News

Right time for another Pleasanton school bond?

Voters to decide fate of $395 million Measure I for PUSD this November

Pleasanton residents will be voting on a school bond measure in November for the third time in the last seven years. But after the first passed in 2016 and the second failed in 2020, the question remains the same in 2022 -- are the facility improvements worth the associated property tax increase in the eyes of the voters?

Architectural rendering for the proposed Amador theater complete rebuild offers a first look at what it will look like. (Courtesy of PUSD)

The $395 million general obligation bond, on the ballot as Measure I this fall, is being proposed by the Pleasanton Unified School District in order to help fund a portion of the nearly $1 billion worth of facilities projects across the district.

"The way schools are funded there is no real money the state is providing for these capital improvements and massive investments. If you don't have local bond dollars, you cannot do it," said Ahmad Sheikholeslami, PUSD's assistant superintendent of business services.

"You can go up and down the state. The schools that have bonds are the ones that are improved, the schools that don't have bonds they're the ones that are in the 1950s," he added.

PUSD has had mixed results with facility bond measures in recent history after a period of passing just one in 20 years.

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In November 2016, residents voted to approve Measure I1, a $270 million facilities bond, which covered about one third of the overall $856 million identified facilities improvement needs estimated at that time.

Some of the projects paid for through Measure I1 were the rebuilding of Lydiksen Elementary School and new science classroom buildings at Amador Valley and Foothill high schools and at Hart Middle School, all of which have either been completed or are slated for completion later in the fall.

Measure I1 also began to address roofing and HVAC repair and replacements as well as making safety upgrades and providing updated classroom technology and infrastructure.

The district attempted to pass another bond in March 2020, but the proposed $323 million Measure M failed after it earned majority support from voters but failed to clear the 55% threshold required of school facility bond measures (52.40% Yes; 47.60% No).

Since Measure I1 passed and Measure M failed, PUSD staff have been working on a Facilities Master Plan update, which the Board of Trustees approved on June 23, that would separate the facility improvements of all 15 school sites into a two-tier system to address areas of high priority first.

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The Measure I bond would help fund the first tier phase of the Facilities Master Plan, which will prioritize funding for the gym and theater constructions at both Amador Valley and Foothill as well as new classrooms at Vintage Hills Elementary School.

The second tier will focus on deferred maintenance, restructuring of the visual performing arts in high schools, cafeteria and air conditioning and heating equipment.

Superintendent Haglund stands at the base of the walk path to the Village High School field which he says is unsafe and must be addressed. (Photo by Christian Trujano)

If more than 55% of Pleasanton residents vote Yes on the ballot, Measure I would utilize a tax rate of $49 per $100,000 of assessed value for Pleasanton property owners to fund that first tier round of projects. The second tier would be funded through State Office of Public School Construction funds, the sale of the current district office property on Bernal Avenue, state or local funding, or saved money from other construction bids, according to district officials.

PUSD trustees recently approved the sale of a portion of the current offices on the edge of downtown Pleasanton, at 4645 and 4665 Bernal Ave., in order to purchase offices in the Hacienda Business Park to serve as the new district headquarters.

The two-building property, located on 5758 and 5794 West Las Positas Blvd., cost $23,480,261 for PUSD to acquire from the current owner, ECI Four Arroyo LLC. However, the 7 acres up for sale at the Bernal property for future housing development will help in paying off the acquisition debt.

According to Sheikholeslami, the district plans on moving to the new office building in April.

The official Nov. 8 Measure I ballot statement will read:

"PLEASANTON UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT QUALITY AND SAFE EDUCATIONAL FACILITIES MEASURE. To continue replacing/modernizing deteriorating plumbing, roofs, electrical/HVAC systems, classrooms, science labs, performing arts, physical education facilities/spaces, and alternative high school facilities; constructing career technical/early childhood education classrooms; making safety/access improvements for students with disabilities; shall Pleasanton Unified School District's measure authorizing $395,000,000 in bonds at legal rates, levying approximately $49 per $100,000 of assessed valuation ($26,000,000 annually) while bonds are outstanding, be adopted, requiring audits/oversight?"

Some of the projects included in Measure I are the construction of elementary classrooms to support statewide expansion of transitional kindergarten; high school visual and performing arts centers; new and upgraded athletic facilities; updated plumbing to support safe drinking water; and site improvements for students with disabilities.

Measure I received mainly positive support during the trustees' public hearing process. Apart from the full board unanimously approving the resolution to put the bond on the November ballot back in July, several students and parents have been very vocal at the board meetings about the need to address the deteriorating gyms and other facility needs.

An aerial drone shot shows how the Pleasanton Middle School field has been overtaken by gophers. All that damage has led to the district wanting to use bond dollars to replace all middle school fields with artificial turf. (Photo courtesy of PUSD)

"Measure I1 has completed several projects including roof and HVAC repairs, solar installations, and fencing and security upgrades," according to the "Yes on I for Pleasanton Schools" website, which is a group dedicated to supporting the new bond measure.

"However, Measure I1 funds will not be enough to ensure upgrades and repairs to all schools in our district and we still have over a billion dollars in unmet facility needs, including: repairing aging roofing, plumbing, and electrical systems, ensuring safe drinking water, modernizing classrooms for career and technical training, and retaining high-quality teachers for our students," according to the support campaign.

"Older schools need upgrades to meet the same academic and safety standards as newer schools to support academic achievement for all the district's students," they added.

Those keywords -- "older schools" -- are what Superintendent David Haglund and Sheikholeslami both said lie at the heart of most of the issues the district faces.

Part of those problems include Americans with Disabilities Act compliance issues with schools such as Village High School, Haglund told the Weekly during a recent tour of several PUSD sites.

"When you think about a 1950s campus, you're talking about 25 years before the Americans with Disabilities Act and things like this were OK," Haglund said regarding the uphill walkways at the school with inch-long cracks running through them. "If the bond were to pass, this would be the first project that would be activated because it's about student safety."

Apart from the lack of accessibility and overall safety issues at Village, Haglund pointed out several decaying structural beams that seem like they could give out any day.

"Just beyond just all of the ADA and other physical things, the campus is disjointed in terms of creating an inclusive learning environment," Sheikholeslami said.

