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Town Square

Important Reasons to Vote NO on G

Original post made by No on G parent, Cuesta Park, on Jun 2, 2012

Because the biggest donor to the YES on G campaign is the out-of-state bank that will handle the bond?

Because the district wants $200,000,000 for a project that will cost $400,000,000 yet promises that they will not be asking for another bond?

Because to pass Measure G would imply that the $32,000,000 that voters approved in 1998 was a waste of money and the district needs to do it all over again?

Because the plans call for 2-story buildings at all the elementary schools, designed by the architects who designed the only 2-story building in the district which is at Critttenden, and has been deemed not usable and sits vacant because of sound and other structural problems?

Because there is NO problem with lead or asbestos in the schools? Check the report for yourself. It's only a problem if your kids are breathing it. It's not a problem if it's underneath the tile. Is the district implying that our children right now are inhaling lead and asbestos, and have been for the past 50 years?

Because the problems in this district have nothing to do with the quality of our facilities, and Measure G is a big distraction from the hard work of improving instruction and providing appropriate instruction to ALL children, not just the English learners?

Comments

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Posted by Repost
a resident of Willowgate
on Jun 2, 2012 at 6:19 am

Posted by district insider who is voting NO, a resident of the Waverly Park neighborhood, 11 hours ago

1. MVWSD just got done with a MAJOR REMODEL of every campus. which of us would scrape and rebuild a very nice, newly remodeled house? (oops, I shouldn't ask that in Silicon Valley...but you get the point)

2. YOU and I just got done paying $32M for the last bond. which of us would rebuild a very nice house and expect our neighbors to foot the entire bill?

3.Measure G has NO plans to install photovoltaic solar energy panels! That was the FIRST thing that the high school district did to start saving money immediately.

4. Measure G will demolish, bulldoze, scrape to the ground 42 classrooms that were JUST remodeled. look at the site maps and see for yourself.

5. Instead of 500 kids out on the playground at lunch, your child will be one of 600 kids out there. The language "smaller class sizes, smaller schools" that used to be included in district literature was quietly dropped.

6. Slater, Whisman and Cooper schools will still be leased out. The entire NE section of Mountain View will still be without a neighborhood elementary school.

7. Imagine teachers having to move all their supplies and their students to another room and back again. (my child moved to 3 different classrooms during the last remodel). Think that won't interrupt instruction?

8. Imagine how much more traffic there will be at drop-off and pick-up with an additional 100 kids being driven across town by their parents. (the district used to pay for bus transportation, now it costs to ride the bus)

9. We already have gorgeous campuses and our classrooms are in excellent condition! Having even newer classrooms will do NOTHING to improve the interaction between the teacher and the children.

10. Speaking of programs and services, this is the first year ever that 5th graders were told to choose between art and music because apparently, midyear, there was not enough money for both. 5th graders have always had weekly art from CSMA, and their choice of instrumental or vocal music. In January, 5th graders were told they had to choose one or the other. What's that all about?

11. While we will be PAYING $300 per year for 25 years (for many, the rest of our lives), remember former district administrators Ms. Yick, Archibeque, Totter, and Lairon will be RECEIVING about $200,000 per year in pension, each, for the rest of their lives.

12. $25,000 campaign contribution from the Minnesota-based bank that will administer the bond? REALLY? So it's not local supporters that are paying for those glossy mailers with stock photos that are clearly not our kids or our schools, it's a bank in MN that is paying for these? REALLY?

13. Regarding parent input, there were tons of meetings long ago when Maurice first proposed the School Facilities Improvement Plan (he quickly changed the name to Student Facilities...). Several parents who are active in MVEF and PTA spoke against it. The board listened politely, spent almost no time discussing it, and voted unanimously to proceed anyway.

14. It is mind-boggling how many community leaders have drunk the MVWSD Kool-Aid. Note that many, many of those who endorse the measure are on the public payroll.

15. No matter how new and improved our facilities are, it's not going to help one bit the 40% of our students who speak English only at school with their teacher. What public schools need are more teachers, more classroom aids, more programs, smaller class sizes, a longer school day, a longer school year....all the meaningful changes that are much harder to implement than another remodel.

16. When I asked my child's middle school teacher about the new science labs, the teacher had no idea what I was talking about, had never even HEARD of the bond measure. Guess Bill Gould architects forgot to ask the teachers who will be using the facilities what they actually want! And you can be sure that with 34 middle schoolers to one teacher, they are not going to be doing more labs no matter how nice the room is. If you want more labs, you need smaller class sizes. Ditto for PE, where they have about 50 kids in each class. Ask Mr. Goldman or any board member "What did the TEACHERS say when you asked for THEIR input?" and watch their expression as they try to come up with an answer.

Support Public Education. Demand improved programs, services, class size reduction.

Vote NO on G. Demand that our local schools put their efforts where it counts, on instruction.


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Posted by Taxpayer with memory
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 2, 2012 at 12:37 pm

It's disturbing to be asked repeatedly (via slick well-funded campaign ads, no less) to pay to fix the same or similar problems.

