The San Ramon Valley school board no longer is considering placing a bond measure on the November ballot to raise money for facility needs.
Though no formal vote was taken, a majority of trustees said at Tuesday's board meeting that it would be hard to ask voters to approve more taxes for the district as services are being cut, even though bonds pay for facilities instead of programs.
The district, which passed the $70 million bond Measure D in 1997 and $260 million bond Measure A in 2002, has been reviewing facility needs as part of the citizens' oversight committee, district spokesman Terry Koehne said.
He said the district has known more money is needed, such as for a new classroom building at San Ramon Valley High and expanded libraries at other schools — projects not covered by earlier bond measures.
While there has been talk of a possible bond, not much has been said publicly. Tuesday's discussion was the first held during a board meeting, Koehne said.
Trustees were told by staff members at Tuesday's meeting that $250 million in needs have been identified.
Board member Greg Marvel was the only trustee who spoke in support of a bond measure for the November ballot. He said that if it passed, the district could take advantage of current low construction costs.
"It will cost more (later)," he said. "If we don't do it, it's an opportunity lost."
However, there also was concern about the district asking for money at a time when services are being cut.
Earlier in the evening, a parent who worked on the campaign to pass a districtwide parcel tax in May criticized the budget cuts the district is considering. He said the community thought the Measure C parcel tax would fund those services.
"We're talking about cutting, cutting, cutting, then putting more money into schools. That might not sit well," board member Paul Gardner said. He added that there would not be a lot of time to prepare for a vote this fall.
Darren Day, president of the San Ramon Valley Education Association, said it would be hard for the teachers union to mobilize members for support at a time when cuts are being made.
Board President Rachel Hurd said a bond measure should remain on their radar.
Because budget cuts could alter class sizes, the number of classrooms needed could change, Superintendent Steven Enoch said.
Meanwhile, the school district continues to look at budget cut possibilities. Also Tuesday, the school board look at a list of possible further reductions, including elimination of crossing guards, a 30 percent reduction in counselors for middle and high schools — the equivalent of eight full-time positions. The district, which has a $215 million budget this year, is expecting a $30 million deficit over the two upcoming school years.
Enoch reminded the audience that the deficit is based on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's initial proposal and that it could change by the time the state budget is finalized.
Contact Eric Louie at 925-847-2123.