Superintendent Haglund stands at the top of the stairs that lead down into the communal space under the Amador Valley High School theater while Ahmad Sheikholeslami, assistant superintendent of business services, explains how there are no Americans with Disabilities accessible entrances to get down there. (Photo by Christian Trujano)

Some of the other priorities Haglund and Sheikholeslami pointed out which will be first on the to-do list if the bond is passed is building new artificial turf fields for all the middle schools and improving their kitchen facilities.

However, one of the big-ticket items will be at Amador with the demolition and rebuilding of the gyms and theater.

Right now, Amador has a small and a main gym with the boys' locker room being in the main and the girls' locker room being in the small.

The plan, if the bond passes, would be to build one main gym with both locker rooms and to put a new performing arts center where the small gym currently stands. Beyond wanting to create consistency of having everything in the same building, Sheikholeslami and Haglund pointed out the lack of air-conditioning and overall poor quality of the gyms.

The reason the gyms and the Amador Theater, which is actually owned by the city, are not being considered for renovation, according to Sheikholeslami and Haglund, is because older buildings such as these would require so many compliance upgrades that it wouldn't be financially viable.

Haglund said that in Measure M the district included dollars for the theater, but it was for addressing the issues related to the fire escape only. After speaking with architects and other consultants, they determined that more analysis was needed.

"The question is whether or not the engineers will give us a green light on retrofitting it or if it's just cheaper to completely reconstruct it," Haglund said. "Funding that would pay for the architects would come from the bond."

Currently, the district is putting the rebuild of the theater at $35 million, according to the master plan.

An interior architectural rendering of the proposed Foothill High School theater that would be built if the November bond passes. (Courtesy of PUSD)

But it is these big-ticket items like the gyms and the theater that have led to some residents opposing the proposed bond measure.

According to a website called "Vote No on Measure I", the district needs to focus on finishing the projects from Measure I1 first, before asking residents to spend more on taxes.

"PUSD wants to borrow a staggering $395,000,000 and for you to pay the mortgage totaling PUSD's estimate of $792,000,000," according to the website. "This would total nearly $1,000 per $1,000,000 of assessed valuation per year when what we are currently paying for Measure I1 is included."

Another factor the website says voters need to consider before voting for the new bond is the 10th elementary school that the district promised with passing Measure I1.

The 2016 measure stated that one of the priorities would be building a new elementary school, which the board then decided against and instead chose to hold the $35 million it allocated for the school in case the need for another school arises.

"We passed Measure I1, primarily for the elementary school the district promised," the opposition website stated. "We were guaranteed, with full consensus of the board, that should the district not build the school they would not bond the $35,000,000. While there is no elementary school in the district's plans, they still have the funds waiting 'in case a future school is needed.'"

But, according to the Yes on I website, the district doesn't need another school due to declining enrollment and unbalanced elementary schools.

"Based on declining enrollment and projections, there is no need for a 10th elementary school," the website stated. "Since the peak of enrollment in 2018-19, the district's overall enrollment has declined by 1,000 students."

In the end, it will be up to voters to decide by Nov. 8 whether they trust the district with its Facilities Master Plan, to execute all of the proposed plans or if they think that these upgrades are not needed and can wait for a later time.

Haglund, for his part, said that waiting will only make the prices for these projects go up. He added that if Measure M would have passed, the district would have already started construction for most of the sites tapped in Measure I.

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Christian Trujano, a Bay Area native and San Jose State alum, joined Embarcadero Media in May 2022 following his graduation. He is an award-winning student journalist who has covered stories in San Jose ranging from crime to higher education. Read more >>

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Right time for another Pleasanton school bond?

Voters to decide fate of $395 million Measure I for PUSD this November

by / Pleasanton Weekly

Uploaded: Thu, Sep 29, 2022, 11:24 pm

Pleasanton residents will be voting on a school bond measure in November for the third time in the last seven years. But after the first passed in 2016 and the second failed in 2020, the question remains the same in 2022 -- are the facility improvements worth the associated property tax increase in the eyes of the voters?

The $395 million general obligation bond, on the ballot as Measure I this fall, is being proposed by the Pleasanton Unified School District in order to help fund a portion of the nearly $1 billion worth of facilities projects across the district.

"The way schools are funded there is no real money the state is providing for these capital improvements and massive investments. If you don't have local bond dollars, you cannot do it," said Ahmad Sheikholeslami, PUSD's assistant superintendent of business services.

"You can go up and down the state. The schools that have bonds are the ones that are improved, the schools that don't have bonds they're the ones that are in the 1950s," he added.

PUSD has had mixed results with facility bond measures in recent history after a period of passing just one in 20 years.

In November 2016, residents voted to approve Measure I1, a $270 million facilities bond, which covered about one third of the overall $856 million identified facilities improvement needs estimated at that time.

Some of the projects paid for through Measure I1 were the rebuilding of Lydiksen Elementary School and new science classroom buildings at Amador Valley and Foothill high schools and at Hart Middle School, all of which have either been completed or are slated for completion later in the fall.

Measure I1 also began to address roofing and HVAC repair and replacements as well as making safety upgrades and providing updated classroom technology and infrastructure.

The district attempted to pass another bond in March 2020, but the proposed $323 million Measure M failed after it earned majority support from voters but failed to clear the 55% threshold required of school facility bond measures (52.40% Yes; 47.60% No).

Since Measure I1 passed and Measure M failed, PUSD staff have been working on a Facilities Master Plan update, which the Board of Trustees approved on June 23, that would separate the facility improvements of all 15 school sites into a two-tier system to address areas of high priority first.

The Measure I bond would help fund the first tier phase of the Facilities Master Plan, which will prioritize funding for the gym and theater constructions at both Amador Valley and Foothill as well as new classrooms at Vintage Hills Elementary School.

The second tier will focus on deferred maintenance, restructuring of the visual performing arts in high schools, cafeteria and air conditioning and heating equipment.

If more than 55% of Pleasanton residents vote Yes on the ballot, Measure I would utilize a tax rate of $49 per $100,000 of assessed value for Pleasanton property owners to fund that first tier round of projects. The second tier would be funded through State Office of Public School Construction funds, the sale of the current district office property on Bernal Avenue, state or local funding, or saved money from other construction bids, according to district officials.