Coming after the 1998 bond, this smells like all those repetitive initiative propositions adding quarter- or half-cent sales tax increases to "fix" the same Bay Area transportation problems over and over, even with previous such sales tax increases still running. It's a big pork barrel with no accountability. Such tactics rely on constant influx of newcomers diluting popular memory of the taxes' long history. (Sales tax here rose steadily from 4% to around 9% -- inherently inflation-protected, please note, because it's a percentage -- on much larger business volume anyway than 50 years ago.)


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Posted by Kathy
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 3, 2012 at 2:03 pm

I can't tell you how refreshing it is to know there are other parents in the MVWSD district that remember the history of what goes on over the years. This district would like parents to move onto the high school district with their kids and forget. Then new parents come and it starts all over again. The pleas for tax bonds are spread out just long enough so new people entering the district don't really fully know about the previous one.

Although the above postings are really thoughtful and thorough in providing plenty of reasons why we should vote NO on measure G, I'd like to add:

- While it may sound noble to say we need the money to improve the schools for our children, but you need to be ON campus to see that the already remodeled classrooms are fantastic -modern, equipped with plenty of storage and air conditioning too.

- The campuses and classrooms are bursting with too many students already. (You can see the populations on the measure G literature for yourself.) Why not spend money on remodeling an old campus that is being rented out and download the populations? Remove the outdated portables we are forced to use on the existing campuses. If measure G passes and they remodel the existing campuses, how long do you think it will be before the district comes back and says "too many students per school" and they need more funding to re-open a campus?

- It is true, teachers were not involved in the planning process. If teachers were not involved at the start in determining what improvements are needed, how much weight do you think will be given to the opinions of an oversight committee (or community members)?

- Ask teachers if the increased class sizes have affected their instruction. I've been told this year by many teachers that it does and I've seen it for myself. (They were unsolicited comments that just came up in conversation.)

- To echo the sentiments from above….MVWSD does not need money to "spiff up" campuses. It is just like the big PR campaign we had to endure under Ghysel's reign - when he paid district money to install the campus name structures/statues/whatever(?) in the front of each campus and develop a district logo and jingle too!! None of that improved education for our students.

What MVWSD needs to concentrate on is better ways to assist teachers (smaller class sizes to make instruction more meaningful and manageable), more instructional aides, more support from admin regarding curriculum, instruction and mentoring. Provide truly meaningful ways to directly help improve the education of the students of MVWSD.

Please vote NO on Measure G. Tell the district you want your voice heard in the planning process.


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Posted by No on G Parent
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 4, 2012 at 11:18 am

Kathy,

You make an excellent point. Many of the parents who are most ardently supporting Measure G were not in the district during the last remodel.

Another hidden fact is that NONE of the parents who were on the oversight committee for the 1998 bond are on the list of those who support Measure G. That's because they remember being told their "oversight" and input was needed, only to sit at meetings and listen helplessly to the district administrators who already had their minds made up about every item on the agenda. "Landels multi building has a stage, none of the other schools have a stage, therefore we have to rip out the stage at Landels" is one example.

My child's teacher was not thrilled by the EFWA slogan and new signs that cost $10K per school. Her words were along the lines of "how is this slogan and how are these signs going to help me in the classroom?"

This district is very dismissive of any other opinions. And it is highly likely that many of the officials who are listed as supporters have set foot on any campus lately.


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Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 5, 2012 at 9:38 am

I did read reports of the 13 school meetings. These did NOT include the PTA or surrounding community and were NOT open to the public. The reports DO NOT INCLUDE who attended. That type of excellence is standard for our city (parks or neighborhood planning meetings). So, we all have to just assume the principals and some teachers attended.
Demolition/rebuild of the 47-52 permanent classrooms noted on the Plans [depends on how far down the line items you go] is extremely expensive, it totaled out about $ 1 Million per room (demolition/landscape/temporaties/restrooms etc)
@No on G parent is spot-on about how oversight now works here. The Superintendent, and Trustee Walters absolutely do not want to give up any power to an advisory committee ("7-11" is the shorthand for the generic type). This type of committee, recommended by the State Dept. of Education - holds open public meetings at ALL the schools and neighborhoods. It looks closely at closed/rented/leased schools. It includes no architects who stand to gain from demolish/rebuild.
Only a NO vote on G will send this back to the Trustees. [the recent filings now show more than 99% of the funding for Yes committee comes from companies and unions outside of Mountain View]

PS @Repost - Our campaign did not extensively argue the Teachers/Class Size [parcel tax first] point. Trustee Wheeler did make this point over several years - then seemed to succumb to "team" influence. Two "abstain" votes would have delayed this Bond.


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Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 5, 2012 at 10:02 am

original poster - I would 'moderate' a few comments. The Crittenden 4 rooms are not usable for regular classrooms. They get used in the after-school and CHAC programs. The inside stair safety problems have been solved {but not noise, elevator, or lack of fire safety sprinklers]. Theuerkauf plan (only) does not have a 2 story building. {others total $113 Million, "Priority 1" , line-item 7).
Thank you posters for you attention to details and the effort you have made to study the primary sources, not just the District "sales pitch."