SAN RAMON VALLEY -- District officials are hoping local voters will be generous once again and pass a $260 million school facilities bond measure, called Measure D, that would fund a number of infrastructure and technology upgrades for district schools.
It might be a tough measure to pass with two other state propositions -- Propositions 30 and 38 -- on the ballot asking voters to pay more taxes for schools, but members of the board of education are hopeful local voters will pass a measure that will support their own schools.
If passed by 55 percent of voters on Nov. 5, Measure D would authorize the district to issue up to $260 million in bonds to finance 45 projects at schools across the district.
The projects include seismic upgrades, upgrades to electrical and heating and air conditioning systems, technology infrastructure upgrades, security cameras, new classrooms, new stadium bleachers at San Ramon Valley and Monte Vista high schools and a new $31 million elementary school in Dougherty Valley, among others.
San Ramon Valley voters approved a $70 million bond measure in 1998 and a $260 million bond in 2002. District residents are currently paying on those bonds.
In addition, local voters approved a $144 annual parcel tax -- Measure C -- in 2009 to help fill a funding gap since the 2008 recession began. Measure C expires in 2016.
The average tax required to repay all of the bonds issued under Measure D would be $27.75
Measure D has been endorsed by several politicians in the county, including State Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord; Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, D-San Ramon; county Supervisor Candace Andersen; the Danville Town Council; the San Ramon City Council; and all three candidates running for seats on the San Ramon Valley school board.
"Some of our schools are old, and we need to expand some schools because our enrollment is growing," said board of education President Greg Marvel, who is running for re-election.
"The money (from Measure D) is going to be spent locally and will generate local jobs to enhance the community," he said.
Pam Farly, whose two children are students in the district, opposes the measure and helped craft the rebuttal to it that appears on the ballot.
"I already pay $600 in taxes total on my property that's going to the San Ramon Valley school district," she said. "Instead of asking for more money, they need to make cuts first. Everybody's hurting right now. I think asking parents in this economy to fork out more money is insane."
Contact Jason Sweeney at 925-847-2120. Follow him at Twitter.com/Jason_Sweeney.