PUSD trustees recently approved the sale of a portion of the current offices on the edge of downtown Pleasanton, at 4645 and 4665 Bernal Ave., in order to purchase offices in the Hacienda Business Park to serve as the new district headquarters.

The two-building property, located on 5758 and 5794 West Las Positas Blvd., cost $23,480,261 for PUSD to acquire from the current owner, ECI Four Arroyo LLC. However, the 7 acres up for sale at the Bernal property for future housing development will help in paying off the acquisition debt.

According to Sheikholeslami, the district plans on moving to the new office building in April.

The official Nov. 8 Measure I ballot statement will read:

"PLEASANTON UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT QUALITY AND SAFE EDUCATIONAL FACILITIES MEASURE. To continue replacing/modernizing deteriorating plumbing, roofs, electrical/HVAC systems, classrooms, science labs, performing arts, physical education facilities/spaces, and alternative high school facilities; constructing career technical/early childhood education classrooms; making safety/access improvements for students with disabilities; shall Pleasanton Unified School District's measure authorizing $395,000,000 in bonds at legal rates, levying approximately $49 per $100,000 of assessed valuation ($26,000,000 annually) while bonds are outstanding, be adopted, requiring audits/oversight?"

Some of the projects included in Measure I are the construction of elementary classrooms to support statewide expansion of transitional kindergarten; high school visual and performing arts centers; new and upgraded athletic facilities; updated plumbing to support safe drinking water; and site improvements for students with disabilities.

Measure I received mainly positive support during the trustees' public hearing process. Apart from the full board unanimously approving the resolution to put the bond on the November ballot back in July, several students and parents have been very vocal at the board meetings about the need to address the deteriorating gyms and other facility needs.

"Measure I1 has completed several projects including roof and HVAC repairs, solar installations, and fencing and security upgrades," according to the "Yes on I for Pleasanton Schools" website, which is a group dedicated to supporting the new bond measure.

"However, Measure I1 funds will not be enough to ensure upgrades and repairs to all schools in our district and we still have over a billion dollars in unmet facility needs, including: repairing aging roofing, plumbing, and electrical systems, ensuring safe drinking water, modernizing classrooms for career and technical training, and retaining high-quality teachers for our students," according to the support campaign.

"Older schools need upgrades to meet the same academic and safety standards as newer schools to support academic achievement for all the district's students," they added.

Those keywords -- "older schools" -- are what Superintendent David Haglund and Sheikholeslami both said lie at the heart of most of the issues the district faces.

Part of those problems include Americans with Disabilities Act compliance issues with schools such as Village High School, Haglund told the Weekly during a recent tour of several PUSD sites.

"When you think about a 1950s campus, you're talking about 25 years before the Americans with Disabilities Act and things like this were OK," Haglund said regarding the uphill walkways at the school with inch-long cracks running through them. "If the bond were to pass, this would be the first project that would be activated because it's about student safety."

Apart from the lack of accessibility and overall safety issues at Village, Haglund pointed out several decaying structural beams that seem like they could give out any day.

"Just beyond just all of the ADA and other physical things, the campus is disjointed in terms of creating an inclusive learning environment," Sheikholeslami said.

Some of the other priorities Haglund and Sheikholeslami pointed out which will be first on the to-do list if the bond is passed is building new artificial turf fields for all the middle schools and improving their kitchen facilities.

However, one of the big-ticket items will be at Amador with the demolition and rebuilding of the gyms and theater.

Right now, Amador has a small and a main gym with the boys' locker room being in the main and the girls' locker room being in the small.

The plan, if the bond passes, would be to build one main gym with both locker rooms and to put a new performing arts center where the small gym currently stands. Beyond wanting to create consistency of having everything in the same building, Sheikholeslami and Haglund pointed out the lack of air-conditioning and overall poor quality of the gyms.

The reason the gyms and the Amador Theater, which is actually owned by the city, are not being considered for renovation, according to Sheikholeslami and Haglund, is because older buildings such as these would require so many compliance upgrades that it wouldn't be financially viable.

Haglund said that in Measure M the district included dollars for the theater, but it was for addressing the issues related to the fire escape only. After speaking with architects and other consultants, they determined that more analysis was needed.

"The question is whether or not the engineers will give us a green light on retrofitting it or if it's just cheaper to completely reconstruct it," Haglund said. "Funding that would pay for the architects would come from the bond."

Currently, the district is putting the rebuild of the theater at $35 million, according to the master plan.

But it is these big-ticket items like the gyms and the theater that have led to some residents opposing the proposed bond measure.

According to a website called "Vote No on Measure I", the district needs to focus on finishing the projects from Measure I1 first, before asking residents to spend more on taxes.

"PUSD wants to borrow a staggering $395,000,000 and for you to pay the mortgage totaling PUSD's estimate of $792,000,000," according to the website. "This would total nearly $1,000 per $1,000,000 of assessed valuation per year when what we are currently paying for Measure I1 is included."

Another factor the website says voters need to consider before voting for the new bond is the 10th elementary school that the district promised with passing Measure I1.

The 2016 measure stated that one of the priorities would be building a new elementary school, which the board then decided against and instead chose to hold the $35 million it allocated for the school in case the need for another school arises.

"We passed Measure I1, primarily for the elementary school the district promised," the opposition website stated. "We were guaranteed, with full consensus of the board, that should the district not build the school they would not bond the $35,000,000. While there is no elementary school in the district's plans, they still have the funds waiting 'in case a future school is needed.'"

But, according to the Yes on I website, the district doesn't need another school due to declining enrollment and unbalanced elementary schools.

"Based on declining enrollment and projections, there is no need for a 10th elementary school," the website stated. "Since the peak of enrollment in 2018-19, the district's overall enrollment has declined by 1,000 students."

In the end, it will be up to voters to decide by Nov. 8 whether they trust the district with its Facilities Master Plan, to execute all of the proposed plans or if they think that these upgrades are not needed and can wait for a later time.

Haglund, for his part, said that waiting will only make the prices for these projects go up. He added that if Measure M would have passed, the district would have already started construction for most of the sites tapped in Measure I.

