Mountain View Voice

News - June 11, 2010

Landslide victory for Measure A

by Nick Veronin

Supporters of Measure A made their voices heard at the polls, soundly approving the bond to help build new classrooms, labs and other facilities, as well as improve school infrastructure at both Mountain View and Los Altos high schools.

Nearly 77 percent of the 15,484 votes cast were in favor of the $41.3 million school bond measure, which passed, 12,640 to 3,844. The measure needed only 55 percent of the vote to carry.

A little over 29 percent of the district's registered voters cast ballots, roughly equal to the voter turnout percentage in Santa Clara County as a whole.

"I'm really pleased that out community showed such support for their local public high schools," said Barry Groves, superintendent of the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District.

Measure A will not raise taxes to generate the "modest" $41.3 million, Groves said. Instead, the bond extends the current taxes residents currently pay on Measure D, a similar school bond passed in 1995 to provide MVLAUSD with money to build classrooms, labs and other facilities to accommodate about 1,800 students at Mountain View and Los Altos high schools respectively.

Julia Rosenberg, chair of Building Education for Students Together, said the bond will help build 12 to15 classrooms and labs on each campus, pay for the installation of solar panels, which will provide an estimated $400,000 annual savings to the district. It will also provide the funds to overhaul Mountain View High School's pool. Currently, the pool is inadequate for water polo competition, she said.

In all, Rosenberg said, the construction projects funded by Measure A will make room for the anticipated rise in student population — 900 kids over the next 10 years.

"We're ecstatic to have the bond pass and start planning for our facilities to meet our future needs," Groves said. "Not only for the students, but obviously for the school district — to have the community show that kind of support is very humbling."

The superintendent said that community members, and parents with kids in all three area school districts — including those with students in Mountain View and Los Altos elementary and middle schools — turned out to help get the word out. He said that parents with children entering high school in the next few years were particularly interested in the measure.

He estimated that about 250 volunteers made about 7,000 phone calls over 25 nights of calling. Groves sees this as an indication that the community is invested in its public schools.

"When you have first-class schools and first-class students, I think it benefits everybody in the community," Groves said.

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