As a first step toward putting forward a bond measure for school funding, Pleasanton's school board voted to do a survey to gauge community support.
Board members decided at their public meeting Tuesday night to send out a survey to get parent, teacher, student and community member input as to whether the district should pursue a bond measure.
School leaders have often stated at board meetings that the district doesn't have the funding it needs to upgrade school facilities, and a district report states that it needs $500 million for new buildings and renovations to its schools.
That funding would be for new classrooms, modernization of existing buildings, renovations to student drop-off areas, landscaping and technology upgrades, among other construction projects.
District staff will research estimates for polling firms, and the board will pick one to complete the community survey.
Board member Mark Miller said Pleasanton Unified doesn't have the funding it needs to upgrade its facilities because the district doesn't get as much funding from the state as it once did. He said a large chunk of the district's budget is spent on salaries, benefits and other inflexible costs.
"The amount of money we have to flex ... is a very small percent of the budget. It's not like we're off spending money on all kinds of weird things," he said.
The district will also create a community committee to provide input on the bond measure, which is to be made up of two board members, two parents, two community members and four administrators from various levels.
"For me, this is a no-brainer," board member Chris Grant said. "I think we've done a great job at being prudent, and the time to re-invest is now."
"We haven't invested in infrastructure," he said. "We've invested in people. We've invested in initiatives and curriculum" but infrastructure still needs attention.
Pleasanton Unified last passed a bond measure for school facilities construction in 1997, and efforts in 2009 and 2011 to pass a voter-approved parcel tax to fund city schools failed.
In other school news:
Pleasanton Unified is one step closer to revising its calendar, and two draft calendars will be available for public review at community meetings next week.
The district will hold two community meetings Feb. 3 and Feb. 4 to go over the results of a community survey regarding a potential calendar change. The Feb. 3 meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at Amador Valley High in the school's library, and the Feb. 4 meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at Foothill High at the school's multi-purpose room.
The two calendar options will next go before the board for consideration and approval of a final calendar for the upcoming school year.
The options come after a prolonged discussion about whether the district should change its instructional calendar for the 2016-17 year, including whether high school first semester exams should be moved before the winter holidays.