Comments

Kathy Porter
Registered user
Del Prado
on Sep 30, 2022 at 11:36 am
Kathy Porter, Del Prado
Registered user
on Sep 30, 2022 at 11:36 am

Before voting on the school bond I would like to know how much money Pleasanton received from the government during the pandemic and what they spent the money on.


Kathleen Ruegsegger
Registered user
Vintage Hills
on Sep 30, 2022 at 4:20 pm
Kathleen Ruegsegger, Vintage Hills
Registered user
on Sep 30, 2022 at 4:20 pm

A few things were missed in this article. First, the limiting language in the bond that states, paraphrased, we have a list but we don’t have to do it, even if we have the money. Page 11, bottom of the page: Web Link

Second, the district has stated we are short 1,000 students. The question is, where are they? Did they go to other public districts (this is allowed), did they go to private schools, did they sell their homes to people without children? The district has the answer but has not shared the information.

Third, the district plans to add 13 TK classrooms to Donlon and Fairlands. These are the most impacted schools. If we are losing enrollment, why 13 classrooms? Why these schools? And what about the City’s new group studying housing at Stoneridge Mall, with a completion of plans by April 2023? Even if the district does a boundary change, these schools will be well over the 700 students promised.

And these are just some of our concerns. The district wants to tear down Amador’s iconic Theater for $35,000,000 rather than refurbish for their estimate of $5,000,000. They also want to build a two-story Educational Options Center (Village High School) for essentially 100 permanent students.

Before you vote, please visit MeasureI.org where there is more information for you to consider.


SHale99
Registered user
Village High School
on Sep 30, 2022 at 6:31 pm
SHale99, Village High School
Registered user
on Sep 30, 2022 at 6:31 pm

>> They also want to build a two-story Educational Options Center (Village High School) for ??essentially 100 permanent students.

Your numbers are off, FYI. But, really, have you walked the Village campus. Are you AWARE of the age of the buildings? It would cost more to 'attempt' to make the up to code vs knocking down and rebuilding. That is relevant. The fact, often missed, here is every single school district has a continuation HS of some sort. If not Village, it would have to be someplace, right?

You often state you want to know the 'why' of declining enrollment. May I ask how that is relevant ie where they went? The biggest number is more graduated vs K or PreK enrollment. True for every single district w/in a 500 miles of us.


Jennifer P
Registered user
Valley Trails
on Oct 1, 2022 at 4:58 am
Jennifer P, Valley Trails
Registered user
on Oct 1, 2022 at 4:58 am

The District doesn’t own the Amador Theater; the city does and the District leases it. I haven’t seen a statement from the City regarding the District’s desire to replace the theater. Can someone point me to it?


Kathleen Ruegsegger
Registered user
Vintage Hills
on Oct 1, 2022 at 9:38 am
Kathleen Ruegsegger, Vintage Hills
Registered user
on Oct 1, 2022 at 9:38 am

SHale, I did not say we don’t need Village rebuilt. But it won’t take $395,000,000 to do it. I don’t believe your assertion about graduates vs TK and K enrollments. And I don’t believe you because the district is not saying why the numbers are down. Otherwise, why build 13 TK classrooms? I understand birth rates are down, but that is not how to measure true growth or loss of students. If people live here and take there children elsewhere, then the district likely has a problem. Haven’t seen last year’s test scores? The district has them, but the state is stalling on posting them. I wonder what they hold.

Jennifer, the superintendent asked to take the theater back. I believe it was “sold” to the city for $1, so giving it back was not a problem. If you check the link I posted above, page 12, fourth bullet applies to the performing arts. All the bullets are multi-objective, so the district has flexibility to do what it wants.


SHale99
Registered user
Village High School
on Oct 1, 2022 at 11:50 am
SHale99, Village High School
Registered user
on Oct 1, 2022 at 11:50 am

Kathleen: you are mixing and matching totally different numbers. A) it wouldn't cost $395m to rebuild Village on the acres left over from selling the DO; the new bond has a laundry list of items. You can find it on DO website. B) The TK classrooms are required because TK has been greatly EXPANDED. But, no, not at the extant a new school is needed. That would be impossible to justify; even tho it was promised (big mistake) in the last approved bond dollars.

As to enrollment: unclear why you don't feel if the graduating SRs vs new enrollment (difference) wouldn't be a leading reason for declining numbers? Certainly a percent went to private school during Covid; certainly a percent MOVED OUT of Pleasanton. And really, Pleasanton is not a school district destination for MOVE INs. As an example we moved over here in 2015; we quickly found although Pleasanton has nicely ranked schools; they are old old old and (at that time) at or over capacity. Dublin much the same (well, worse). Landed in SRVUSD; new schools, new housing. And although Dougherty Valley had/has increasing enrollment even SRVUSD overall has declining numbers.

my two cents I think the plan should have been the proceeds from selling most of the acres the DO occupies should have been used to knockdown/rebuild Village HS; that way no voter approval needed; best way, imho.


Kathleen Ruegsegger
Registered user
Vintage Hills
on Oct 1, 2022 at 12:35 pm
Kathleen Ruegsegger, Vintage Hills
Registered user
on Oct 1, 2022 at 12:35 pm

SHale, PUSD says we have declining enrollment, but wants 13 classrooms on the two most impacted schools in the district. Even though the governor refused to sign the bill on mandatory kindergarten. Even though the city is looking at housing at Stoneridge Mall. Even if the district redraws boundaries, those schools could reach nearly 1,000 students (based on classrooms and their students).

As for $395,000,000, that is what has to pass to build Village or PUSD’s laundry list of “projects” with language that is purposely opaque and protects the district, not the community who is giving them the money. That is a big No for me. PUSD could have asked for money for Village and the gymnasiums at the high schools—much less funding and every child in the district will go to those schools. Then PUSD could come back for the next round of funding for specific projects.

I would not disagree with your idea for Village, except there would be debt for the newer district office. And voters would have no say, just the usual bill.

There is something decidedly wrong in thinking the assessed valuations of homes in Pleasanton should be the district’s piggy bank.


Ptown Baseball Dad
Registered user
Birdland
on Oct 1, 2022 at 6:36 pm
Ptown Baseball Dad , Birdland
Registered user
on Oct 1, 2022 at 6:36 pm

“There is something decidedly wrong in thinking the assessed valuations of homes in Pleasanton should be the district’s piggy bank.”

