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How can I register to vote or learn more about voting?
You can register to vote at www.registertovote.ca.gov. You may vote via absentee ballot or in person at your polling place on June 5. Absentee ballots will be mailed the week of May 7. To find out more about voting, please contact the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters at (408) 299-VOTE or visit www.SCCGov.org/sites/rov.
Who is eligible to vote on the measure?
All registered voters in the Mountain View Los Altos High School District are eligible to vote.
What level of support is required to pass a bond measure?
At least 55% of voters who cast a ballot on the measure must vote “Yes” for the bond to pass.
When will the bond measure appear on the ballot?
The bond measure will be on the June 5, 2018 Primary Election ballot.
How much will the cost of a bond measure be for renters?
Only property owners who pay property taxes will pay the cost. However, landlords may pass all or a portion of the cost of the measure on to their tenants.
What’s the difference between parcel taxes and bond measures?
Bond measures and parcel tax measures are used for different purposes — bond measures can only fund facility upgrades and improvements and cannot be used for operating costs or programs. Parcel taxes, on the other hand, may be used for teachers and programs. Our partner elementary districts recently passed parcel taxes, but, legally, funds from those measures cannot support local high schools. MVLA does not have a dedicated local source of parcel tax funding.
Haven’t we passed a lot of school taxes in the past few years?
In recent years Mountain View-Whisman School District and Los Altos School District have passed local funding measures to support local elementary and middle schools, not our high schools. By law, funds from these measures cannot be used to address MVLA’s needs.
Is there a senior exemption?
By law, MVLA cannot offer a senior exemption for a bond measure. However, the cost of the measure is based on the assessed value of a person’s property, which is different from market value. The assessed value is based on the price of the home when it was first purchased.
How much will the bond measure cost?
The cost of the bond measure is limited to no more than $30 per $100,000 of assessed (not market) value annually.
Does MVLA have a strong track record of sound fiscal management?
Our district takes pride in its history of fiscal responsibility. We have used taxpayer money carefully and responsibly with the record to prove it. Independent citizens’ oversight has consistently confirmed the proper use of voter-approved funding, and we have been diligent in negotiating the best deals for any new constructions projects.
Are any Measure A funds left to address our current needs?
All Measure A funds have been expended, under budget and ahead of schedule. Although much has been accomplished with Measure A, sustained enrollment growth continues to affect our schools. During our comprehensive facilities master planning process, it has become clear that a local source of funding is needed. That is why the MVLA Board of Trustees has placed a bond measure on the June 2018 ballot.
Didn’t Measure A in 2010 address these needs in our schools?
Voters overwhelmingly approved Measure A in 2010 to upgrade and expand classrooms and facilities. Since 2010, high-density housing developments have been approved faster than ever in our communities. We need a local source of funding not only to accommodate the current growth in our schools, but to plan for the future, sustained growth that will result from these developments. Each high school needs expanded classrooms, labs, libraries and other student support facilities to accommodate this growth and prevent overcrowding. Additionally, a bond measure would bring classrooms, labs and school libraries up to the same health and safety requirements to ensure a safe and secure learning environment for our students, as well as allow them to accommodate 21st-century educational technology.
Could this measure help our district qualify for state matching funds?
Yes. If passed, this measure could qualify our schools for millions of dollars in state matching funds that would otherwise go to other communities.
What about the statewide school bond that passed in November 2016?
Despite the passage of Prop 51, a statewide school bond measure on the November 2016 ballot, our schools still need a dedicated source of local funding to address identified facilities needs. Prop 51 funds are only available through district matching funds, so passing a local bond measure is the only way our district can become eligible to receive them.
Can’t we rely on the state to address these needs?
Although we are grateful for some improvement in school funding at the state level, we are still not back at pre-recession levels and we cannot rely on Sacramento to be a stable, consistent source of funding.
What fiscal accountability requirements are included?
According to state law, bond measures are subject to fiscal accountability requirements to ensure the proper use of funds.
By law, all funds from the bond measure will stay within MVLA schools and cannot be taken away by the state or federal governmentsA detailed project list outlining repairs and upgrades at each school is mandatoryNo funds can be used for administrators’ salaries or benefitsIndependent citizens’ oversight and annual audits are requiredThe cost will be limited to no more than $30 per $100,000 of assessed value (not market value) annually
What priority repairs and improvements would a bond measure support?
Funding from this bond measure would be used to:
Add classrooms to accommodate growing student enrollment and prevent overcrowdingProvide facilities to expand programs in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathUpdate aging classrooms and replace old roofs, outdated plumbing and inefficient wiring and electrical systems to meet modern safety standardsExpand libraries, cafeterias and other student support facilities to accommodate growing student enrollmentEquip classrooms and labs with 21st-century learning technology
How does MVLA plan to address these needs in our schools?
After completing a comprehensive Facilities Master Plan and hosting regular public board meetings to determine a plan to address enrollment growth in our schools, the MVLA Board of Trustees unanimously voted to place a $295-million bond measure on the June 5, 2018 ballot.
What is the current state of our classrooms, labs and school facilities?
While some of our high school facilities have been upgraded recently, others have not. Aging facilities at each of our campuses are in need of repair and modernization. Old portable classrooms cannot support modern instructional methods in key subjects like science, technology, engineering, arts and math. Basic repairs and increased access to up-to-date educational technology would help ensure that local teachers can continue providing the outstanding academic instruction that sets our schools apart.
How has enrollment growth affected our schools?
Due to years of sustained enrollment growth, which is projected to continue, our schools face significant overcrowding. Within the next few years, MVLA will need to accommodate at least 500 additional students based on current enrollment in local elementary schools, with dozens more high-density housing developments on the horizon. In order to address this growth and prevent overcrowding, we need to expand classrooms, labs, libraries and other student support facilities.
How are high schools in Mountain View and Los Altos performing?
Mountain View Los Altos High School District (MVLA) is proud to offer innovative, award‑winning programs that prepare our students for college and jobs of the future. Parents and community members tell us that our neighborhood high schools are critical to the strength of our communities. In fact, the District has been consistently ranked among the top public school districts nationwide. Between Mountain View and Los Altos High Schools, 98% of graduating seniors go on to post-secondary education. Great schools help keep our students on the path to future success and increase property values for our entire community.
How can I find out more?
For more information about our schools and facilities needs, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and someone from the MVLA District will respond to you.