How much is too much to spend on public education and who should have to pay that money? That’s the question voters in the Fremont Union High School District (FUHSD) will be asked to decide on June 7.
Measure G was put forth by FUHSD. It asks voters to approve a $275 million school bond that would allow the district to “continue the renovation and modernization of all district high schools, providing all students and teachers with modern, functional classrooms and facilities.”
The bond would be funded through an increase in property taxes. The increase would be $15 per $100,000 of assessed value (not market value) of the property.
Opponents say this is the third bond measure the District has floated in the past ten years. Measure K was a $295 million school bond approved in 2014. In November 2018, voters approved Measure CC, a $275 million school bond measure. Now, they’re faced with Measure G.
Christopher Chang lives within the FUHSD boundaries. He does not believe a third bond measure is the way to go.
“There are at least two important tradeoffs here, one immediate, one longer term. The immediate tradeoff, of course, is the extra cost,” wrote Chang on the neighborhood app Nextdoor.
Chang says beyond the cost, the long-term tradeoff is reinforcing bad behavior.
“If you own a home, do you pay for your utility bill using your credit card? No? Why not? It’s because you recognize the importance of having gas and electricity and you budget accordingly,” wrote Chang. “WE prioritize education for our kids. Our politicians SAY they prioritize education. So why is it, that when it comes to education, they don’t budget for it accordingly and have to resort to using credit cards?”
FHUSD Deputy Superintendent Graham Clark says the smaller bonds with a greater frequency were by design and he believes it’s better fiscal planning.
“It’s hard to estimate 10 years in the future, how much something would cost,” said Clark. “So, our thought is, let’s just approve as much for the work that we can do in a five to six to seven year time span as opposed to do a real large bond, a lot of money and then not use it for years and years and years.”
Clark says Measure CC was created in 2018 to deal with approximately 50% of the renovations required. He says Measure G will finish the job.
FUHSD is made up of five high schools and an adult school. All of the high schools were built 50 to 100 years ago–Cupertino (1958), Fremont (1923), Homestead (1962), Lynbrook (1965) and Monta Vista (1969).
A “Yes” vote on Measure G would approve the bond.
A “No” vote on Measure G would reject the bond.
Measure G needs a 55% supermajority to pass.