I agree.

Regarding why the state is holding back on test score results, it doesn’t take a lot of thought to realize this is a political move. The results will be presented after the elections of November 8. Incumbents, the teachers unions and the bureaucratic state expect nothing more, and we the people go along for the ride.


[email protected]
Registered user
Birdland
on Oct 1, 2022 at 6:51 pm
[email protected], Birdland
Registered user
on Oct 1, 2022 at 6:51 pm

Ptown Baseball Dad: the assessed valuations of homes in Pleasanton neighborhoods is inextricably linked to the highly regarded education that Pleasanton schools achieve. That is what makes families want to move to Pleasanton and pay many hundreds of thousands and millions of dollars to move here. If the schools do not continue to excel, you will be selling your home for a price in Idaho or Texas in the tens of thousands of dollars.
Kathy Porter: if you are really interested in knowing how much money Pleasanton received from the government during the pandemic and what they spent the money on, there are better resources to find that out than just lazily posting here. Get up and do some research.


Kathleen Ruegsegger
Registered user
Vintage Hills
on Oct 1, 2022 at 9:29 pm
Kathleen Ruegsegger, Vintage Hills
Registered user
on Oct 1, 2022 at 9:29 pm

Rett, prices on homes rise and fall due to many factors, good schools being one, but not the only one. It still doesn’t mean that because assessed valuation has risen that the district gets to use it as their piggy bank, with all the guarantees for what does and maybe doesn’t happen in the district’s back pocket. Our community needs to hold the guarantees for what we are buying.


SHale99
Registered user
Village High School
on Oct 2, 2022 at 11:18 am
SHale99, Village High School
Registered user
on Oct 2, 2022 at 11:18 am

>> with language that is purposely opaque and protects

Are you aware the district is extremely limited in what they can say (and how much) in the bond request itself that shows up in front of voters? All bonds, in every county, are under the same restrictions, FYI. It's a state thing.

There are lists on the DO site that detail what the number is made of; one just needs to look. :)


Kathleen Ruegsegger
Registered user
Vintage Hills
on Oct 2, 2022 at 11:50 am
Kathleen Ruegsegger, Vintage Hills
Registered user
on Oct 2, 2022 at 11:50 am

Sentences like “Inclusion of a project on the bond list is not a guarantee that a project will be completed (regardless of whether bond funds are available).” are not acceptable and other districts do not have this sentence. Limited by language that starts each vague item with “modernize, upgrade, renovate, rehabilitate . . .” means they could decide to rehab Village or the gymnasiums or not do them at all. They are protecting themselves using the community’s $395,000,000. No. Just No.


Karl A
Registered user
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 2, 2022 at 2:03 pm
Karl A, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
Registered user
on Oct 2, 2022 at 2:03 pm

The irresponsible spending and false promises made by PUSD is a big reason many long time residents have left.

If you compare Pleasanton schools to the schools (Fremont, Milpitas, San Jose etc) new city residents are fleeing, Pleasanton schools look better. But in reality, people in Pleasanton are spending a lot of money for mediocre schools. This school district has wasted a lot of money.

And to put the statement Kathleen highlights, where the district can spend on pretty much anything they want is just wrong. Borrowing money without specifying exactly what it is being used for is borderline criminal.

I was a property owner in Pleasanton for 40 years. I decided enough is enough and left.


[email protected]
Registered user
Birdland
on Oct 2, 2022 at 2:26 pm
[email protected], Birdland
Registered user
on Oct 2, 2022 at 2:26 pm

Karl A: Actually, many homeowners in Pleasanton only leave after the children in the household have graduated and moved onto college or good employment opportunities elsewhere. The houses are bought up very quickly May through August with new families coming in to take the place of those who benefitted and left. Pleasanton really does not offer much more than good education but even the draw of a good education for Pleasanton families will no longer remain if the importance of supporting schools and teachers is outweighed by greed and short-sightedness. You are not missed.


Kathleen Ruegsegger
Registered user
Vintage Hills
on Oct 2, 2022 at 3:20 pm
Kathleen Ruegsegger, Vintage Hills
Registered user
on Oct 2, 2022 at 3:20 pm

Rett, Tell me why the state, and all districts who already have the test scores, are withholding them from the public.

PUSD has $105,000,000 left after six years. They can wait two more, start the elementary, and come back for something much smaller. People in Pleasanton are neither greedy or short sighted. They passed Measure I1. The district needs to listen, take out the “forgiving” language, and come back smaller. It would pass.


plebe
Registered user
Birdland
on Oct 2, 2022 at 3:27 pm
plebe, Birdland
Registered user
on Oct 2, 2022 at 3:27 pm

Thanks Kathleen for your information on this bond. I went to the MeasureI.org website and ...OMG!!!... I can't believe how irresponsible and disingenuous PUSD is on this bond.

- PUSD has no plans to build the new elementary school we vote for that in 2016?!? Isn't PUSD required to deliver on what we voted for? Are we now living in Russia and PUSD with PUSD the unaccountable oligarchs?

- PUSD even says in the bond language that they are not obligated to do the projects they "promise" in the bond! That is total BS! This isn't a bond, it's a PUSD slush fund. I thought bond language had to be specific and guaranteed...I guess that was the old America we lived in. Who needs rules and laws anymore?

- What's up with $70,000,000 for a special high school for only 400 students? Seems like $70,000,000 could really the help for the overcrowded, bursting at the seams Amador and Foothill students? That 3rd highschool that PUSD didn't build many years ago is biting us now (another stellar PUSD planning disaster).

Who put this bond together, because it surely wasn't the PUSD parents or the Pleasanton taxpayers who will fund this $395,000,000 PUSD slush fund boondoggle that really costs $792,000,000 over 30 years. Well, at least the developers cramming in more houses that will overcrowd our schools will now make even more profits building PUSD's insane slush fund projects.

I'm a PUSD parent, Pleasanton taxpayer and I'm voting NO on this bond. PUSD needs to learn accountability and my No vote is my feedback to PUSD that we are on the wrong track.

