This is an archive of a past election.|
See http://www.smartvoter.org/ca/sf/ for current information.
City and County of San Francisco
General Obligation Bonds - 55% Approval Required
Pass: 134751 / 71.11% Yes votes ...... 54754 / 28.89% No votes
Index of all Propositions
|Information shown below: Summary | Fiscal Impact | Arguments ||
Shall San Francisco Unified School District repair and rehabilitate facilities to current accessibility, health, safety and instructional standards, replace worn-out plumbing, electrical and other major building systems, replace aging heating, ventilation and air handling systems, renovate outdated classrooms and training facilities, construct facilities to replace aging modular classrooms, by issuing bonds in an amount not to exceed $531,000,000, at legal interest rates, with guaranteed annual audits, citizens' oversight and no money for school administrators' salaries?
The School District would not be allowed to use bond funds to pay for teacher and administrator salaries or operating expenses.
Proposition A would allow for an increase in the property tax, if needed, to pay principal and interest on the bonds. This measure requires the approval of 55% of the votes cast.
League of Women Voters
|Arguments For Proposition A||Arguments Against Proposition A|
|We can all agree that our public schools need better and safer buildings and more up-to-date technology to educate our kids. San Francisco schools serve nearly 60,000 students in some of the oldest buildings in the State. Many of these buildings desperately need to be modernized to 21st century safety code and accessibility standards.
Twice over the past eight years, San Franciscans have recognized that our schools were in need of upgrades and overwhelmingly voted to support bonds to modernize schools. The District has delivered on its promise. Thirty school facilities were modernized through the 2003 bond and 59 school facilities are being completed through the 2006 bond. Proposition A is the third and final measure to modernize all San Francisco public schools--completing a long-term plan to improve schools throughout the city. At a time of deep state budget cuts for our schools, voting YES on Prop A will provide the funding necessary to modernize, upgrade, and increase accessibility at an additional 53 school facilities. This will include seismic upgrades, safe removal of any hazardous substances, improved disabled access, and replacement of worn-out electrical, plumbing, and fire safety systems--as well as upgrading classrooms and science labs to improve student achievement. The bond program is being rigorously run by a professional management team, and since its development,construction has stayed on schedule and on budget.
The District has kept its promise to manage past bond monies responsibly under the guidance of the independent Citizens' Bond Oversight Committee, and the annual audits found that we have met or exceeded all requirements and are in excellent financial standing.
This is a critical step to ensure that ALL our children have safe, healthy, attractive, and universally accessible environments to learn and thrive.
Please join us in supporting Proposition A.
San Francisco Board of Education
Bonds are for major expenses like constructing new school buildings. That isn't needed now. Enrollment is declining as families leave San Francisco or choose home schooling or non-government schools due to SFUSD's failure to meet their children's needs. Instead, district officials again propose borrowing money for routine maintenance their annual operating budget is supposed to cover.
As long as San Francisco has government-run schools, keeping them repaired will cost taxpayers. But regularly borrowing money for repairs is stupid. By the time you add in bond finance costs, sales commissions, attorney fees, transfer fees, and up to 12% interest, SFUSD's plan to raise $531,000,000 in revenue could end up costing nearly $1,000,000,000!
That would be bad enough if we could trust the money would be spent wisely -- but we can't. Money from previous bonds was spent repairing schools like Treasure Island Elementary that were closed shortly thereafter. Total lack of foresight and planning!
They're calling this the "third and final" measure to modernize district schools. Don't believe it. Prop. A includes "$1,500,000 in bond funds to be used for future bond planning as well as outreach and communication" (read: polling and public relations).
Send them a message to stop wasting your money like this! Vote NO on A.
Libertarian Party of San Francisco
|We agree that the schools should be in good condition and that the facilities should be safe and completely functional, but is this expensive bond measure the most prudent way to pay for such repairs and upgrades? We don't think so.
A better and more economical way to accomplish this goal is the sale of unused government buildings. In 2007 the San Francisco Unified School District acknowledged that around 20% of its real estate holdings had almost no educational value. It also designated ten vacant or underutilized properties as surplus and concluded that selling them would yield an estimated $134 million plus millions more in property taxes.
So what has the school district done to act on its own findings? Nothing. Not one property has been sold. What benefit is there to anyone to own empty buildings,especially in a time when repairs and upgrades are needed?
Furthermore, another idea that has hardly been explored is to lease out the empty buildings to generate revenue for the school district. The former Newcomer High School in Pacific Heights is now being leased out to a Montessori school and a nonprofit organization, and these tenants are generating actual revenue for the school district. Why isn't the school district doing more of this type of leasing?
Until such time that the school district makes better use of the millions of dollars of property that it is holding and not utilizing, we recommend a No vote on this very expensive bond measure (over half a billion dollars with an interest rate of up to 12%).
Libertarian Party of San Francisco