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SRVUSD releases facilities planning survey

Original post made on Aug 29, 2023

The San Ramon Valley Unified School District is seeking to gauge the public's interest in potential priorities and directions for an ongoing facilities initiative with a survey open through Sept. 15.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, August 28, 2023, 10:11 PM

Comments (11)

Posted by Mike Arata
a resident of Danville
on Aug 29, 2023 at 5:51 pm

Mike Arata is a registered user.

This SRVUSD survey is framed to help judge how receptive Danville and San Ramon taxpayers, along with those in Alamo, Blackhawk, Diablo, and other unincorporated areas, might be to a new bond measure, atop the $70 million and 2 x $260 million measures approved over the last 25 years.

I've commented at length on those, including remarks on 2012’s Measure D ( Web Link ). For those wondering: yes, this forum permitted comments longer than 2000 characters back then.

Taxpayers should keep in mind now that as of June 2018, SRVUSD was projecting enrollment at 36,635 for the 2022-23 school year. They wound up instead with fewer than 30,000 — and may presently be under 29,000.

COVID and California move-outs certainly had their effects. But readers likely also know, as I do, parents who’ve pulled their kids from SRVUSD because of (a) its overtly racist “anti-racism” programs ( Web Link ) and (b) its especially pernicious “queering the classroom” activity (their own description, Web Link ).

Most readers likely realize that bond measures ( i.e., debt + interest, collateral = area real estate) are for capital expenditures — new buildings, classrooms, other hard assets. But SRVUSD is lining up for a new such obligation despite rapidly shrunken enrollment, with current projections of more student-count losses.

SRVUSD routinely includes “deferred maintenance” in its bond measures, and that intent is clear once again in the survey’s questions.

Maintenance dollars for existing buildings come from the “General Fund” budget. But that’s also the source of salaries and benefits, including a recent 8.5% raise. So inevitably, to provide for new compensation expenditures, maintenance is neglected, and fixing disrepair gets lumped into bond measures.

Meanwhile, SRVUSD is also ramping up for a parcel-tax renewal and increase….

Posted by Scott Hale
a resident of San Ramon
on Aug 30, 2023 at 3:49 pm

Scott Hale is a registered user.

where is the fewer than 30k,enrollment coming from?

Posted by Mike Arata
a resident of Danville
on Aug 30, 2023 at 11:17 pm

Mike Arata is a registered user.

Good question! Quickest enrollment specification is page 7 of 16 at Web Link , citing estimated enrollment of 29,200 presently, with further near term drops anticipated at 450 more per year.

SRVUSD’s official (CBEDS) student count turned in for 2022-2023 school year was already down to 29,680.

I believe the District may eventually have to close schools and sell properties, given its loss of 7,000 students from the number projected five years ago. A new bond measure now is not a good idea.

Nor should taxpayers have to take on new debt plus interest to repair neglected facilities. But “deferred maintenance” has been a routine component of previous bond measures.

Some of the present confusion regarding enrollment may result from SRVUSD’s initial use of a 3-year-old Local Control and Accountability profile showing the District as still “serving more than 30,000 students” in its LCAP filing for THIS school year.

I noted the update need to Evan Miller, the new financial services guy, and he moved quickly to submit the correction.

So hopefully, SRVUSD is past the practices of the “old days” in the 90s, when its schemers denied existence of key planning documents until a reporter visiting District planning offices opened a drawer and found them. Another trick back then was to seek re-roofing money for non-existent buildings.

A continuing problem has always been the outlandish construction costs assumed in these bond measures, something I detailed in 2012 among many comments at Web Link .

It appears to me that yes-on-taxes campaign funding committees hereabouts lean on present and prospective suppliers of public agency goods and services — and those interested parties then expect bountiful returns on campaign “contributions.” I’ve long described this process as one of shakedowns and kickbacks.

Posted by Scott Hale
a resident of San Ramon
on Aug 31, 2023 at 4:06 pm

Scott Hale is a registered user.

ah, I see for a year not completed. Other sources quote higher enrollments from years completed.