Let's do smaller, more focused bonds without the weasel words absolving PUSD from delivering commitments.


factchecker
Registered user
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 2, 2022 at 5:11 pm
factchecker, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
Registered user
on Oct 2, 2022 at 5:11 pm

Does it bother anyone the authors of the website negative on the bond don't put their name on it? It bothers me especially as there are a number of errors on the website. This reminds me of Matt Sullivan screaming about transparency when it comes to Costco but refused to disclose who was funding his law suit.


Karl A
Registered user
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 2, 2022 at 5:22 pm
Karl A, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
Registered user
on Oct 2, 2022 at 5:22 pm

Well Rhett, in those 40 years I helped pay off 3 bonds measures. It’s people like me who supported the schools that you now benefit from. I was also a kid who went to those schools - they were significantly better than they are now because we had an excellent school board that didn’t jerk the community around with lies and deceit.

Pleasanton homes are growing in value because because people, but not you it seems, actually like the community for what it offers other than schools. Low crime, small town feel, sense of community, etc. The inner bay area is full and very expensive so Pleasanton is actually a bargain in comparison.

I’m very glad to have never met you as you are probably one of the people that just came to Pleasanton to take advantage of something they didn’t have to pay for (schools) and will probably leave once their kids are out of school.

If you want to pay for the bond, you can certainly write a check above and beyond your tax bill and PUSD will be happy to take your money.

Good luck to you.


Kathleen Ruegsegger
Registered user
Vintage Hills
on Oct 2, 2022 at 6:11 pm
Kathleen Ruegsegger, Vintage Hills
Registered user
on Oct 2, 2022 at 6:11 pm

factchecker, this is a grassroots effort. The people who are behind this bond are parents in the district who are concerned about any retribution people from the schools or the district may take against their children. There are also people who work for the district. There are people in the community who are known and do not want to respond to questions about their private vote.

I don’t have children in the district anymore. I am willing to respond if people ask questions. I voted for the first three bonds. The first two because I trusted the superintendent and he did what they said they would do; the third because it included the tenth elementary school. Since then, Measure M and Measure I have had language that protects the district with the community’s money. There are other concerns listed on the Measure I site as well.

If there are errors, please let me or the site know, and we will correct them if we’ve made an error. We are trying to get all the information out to the community, including the site for Measure I, so voters can decide for themselves.

The libertarians wrote the no argument for the ballot, and even though I went to the county and filed my argument, the libertarians are allowed to go first (I believe it is state, county, city, associations, individual voters). We worked with them on the no rebuttal, which I wrote.

We have spent $15 on the site and so far, nothing else. Again, visit the site to get the information from the other side and then decide.


SHale99
Registered user
Village High School
on Oct 3, 2022 at 3:48 pm
SHale99, Village High School
Registered user
on Oct 3, 2022 at 3:48 pm

>what's up with $70,000,000 for a special high school for only 400 students?

Not sure where this was born. I debunked it here recently. Not sure of an author here was confused or a bad article.

Village HS has under 100 students daily. Attached to Village is the Pleasanton Virtual Academy; it possibly has a few hundred students. But they are NEVER on campus en mass.

The other program that follows Village HS are the Adult Transition students; another 20 or so.

Facts, please.


Kathleen Ruegsegger
Registered user
Vintage Hills
on Oct 3, 2022 at 4:01 pm
Kathleen Ruegsegger, Vintage Hills
Registered user
on Oct 3, 2022 at 4:01 pm

Page 14, Educational Options Center, bottom right, $70,000,000.


Bob12
Registered user
Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 3, 2022 at 7:02 pm
Bob12, Pleasanton Meadows
Registered user
on Oct 3, 2022 at 7:02 pm

Retired since 2013 in Pleasanton and this is the honest truth - our expenses, be it medical or PG&E has always gone up for than our Cost of Living Adjustment from Social Security every year. Our homeowner property taxes have also gone up every year since then. - - So why would I vote to increase the rate of property tax on myself? - We own a home in Pleasanton, but that does not make us wealthy as to rising expenses verses income.

- Guess what my vote is going to be? - -


wogguts
Registered user
Pleasanton Valley
on Oct 3, 2022 at 7:45 pm
wogguts, Pleasanton Valley
Registered user
on Oct 3, 2022 at 7:45 pm

What's TK other than day care with California Teacher's Association salaries?


wogguts
Registered user
Pleasanton Valley
on Oct 3, 2022 at 7:50 pm
wogguts, Pleasanton Valley
Registered user
on Oct 3, 2022 at 7:50 pm

EdData.org shows Village HS Enrollment at 165.

Web Link


Yes on I
Registered user
Harvest Park Middle School
on Oct 4, 2022 at 9:18 am
Yes on I, Harvest Park Middle School
Registered user
on Oct 4, 2022 at 9:18 am

We need to bond together as a community and vote yes for Measure I. WHEN the Amador Valley gym gets red flagged for being unsafe or the fields at the middle schools can no longer be used for PE or sports, look no further than those that voted no or those who didn't bother to vote. I like to think that I live in a community that values educators and the environment that they work. Do your research on how Pleasanton is funded from the state. See that the money for the tenth elementary school is currently sitting in a fund, but it no longer needed and would be fiscally irresponsible to build. Take a tour of a current PUSD campus and then take a tour of the new gym at Livermore High School (a community that said yes to a bond). We've kicked the can down the road long enough. Rather than relying on the state of CA, we have to take care of this ourselves. The price tag is high, but there is much work that needs to be done! No one likes the idea of taxes, but we need to say YES to the PUSD teachers and students. Yes to new buildings. Yes to new sports fields. Yes to supporting all of Pleasanton!


Kathleen Ruegsegger
Registered user
Vintage Hills
on Oct 4, 2022 at 9:31 am
Kathleen Ruegsegger, Vintage Hills
Registered user
on Oct 4, 2022 at 9:31 am

From your link wogguts: 2021-22 Enrollment 102


wogguts
Registered user
Pleasanton Valley
on Oct 4, 2022 at 3:20 pm
wogguts, Pleasanton Valley
Registered user
on Oct 4, 2022 at 3:20 pm

Regarding >> the fields at the middle schools can no longer be used for PE or sports<<

There's easier ways to remove gophers that replacing field with astroturf. Will need to remove the gophers for astroturf anyway.


