to get our schools fully funded and our kids the leading edge we advertise.

7 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jan 25, 2016 at 8:14 pm

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

No vote here without some plan on how to reduce year over year spending without
- increasing class size
- the use of furlough days
- basically any impact to quality education to students.

I believe the schools need and deserve investment, I want to see a plan and commitment to achieving that before I open my checkbook more than I already have. Stop holding my childrens' education as ransom. It's true terrorism and should be treated as such.

7 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jan 26, 2016 at 9:16 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

"Stop arguing and instead work to find a way to get our schools fully funded and our kids the leading edge we advertise." I suppose you may not realize what was accomplished prior to your children entering schools--the original bonds we are all still paying, unification, upgrading current schools, building of PMS and Hart, the start of PPiE, myriad fundraisers at our schools, and a legislative study group that read bills and advocated in Sacramento on funding. In many cases our children, now adults with children of their own, suffered through the actual campus renovations future students benefitted from. We often kidded about being the same 30 people trying to make a difference.

I don't believe any of us have stopped caring; we certainly understand all too well what it takes to have strong schools. It is fine to want more for your children (and our grandchildren), but it is absolutely necessary to understand where errors were made and to be certain they aren't repeated.

7 people like this
Posted by DJohns
a resident of Downtown
on Jan 26, 2016 at 11:35 am

DJohns is a registered user.

Well said Kathleen. I reflect back on when I was new to school issues. We love our children and we love our teachers, we want to believe our children are everyone’s top priority. I have volunteered thousands of hours for our schools. I now understand the best way to advocate for our kids is to be informed and demand transparency and accountability.

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