Santa Clara Unified School Bond Measure Loses Support, May Switch Election Date

By Robert Haugh

The Santa Clara Unified School District Board is having a special meeting today to discuss a possible bond measure.

This is interesting because last year the board looked like it would put a $875 million bond measure on the June 2018 ballot — their 4th in 14th years.

The District previously issued:

  • a $419 million bond in 2014,
  • an $81.1 million bond in 2010, and
  • a $315 million bond in 2004.

That’s about $1.7 billion since 2004. Wow. That’s more than the cost to build Levi’s Stadium. We hope the board — or the public — asks a lot of questions about the expenditure plans.

We’re hearing that the district needs the money to dramatically increase the size of the new high school. Plus, certain past bond projects were delayed or not started so now they are way more expensive to build.

It’s also interesting that the district is thinking about moving from June 2018 to November 2018. Their switch may put them into direct conflict with the City who is considering putting a measure on the November ballot for parks and other needs.

Some people think this will hurt both measures. So why would the district move to November?

Last year, a state law, AB 195, was passed. It requires bond measures to tell the public in the ballot title how much the measure will cost and the public would pay.

According to the districts’ pollster, True North Research, giving voters the financial info will drop support for measure, so they should look at a November election to improve their chances. That’s interesting because last September, the same pollster gave a report to the board that said there was only a one percent difference between a June and November election for the bond measure they tested.

Also, the True North poll was done in August, 2017 — that’s a month after the AB 195 legislation was passed. Looks like they weren’t aware of it so they did not put the financial information in the poll that they did for the district last year. Whoops.

It’ll also be interesting to see what the district’s Superintendent Dr. Stan Rose has to say. He’s asking for permission to  “allow the Superintendent discretion to improve the ballot question in response to the urgency legislation under consideration.” Is the district pushing or hoping for new legislation that will allow it to hide or leave out financial information for the voters? Hope not.

This decision and the Districts’ actions will be something we watch closely. Stay tuned voters and taxpayers.

Santa Clara Unified Bonds
The Santa Clara Unified School District Board is weighing on holding an $875 million general bond measure in June or November 2018.


  1. Did anyone see any flying pigs? NO? Well, there is no damn way I’m voting for another single cent in bond money for schools, for Santa Clara, for swim center, for tennis courts, parks, or any other fancy BS some pollster creates to wrap around yet another public ripoff,

    Forget it, fool me once, shame on me … fleece me a second time … NO DAMNED WAY! You may be that stupid — but I am not! Stop paying off the unions and get them to teach instead of playing politics! Stop pacifying the union suckups too — those days are over, the public has got their number too. Stop wasting my money on looking important, being big shots, and getting your pictures taken and start doing what you are hired to do … Teach! And you need to do better at that too! Get rid of ALL the excess administrators that are overpaid and not needed and too ego’d too. Do your District homework, clean up (and out) your trash and focus on teaching instead of being big shots! Your job is EDUCATION … NOT POLITICS! And you work for the public.

    No Bonds — No Way … What happened to the last bond monies? Squander it … so sad — too bad, What did you do with all the stadium money you campaigned for? Use the RDA money and the development money … what’d you do with all that? You fleeced it from the citizens … Use all that … tighten YOUR belts! CUT your spending … your cash machine and ATM is closed, DONE! Deal with it — your word is worthless, you’ve worn out your “we need it” cry. Liar, liar pants on fire.

    HELLO — It is called FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY. Your turn …

  2. I thought after the stadium was built all of the money was going to be rolling in hand over fist flooding not only the city coffers but the surrounding cities who boosted the Niners’ playground so heavily. “It’s for the children & their legacy” was the rallying cry. Instead, Santa Clara leadership wants to push for a $252M swim center that will bring oodles of money into to the city and revitalize & rejuvenate the area — of course, “it’s for the children & their legacy”.

    What do we have after this outlay of cash & proposed outlay of glittery goodness? A professional roster who lead the league, not in touchdowns, but in felonies, misdemeanors, suspensions. We’ve got a revolving door, flip-floppy city council members & staffs, some members who *retired* immediately after Super Bowl L; some shortly after; one who bought property IN ANOTHER STATE and is still trying to dictate policy here; while still others participate along with other faculties of various school board in shenanigans which rival the lyrics of the Harper Valley PTA.

    The excess of $815M in previous bond measures collected over the past and still our kids still have nothing better than dilapidated or underserved buildings, somehow the definitions of grift and con come to mind as we’ve nothing but a shiny stadium, losing seasons, poor community relations and debt.

    I’m not voting for one more tax cent to go into the city coffers until I can be assured they are not attached to any of the city council member’s pockets. If a neighborhood school wants to put up a GoFundMe page, perhaps I would consider supporting a school – but I am done trusting our city leadership.

  3. I love the teachers in the district but did they really need a 36% raise in the last couple of years? I know they were under paid but who in your family got a 36% raise?

  4. We are not in SCUSD but were considering moving to Santa Clara. Accountability with public bonds is very important – but I find comparison of bonds for schools teaching the children of Santa Clara to cost of building Lewi’s stadium … entertaining .. at best.

  5. Several weeks ago, I participated in a telephone survey about the Santa Clara Unified School District proposal to issue yet another bond which was to (as far as I remember the survey’s questions) repair and update buildings, implement and improve classes in science and math, give students a better chance at tech and other jobs, etc., etc. The questions and statements in the recent survey were nearly identical to those asked the last time the SCUSD issued a bond request to the taxpayers. My answers this time were NOT the same as last. Who is overseeing these funds and reporting to the public about use of the monies, contracts signed, projects delayed or begun? I will not be supporting any bond measure SCUSD puts forth until there is a thorough review and reporting of what has been done with the money raised from the previous bond measures.

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