Pleasanton Valley Rez
Registered user
Pleasanton Valley
on Oct 4, 2022 at 3:55 pm
Pleasanton Valley Rez, Pleasanton Valley
Registered user
on Oct 4, 2022 at 3:55 pm

I'm wondering if someone in this chain knows where the district got the down payment for their new building (Hacienda)? I'm also very curious about the possibility of their not being able to sell the current district facility...where is this money for the new facility coming from?

Could this down payment money have been used for gyms, fields, etc. Even if this money could not be used where needed (gyms/fields/etc.) the optics of the district's decision to purchase a new facility is atrocious.

Is the district facility old? Yes. But so are many of our schools, gyms and fields. Not sure if a new district facility is currently warranted.

Our students, teachers and staff should always come first - not the executives (salaries or a shiny new facility).

What appear to be lackluster decisions worry me with regard to how new bond money will be spent...


Pleasanton Valley Rez
Registered user
Pleasanton Valley
on Oct 4, 2022 at 4:03 pm
Pleasanton Valley Rez, Pleasanton Valley
Registered user
on Oct 4, 2022 at 4:03 pm

correction: optics...are


SHale99
Registered user
Village High School
on Oct 4, 2022 at 4:07 pm
SHale99, Village High School
Registered user
on Oct 4, 2022 at 4:07 pm

>>Page 14, Educational Options Center, bottom right, $70,000,000.

Are we reading the posts here? It's the 400 student bit that has and is completely wrong.

And phase I of rebuild is NOT $70m.


SHale99
Registered user
Village High School
on Oct 4, 2022 at 4:10 pm
SHale99, Village High School
Registered user
on Oct 4, 2022 at 4:10 pm

.>>where is this money for the new facility coming from?

From the proceeds of selling most of the property. The possibility of it 'not' selling is right at zero, FYI.

For the purchase they used investment vehicles based on (wait for it) the proceeds of the sale of the DO site. They will also be getting lease income from the sq feet of the new location that has an existing tenant.


Kathleen Ruegsegger
Registered user
Vintage Hills
on Oct 4, 2022 at 4:25 pm
Kathleen Ruegsegger, Vintage Hills
Registered user
on Oct 4, 2022 at 4:25 pm

Rez, I believe the district will use Certificates of Participation for their new offices. I don’t believe they can use COPs to fix current structures. The hope then is to repay them with the sale of the land from the current offices. Not selling is possible, and if that were the case, the district would pay from the General Fund on a monthly (?) basis. It is true they have a tenant with a lease.

SHale, Please let the district know the 400 students are a wrong number. That is where it was stated. Phase 1 and 2 are planned at $70,000,000 total. The superintendent wants a two-story building, but as you pointed out, there will only be about 100 students there permanently.


Pleasanton Valley Rez
Registered user
Pleasanton Valley
on Oct 4, 2022 at 7:12 pm
Pleasanton Valley Rez, Pleasanton Valley
Registered user
on Oct 4, 2022 at 7:12 pm

SHale99 - It sounds like they have a prospective buyer for the "old" district office. Is this true?


Jake Waters
Registered user
Birdland
on Oct 5, 2022 at 8:42 am
Jake Waters, Birdland
Registered user
on Oct 5, 2022 at 8:42 am

I’m voting against the Bond Measure and here is my reason.

First, let me commend many of you that have taken the time to research this Measure and get into the weeds of the details encompassing it. I do the same on most things, however, my long life has shown me the usual outcome of these schools Bonds are more than what they claim to be. School Administrators are generally poor stewards of large pools of money. They fail to understand the concept of budget, particularly when it comes to other people’s money.

That being said, I’ll be more to the point: we have endured and will continue to endure the responsibility of paying for a variety of victimhood, not only created by our Governor, but also by this President. Our taxes, gas prices, food, runaway inflation, and more are rising because of the trillions of dollars thrown at the following- a flu virus; a war in Ukraine; a broken southern boarder; a myriad of social issues in this state; a smorgasbord of fraudulent reparation payments to be handed down starting next year; the responsibility to pay off every parent’s college debt; the impending push to purchase an expensive electric car; the financial nightmare to fund dead end and soaring costs of solar energy; and now we are being asked to increase our taxes to help a government educational system that has turned on our values by what they are and are planning to teach our children in school. Yes, I do believe in community, but sometimes members in that community disagree with the outcome. This is a lot of money that is allocated, and the contract may not be directed in the manor that it is written.

My vote is the consequence of poor leadership at the highest levels of government in this state and country.


SHale99
Registered user
Village High School
on Oct 5, 2022 at 4:01 pm
SHale99, Village High School
Registered user
on Oct 5, 2022 at 4:01 pm

>SHale99 - It sounds like they have a prospective buyer for the "old" district office. Is >this true?

it is not on the market yet. The 'schedule' move out date for the DO is April 2023. I'd imagine it would go on the market then. All they have done was have the property appraised.


Pleasanton Parent
Registered user
Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 6, 2022 at 3:19 pm
Pleasanton Parent, Pleasanton Meadows
Registered user
on Oct 6, 2022 at 3:19 pm

My biggest issue is the lack of accountability and specificity in the bond language. Easy no for me.

I want to invest, but not as a blank check. Sorry. This is not about the community not wanting to invest, its about not trusting those in charge of the funds being requested based on poor historic performance.

No.


Jan Batcheller
Registered user
Downtown
on Oct 6, 2022 at 3:21 pm
Jan Batcheller, Downtown
Registered user
on Oct 6, 2022 at 3:21 pm

The bottom line is our school facilities are sorely in need of repair and upgrade. Like many, I have several issues with current moves by the school board but don't feel we need to compromise the safety of our students because of this. The value of our homes is directly related to the reputation of our schools.
In addition, Pleasanton assessed valuation for school taxes is one of the lowest of all cities in Alameda County.
Vote YES!


SHale99
Registered user
Village High School
on Oct 6, 2022 at 3:52 pm
SHale99, Village High School
Registered user
on Oct 6, 2022 at 3:52 pm

don't the voters elect those 'in charge'? Vote 'em out and select ones you trust? Otherwise, well, the schools have needs there is no debate on that at all. One can jump up and down about 'management' but at the end of the day voters decide who is in charge....


