Los Altos School District – Argument Against $150 Bond Measure N
We all want good schools and a great education for all our district children. It’s the right thing and it enhances our property values. But that doesn't justify spending our taxpayer dollars without a clear, prioritized plan.
Once again, the Los Altos School District (LASD) is requesting a $150 million bond that is in addition to outstanding debt of $77 million, bringing it very near its state mandated bond limit. Property owners will pay an additional $30 per $100,000 Ad Valorem in higher taxes to service this new debt. The true cost is at least $325 million or $71,429 per child.
Voters should demand a clear, prioritized plan for how the funds will be used, what and where facilities will be built, and how facilities will be used. This bond contains no clear, prioritized plan for how its $150 million will relieve over-crowding. It does not prioritize the long-term needs of our growing district over funding non-essential projects (such as renovation) at existing sites with no increase in classroom capacity.
No plans exist for additional school sites and money used to acquire new land through eminent domain will result in even more legal bills, rather than expand and efficiently use existing facilities and school district land. LASD is approximately 50% underutilized on a student-to-acreage metric with a comparable school district. Eleven years ago, LASD had 8 elementary sites averaging 512 students each; today LASD has 9 elementary schools averaging 495 students each. The district has enough student capacity for at least another four years.
Tell the trustees to spend more time prioritizing a plan before asking taxpayers for more money.
Please vote No on N.