The Pleasanton Unified School District Board of Trustees’ first meeting of the new school year on Tuesday is set to cover a broad range of business, including updates on the Measure I1 facilities bond and another possible new bond, the potential appointment of a new vice principal at Harvest Park Middle School and approval of a new Youth Clipper card program.
The board will hear an update and possibly take action on the $270 million Measure I1 facilities bond that voters approved in 2016. More than $199.3 million of Measure I1 authorization is still unissued, according to the district.
In June, the board took the first steps toward authorizing the next issuance and sale of $100 million in bonds. If the resolution is approved Tuesday night, the district would start selling bonds to the investment community later this month.
Measure I1 levies a property tax rate of $49 per $100,000 of assessed value on properties within the district. In relation to that, the board may vote to request the Alameda County Board of Supervisors to “establish a tax rate for bonds of the district expected to be sold during fiscal year 2019-2020, authorizing the Superintendent or his designee to provide estimated debt service for said bonds to officials of the county of Alameda.”
The board will also revisit plans Tuesday evening to poll the community about a possible new bond measure on next year’s election ballot. District officials have been eyeing another facilities bond to continue the existing PUSD bond tax rate when it expires in 2020 -- which includes Measure I1 as well as previous bond measures from 1988 and 1997.
Some residents have expressed displeasure at placing another bond measure on the ballot but the district said that multiple projects like upgrading the science labs at all three PUSD high schools would be covered by a new $120 million school facilities bond. About $145.5 million remains to be divvied up for the Measure I1 projects lists.
District staff were polled several months ago about what projects at their schools should be prioritized. Trustee Jamie Yee and other board members said at a meeting in late June that it seemed difficult for everyone to “fairly weigh in” without being familiar with the needs of other school sites. Trustee Mark Miller suggested making the list “a little more specific this time” instead of naming general uses like safety and security.
Last month, the district issued a request for proposals for bond strategy advisory services including creating informational material for the public about how the district receives funding and why they may pursue a general obligation bond measure in the next election.
Two bids were received; the board will decide whether to approve a $6,500 monthly contract with Pleasanton-based Terris Barnes Walters Boignon Heath for those services, including a community survey.
The board has been advised by consultants that waiting until the November 2020 ballot is possible but that the presidential election is expected to generate “a lot of noise.” Community polling will take place between Aug. 23 and Sept. 6; the trustees have until early December to approve the measure for the March 2020 primary election.
The board will meet on Tuesday evening, first in closed session starting 5:30 p.m. before convening for the regular meeting at 7 p.m. in the PUSD boardroom at 4665 Bernal Ave.
In other business
* Harvest Park could receive a new vice principal just in time for the 2019-20 school year, if the board selects one that evening.
In June, former vice principal Caroline Fields left Harvest Park after five years for her new position as principal at Hart Middle School. Fields has replaced former Hart principal Leslie Heller, who vacated her seat this summer to become principal at Village High School.
* A Youth Clipper card program to help lower-income students in Alameda County get to class needs a final vote of approval from the trustees before it is officially rolled out.
The Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority (LAVTA) has been moving away from their ticket-based fare to using the Youth Clipper card accepted throughout the county. For years, PUSD has subsidized bus tickets for students in need. Switching to the Youth Clipper card “presented a challenge for this process,” according to district documents, but LAVTA found a “potential partnership” with the Alameda County Transportation Commission.
The Transportation Commission has been implementing a Youth Clipper card program for income-qualified students in the county. Pleasanton was on the list for the program but it wasn’t set to start for several years.
After working with the Transportation Commission and Supervisor Nate Miley’s office, PUSD and LAVTA received permission to start the program for the 2019-20 school year. The contract is expected to save PUSD approximately $20,000.