SHale99
Registered user
Village High School
on Oct 6, 2022 at 3:54 pm
SHale99, Village High School
Registered user
on Oct 6, 2022 at 3:54 pm

>In addition, Pleasanton assessed valuation for school taxes is one of the lowest of all >cities in Alameda County.

Look no further north than SRVUSD; half a dozen items on the RE Tax bill; way way more than PUSD (so far).


Becky Dennis
Registered user
Foxborough Estates
on Oct 6, 2022 at 4:51 pm
Becky Dennis, Foxborough Estates
Registered user
on Oct 6, 2022 at 4:51 pm

Allowing further deterioration of Pleasanton’s school facilities would be shameful and shortsighted. People have historically moved here because of the PUSD’s reputation. Given the cost of housing here, they know that community quality, including education, comes at a cost. Whether you have children in school or not, support our historic community standards and the future value of your property investment. Vote YES on Measure I.


Pleasanton Parent
Registered user
Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 6, 2022 at 9:10 pm
Pleasanton Parent, Pleasanton Meadows
Registered user
on Oct 6, 2022 at 9:10 pm

Sorry not how it works.

You want my money, then listen to my terms. Don’t tell me the terms in which you’ll accept my money.

Asking for bond language specificity is responsible. Especially after the past bond failed to deliver on its commitments.

Stop shaming the community, shame those refusing to listen to reasonable community concerns, failing to deliver on prior bond promises and putting future ones at risk.

Hostage negotiation tactics should only further our stance on a no vote. We are not being heard.


Kathleen Ruegsegger
Registered user
Vintage Hills
on Oct 7, 2022 at 5:30 am
Kathleen Ruegsegger, Vintage Hills
Registered user
on Oct 7, 2022 at 5:30 am

Until the district office listens, and the board puts an end to the size and language used in the bond attempts, I will vote no.

The district still has over $100,000,000–build the 10th elementary, not 13 TK classrooms at Donlon and Fairlands.


Jimmy The Jet
Registered user
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 7, 2022 at 9:39 am
Jimmy The Jet, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
Registered user
on Oct 7, 2022 at 9:39 am

It would be irresponsible to build a 10th elementary school with many schools not full. The board’s decision to not go forward with this expenditure is responsible. The cost of a 10th school is not just the upfront dollars to build the site. The ongoing cost of the school would be a burden. Staffing a 10th unneeded school would also cost the district money. A principal and vice principal alone would be 250-300K a year. Add teachers, office, and support staff and you’re looking at a significant amount.

This is just a distraction. The support that PUSD gets from bonds and parcel taxes is smaller compared to others. Most homeowners pay both bonds and parcel taxes to support their schools. Ptown is getting off easy. Time to step up.


Kathleen Ruegsegger
Registered user
Vintage Hills
on Oct 7, 2022 at 10:16 am
Kathleen Ruegsegger, Vintage Hills
Registered user
on Oct 7, 2022 at 10:16 am

Jimmy, can you explain why the district is building 13 TK classrooms at Donlon and Fairlands, the two most impacted schools, and when the city has started a group to plan for homes at Stoneridge Mall?


Jimmy The Jet
Registered user
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 7, 2022 at 1:56 pm
Jimmy The Jet, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
Registered user
on Oct 7, 2022 at 1:56 pm

Shallow Google search gave me these results.
From October of 2021 Web Link

I’m not a fan of the current governor but this is the current plan. Universal TK. My guess is that the board is looking ahead. I’m hearing that the board is looking at boundaries after not moving on boundaries in years. It’s the 3rd rail of school board politics.


SHale99
Registered user
Village High School
on Oct 7, 2022 at 3:55 pm
SHale99, Village High School
Registered user
on Oct 7, 2022 at 3:55 pm

>Jimmy, can you explain why the district is building 13 TK classrooms at Donlon and >Fairlands

Wasn't this asked and answered here already? TK eligibility has been greatly expanded. of course they need new/more classrooms. But a new school just for TK? Yeah, I think there would be a really really big boundary problem with that. Will you vote for a bond to buy more buses? Because that would be needed.

Perhaps if new housing were actually approved you 'might' get increasing enrollment and maybe then a new school. Maybe.


Jimmy The Jet
Registered user
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 7, 2022 at 4:56 pm
Jimmy The Jet, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
Registered user
on Oct 7, 2022 at 4:56 pm

I’m just guessing but…Fairlands currently has 5 kindergartens and Donlan has 6. That's 11. Not sure how many students should go to these schools but there is not room. Given 11 and add a few more students that could be one more class in each school. That’s 13 Kindergarten classes. If the incoming group of Universal TK is similar then that's 13 classes as well. As mentioned above, more high density housing is coming to the north side of the city. The last demographer's report was not accurate. Families leaving California for many reasons changed not only PUSD’s population but many districts across the state. Less restricted Covid rules, cashing in on equity and working remotely from the mountain west, buying an affordable house and moving out of apartments are just some of the reasons families have moved away. The north side of town has not dropped in numbers. As mentioned these schools are impacted. Again it’s just a guess.


Pleasanton Parent
Registered user
Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 7, 2022 at 8:59 pm
Pleasanton Parent, Pleasanton Meadows
Registered user
on Oct 7, 2022 at 8:59 pm

It’s not lack of families, almost every home sale has young kids moving in, replacing older owners cashing out. It’s not a population problem, it is an enrollment problem.

So kids are moving in
Enrollment is down
Another sign our pusd board is not doing its job. People are selecting other schooling options


Kathleen Ruegsegger
Registered user
Vintage Hills
on Oct 8, 2022 at 6:06 am
Kathleen Ruegsegger, Vintage Hills
Registered user
on Oct 8, 2022 at 6:06 am

If we need 13 TK classrooms (and even attending Kindergarten is not required), and we have two schools that are impacted, why these schools? Why not build those 13 classrooms at any other elementary schools in the district? I think it is because the district knows there will be more students in the north and they don’t want to build a tenth elementary, so these schools will handle 900+ students.


Jon A
Registered user
Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 14, 2022 at 5:04 pm
Jon A, Pleasanton Meadows
Registered user
on Oct 14, 2022 at 5:04 pm

I'm voting YES. Our schools are in disrepair and in need of modernization. Don't let our home values go to Livermore and Dublin where they are investing in quality facilities for learning.


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