Frequenly Asked Questions
What is Measure M?
Measure M is a bond measure on the March 2020 Santa Clara County ballot seeking voter authorization for funds to make needed facilities repairs, upgrades, and improvements to all seven Moreland School District school sites: Anderson, Baker, Country Lane, and Payne Elementary Schools; Easterbrook Discovery and Latimer Schools; and Moreland Middle School.
Why has Moreland School District placed Measure M on the ballot?
Moreland School District has spent the past year assessing our school facilities and technology at our seven school sites across the school district. We have worked with our community to identify critical facility needs that require attention to protect the local quality of education, keep our students safe and secure at school, and help Moreland students get college- and career-ready. After a thorough assessment and planning effort, the Moreland Board of Trustees took action on November 12, 2019 to place a local school bond, Measure M, on the March 2020 ballot.
What is the actual question that voters will be asked to decide in March?
“To repair and update local elementary and middle schools, including student learning environments for 21st-century learning; make essential school safety improvements; repair leaky roofs; maintain technology; repair, acquire, construct classrooms, equipment, sites/facilities; shall Moreland School District’s measure authorizing $80,000,000 in bonds at legal rates, levying approximately $30/$100,000 assessed value ($5,700,000 annually) while bonds are outstanding, be approved, with citizen oversight, audits, no funds for administrators, all funds for local schools?”
How will Measure M funds be used?
Funds will be used to:
- Repair and replace leaky roofs, failing and inefficient HVAC systems, electrical wiring and aging infrastructure.
- Upgrade safety and security systems, including fire alarms and communication systems, security cameras and fencing.
- Ensure that children’s playgrounds, walkways and fields meet current health and safety standards.
- Keep schools safe, clean and well-maintained.
- Update student learning environments for 21st century learning.
By law, all Measure M funds MUST stay local and be used only to improve Moreland school facilities.
Who is eligible to vote on Measure M?
All of the nearly 24,000 registered voters within Moreland School District will be eligible to vote on Measure M on the March 3rd ballot.
What is the Voter’s Choice Act?
Santa Clara County is choosing to use the Voter’s Choice Act model of voting starting with the March 3, 2020 primary. Using this model, the Santa Clara Registrar of Voters will mail every registered voter in the county a mail in ballot which they can then return by mailing it in, dropping it off at drop-boxes placed throughout the County, or they can drop it off at any Vote Center. Santa Clara County will have Vote Centers, instead of the usual polling places, that will be open up to ten days before the March 3rd election. Some vote centers will also be open on weekends. At these vote centers, Santa Clara county residents can register to vote and cast their ballots on the same day. Their ballots will be considered conditional until it is validated by the California Secretary of State.
What’s required for Measure M to pass (win)?
At least 55% of the voters who cast their ballots in the March 3rd Election must vote in favor of Measure M for it to be approved. Measure M is being sought under the provisions of Proposition 39, which prohibits use of bond funds for operations, administrator salaries, or pensions, and also requires independent financial and performance audits on the use of bond proceeds.
Will Measure M improve instruction?
Yes. Our local schools strive for teaching and learning excellence in every educational setting. Quality school facilities create the settings that makes a great education possible. Completing Measure M upgrades will provide Moreland students with the education they will need to succeed in school, college, and well-paid jobs of the future. Studies show that students and teachers perform better in safe, modern classrooms and school facilities. As school facilities are improved, students and teachers will benefit.
What about ongoing maintenance at Moreland schools?
District facilities staff members work tirelessly to maintain our schools and keep them in good working condition despite limited resources. However, the types of repairs and renovations that our current needs assessment has identified and are included in Measure M go well beyond the scope and means of regular school maintenance budgets.
How much will Measure M cost?
The $80 million bond translates to $30 per year for every $100,000 of assessed valuation (not to be confused with market value). The assessed valuation refers to taxable value, not the market value of your property. The taxable value of your home or business will depend on when it was purchased.
Will businesses share in the cost of Measure M?
Yes, both commercial and residential property owners will be subject to the assessment.
I do not have children in Moreland schools. Why should I pay attention to Measure M?
Good schools are the foundation of any healthy, thriving community. Good schools protect property values and keep communities strong.
Who makes the final decision on a local school bond?
The locally elected Moreland School District Board of Trustees is the legal entity that has called for the Measure M election. Ultimately, Moreland School District REGISTERED VOTERS will have the final say when they vote for or against the measure.
Isn’t there another School Bond headed for the March ballot?
YES. A statewide school facilities bond, now known as Proposition 13, has qualified for the March 2020 ballot. If that measure is approved by California voters, it will, among other things, provide “state matching funds” to local school districts seeking extra funding to upgrade their schools. Passing a local bond is the ONLY way to qualify for these matching funds if and when they become available. If we don’t pass a local school bond, the State’s available matching funds will go to other communities that have approved local school bonds.
Have there been other Moreland school bonds? If so, when was the last bond?
Moreland strives to be a model of financial responsibility, making every effort to spend taxpayer dollars wisely. It has been 10 years since passage of our last bond in 2010, to upgrade science labs, update computer learning technology, maximize energy efficiency and water conservation to save money, acquire, construct, repair, equip classrooms/sites/facilities/equipment, upgrade fire and security systems, and improve disabled access. Those projects have largely been completed and now new investment is needed to keep our schools updated and safe.
How can we be assured that Measure M money will be spent properly?
Taxpayer protections are REQUIRED. All Measure M funds stay local — they cannot be taken away by the State or used for other purposes. ONLY facilities and equipment repairs and upgrades are allowed. NO funds can be spent on administrators' salaries. Measure M requires the establishment of an independent Citizens Oversight Committee within 60 days after a successful election result is certified. The Committee is responsible for monitoring bond finances to ensure the public that the money is spent properly. Measure M also requires independent annual audits on use of bond proceeds to ensure accountability to the public.
Who will serve on the Independent Citizens Oversight Committee?
The Committee consists of at least seven members of the public and cannot include any District employee, vendor, or contractor. Members of the Independent Citizens Oversight Committee include representatives from the local parent community, a taxpayer association, the business community, and a senior citizens organization among others. The role of the Committee is to review copies of the annual independent audits of bond finances; inspect District facilities to ensure the revenues are being spent properly; review copies of maintenance proposals or plans developed by the District for Measure M; and review the District’s efforts to maximize Measure M bond revenues by implementing cost-saving programs.
Doesn’t the STATE provide funding for facility upgrades?
Very little. In the past, state funding has been available to support local school upgrades but especially now, we cannot count on this uncertain source of funding. Moreover, in order to access state funding, school districts MUST generate local matching funds by passing a local school bond measure. Passing a local bond is the ONLY way to qualify for additional state funding if and when it becomes available. There are no other sources of funding for major facility upgrades.
If Moreland area voters approve Measure M, when will the work begin?
Once the measure is approved, the District will immediately focus on addressing the most critical needs. A schedule for funding projects will be developed so they can be completed on time and within budget.
Where can I get more information?
For more information, please contact the Moreland School District office at (408) 874-2900.
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