BTW, you do know a few schools in Dougherty Valley were paid for by the developer, yes? You, I think missed that detail. People who bought houses paid for those, not any bonds or RE tax amounts.

Posted by Mike Arata
a resident of Danville
on Aug 31, 2023 at 9:06 pm

Mike Arata is a registered user.

Scott Hale initially asked, “where is the fewer than 30k,enrollment coming from?”

I responded with SRVUSD’s own data: (1) the required “California Basic Educational Data System” (CBEDS) enrollment report of 29,680 for 2022-2023’s completed school year; and (2) an estimated 29,200 student count in SRVUSD’s adopted budget for 2023-2024 (page 7/16, link above; new CBEDS validation expected in October).

You see, 29,680 is less than 30,000; and 29,200 is less than 29,680.

The linked page shows SRVUSD anticipating further enrollment declines, to 28,750 (2024-2025), then 28,300 (2025-2026). There’s even mention of a “Declining Enrollment COLA”!

SRVUSD’s June 6 budget discussion also noted CBEDS enrollment at 30,726 for 2020-2021, 30,068 for 2021-2022 — and again, 29,680 for 2022-2023.

Meanwhile, though state Supt. Tony Thurmond is bemoaning such declines statewide, he joined Gov. Newsom and AG Bonta in threatening school districts which don’t bend to their (and puppeteer CTA’s) perverse curricular will in pushing LGBTQ fiction at TK-5 elementary children and outright pornography at middle and high schoolers ( Web Link ).

And Bonta is suing Chino Valley Unified for requiring that parents be advised of their kids’ “gender identity” changes at school, Web Link .

Bonta dictates, like SRVUSD, that even transition kindergarteners must give permission before an assertion of some new “gender identity” or sexual orientation can be revealed to parents, though Chino USD’s policy also reaffirms its role as a mandated reporter if there is any expectation or suspicion of related parental abuse.

Worried about public school enrollment numbers? Then stop “queering the classroom,” ramming CRT into vulnerable young minds, hiding such intrusions, and otherwise subverting parental authority.

Posted by Mike Arata
a resident of Danville
on Aug 31, 2023 at 9:10 pm

Mike Arata is a registered user.

And so what if developers built Dougherty Valley schools? SRVUSD is push-polling for a new DISTRICT-WIDE bond measure, atop $590 Million in bonded principal — plus interest — over the last 25 years, now in a time of shrinking enrollment.

Posted by H
a resident of San Ramon Valley High School
on Sep 1, 2023 at 7:05 am

H is a registered user.

@Scott Hale

The developers did NOT build Bella Vista Elementary school. It was paid for entirely with bond revenue. This is ironic now as there is are legitimate discussions about closing one of these schools now for lack of enrollment. And it's also interesting that this publication described the cost of building Bella Vista at roughly $32.5 Million while SRVUSD official documents say it cost $64 Million. So it was either $32.5 Million or $64 Million wasted because the district was drinking its own kool-aid believing the enrollment was increasing when just about every university and other legitimate learning institutions were bracing for enrollment declines. This administration is incompetent when it comes to spending money. They need the parcel tax items rejected to force a reorganization of the management team to be more community focused.

Web Link

Posted by Scott Hale
a resident of San Ramon
on Sep 1, 2023 at 3:51 pm

Scott Hale is a registered user.

>I responded with SRVUSD’s own data:
Didn't say otherwise, but did point out it is for a school year not completed when every other source only quotes for completed years.

Development funds built Quail Run, Gale Ranch MS and DVHS. Who mentioned Bella Vista??

Going with you live elsewhere.

Posted by Mike Arata
a resident of Danville
on Sep 1, 2023 at 3:54 pm

Mike Arata is a registered user.

