By Robert Haugh
The Santa Clara Unified School District (SCUSD) Board decided Tuesday night to put a $720 million bond measure on the November ballot.
It’ll be the 4th bond measure in the last 14 years for the District. Here are the previous ones:
- $419 million bond in 2014,
- $81.1 million bond in 2010, and
- $315 million bond in 2004.
So, the district has raised over $815 million since 2004. And they want to almost double that this year. Wow. But they’ll have some opposition from Santa Clara Plays Fair (SCPF).
Here’s an early preview of some arguments SCPF will raise:
The 75-word ballot statement states that taxpayers will pay “5 cents per $100 of assessed value”; this is written to make taxpayers ‘do the math’ to figure out how much they will pay in additional property taxes. We’ve done the math for you, showing how much you will pay per year based on your assessed value (5 cents per $100 equals $50 per $100,000), and how much you will pay in total over 32 years.
That’s the first time we’ve seen a assessed value for a bond measure use cents in an official ballot statement. Usually it’s dollars. It looks kinda deceptive.
Here’s another argument from SCPF:
The $720 million bond measure language Includes a list of possible projects which “may” be completed with the bond money. There are no guarantees that any particular project on the list will be completed. Many people thought that the last bond measure would pay for a high school at Agnews and for remodeling of Patrick Henry School to relieve overcrowding at Laurelwood. Please note that promises made in campaign mailers promoting the bond are not legally binding.
We’re wondering if disgraced former Councilman Dominic Caserta sues SCUSD, will they have to increase the bond amount. Just kidding … we hope not.
This should be an interesting campaign and we’ll be writing more about it in the coming weeks.