Bella Vista Elementary’s school psychologist is among SRVUSD personnel addressed as advisors in “PRISM Club” (LGBTQ Club) emails. And Bella Vista is one of at least 9 SRVUSD elementary schools with library inclusion of the transgenderism promoting novel “George,” renamed “Melissa” after “queer” author Alex Gino ( Web Link ) himself received criticism about “George” being “Melissa’s” “deadname.”

The book is published by Scholastic, Inc. Founded in 1920, that outfit published a welcome NEWS magazine when I was a schoolkid. But now it has a darker side as well.

“George”/“Melissa,” you see, is about a 4th-grade boy who believes he’s a girl, and behaves accordingly — with, shall we say, explicitly intimate moments. The book has won the “Stonewall Children’s Literature Award” and the “Lambda Literary Award, LGBT Children’s / Young Adult” category.

Such recognition, by such reviewers, makes the novel a natural for school-based gender-bender activists and other sexual revolutionaries, apparently including those who run libraries in at least five SRVUSD middle schools and at least nine SRVUSD elementary schools.

The BookLooks website ( ) exposes a few of the book’s highly objectionable elements. Those alone should alarm caring, attentive parents who believe that facilitation of childhood “gender identity” switches and “affirmations” should not occur secretively in schools — especially in districts with staff personnel who proudly publicize “their experiences of queering the classroom.”

I’ve understood that an underhanded tactic deployed at Charlotte Wood Middle School was to obtain 10 copies of “George” (again, now “Melissa”) for CLASSROOM use. Under SRVUSD-specified rules, a teacher’s ordering of no more than 10 copies of a given book does not require Board adoption of that book.

My guess is that such tax-funded purchasing privileges are routinely abused here, along with others already exposed.

Posted by H
a resident of San Ramon Valley High School
on Sep 1, 2023 at 5:04 pm

H is a registered user.

@Scott Hale

From the article:

-- SRVUSD officials hope Bella Vista will alleviate overcrowding problems at
the other Dougherty Valley elementary schools and accommodate students from
planned homes.

The 7.4-acre site off future Dougherty Road was provided to the school
district by developer Toll Brothers (formerly Shapell Homes) and the city
of San Ramon. Campus construction was funded primarily through Measure D,
the district's $260 million school facilities bond.

And it's true now SRVUSD is looking at possible reducing the number of elementary schools. Therefore, spending $32 (or $64) Million on expansion was probably short sighted. Would you agree?

Posted by Mike Arata
a resident of Danville
on Sep 2, 2023 at 3:02 pm

Mike Arata is a registered user.

Meanwhile, a renewal of SRVUSD’s current $144 parcel tax, along with a $98 increase, will be served up in an expensive, special vote-by-mail election (excess cost north of $500,000?) next year in May, just two months after March’s primary election, with which the parcel-tax election could be consolidated instead, at lesser cost.

Special elections allow SRVUSD’s teacher-union ideologues, left-wing activist-captured (but tax-exempt) PTAs], and registered tax-campaign surrogates to concentrate large dollar amounts that current and prospective vendors of District goods and services will “contribute” to passage (anticipating lucrative payback).

And whether it’s the parcel tax or a prospective bond measure, the tax promoters will once again cynically specify that “no new tax money will be spent on administrator salaries.”

They won’t advise you more honestly that money is fungible — that parcel-tax money goes to the general fund, and that a bond measure’s “deferred maintenance” dollars leave what ought to have been spent in ongoing maintenance in that same general fund.

That fund pays for salaries and benefits, you see. And before bewailing teacher (or administrator) compensation, check SRVUSD’s recently posted figures for calendar 2022, showing only a partial-year inclusion of an 8.5% salary increase ( Web Link ).

Keep in mind teachers’ work years of just 186 days (vs. 245 or 250 days for most private-sector salaried individuals) and do the math: 245/186 = a 1.32 effective multiplier.

SRVUSD administrator work years vary from 193 to 225 days. See Web Link .

Most importantly, SRVUSD taxpayer dollars now fund a determined indoctrination effort at all grade levels (Web Link and Web Link ). Fewer new tax dollars forces better allocation of residual tax dollars.

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