Frequently Asked Questions
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Berryessa Union School District
How are Berryessa Union School District schools doing?
We provide an excellent education in Berryessa Union School District, with highly-qualified and dedicated teachers and staff, rigorous academic programs, and hardworking students. Our students consistently earn top scores on state and national tests and go on to succeed in high school, college, and beyond. However, to continue providing high-quality education, our schools need to be updated and repaired to meet today's educational standards and ensure student safety.
What safety improvements are needed?
Student safety is our top priority, yet improvements are needed to ensure student safety. Specifically, access control, security cameras, fields, and fire alarm systems need to be updated, and fields need to be improved.
What improvements are needed to support 21st-century education?
Here in the heart of Silicon Valley, we are keenly aware that the requirements for success are rapidly changing. Our classrooms, labs, and learning technology need to be modernized to meet today's educational standards and support high-quality math, science, and art programs.
What basic repairs and updates are needed?
Although some of our classrooms and facilities have been updated recently, many of our facilities are decades old and in need of repairs. Necessary repairs include upgrades to restrooms, heating and cooling systems, and school kitchens.
How is the Board of Trustees considering addressing our facilities needs?
To update and improve our schools to support a high-quality education, the Berryessa Union School District Board of Trustees is considering placing a local school facilities bond measure on an upcoming ballot. Although no final decisions have been made, a measure may help to:
- Make essential school safety and security improvements
- Update science, arts, and math classrooms and labs for 21st-century learning
- Keep schools clean and well-maintained
- Replace aging fire alarms and communication systems
- Ensure playgrounds, walkways and fields meet current safety standards
What accountability provisions would be included in a potential measure?
A local measure would require fiscal accountability, including:
- All funds would stay local to support improvements to Berryessa Union School District schools
- Funds could not be taken away by the State
- No funds could go to administrator salaries
- An independent citizen oversight committee would review expenditures
How much would a measure cost?
Although no final decisions have been made, the Board is considering a $98 million bond measure that would cost approximately $28.50 per $100,000 of assessed value per year as long as bonds are outstanding. All funds would stay local to support our schools.
Would all funds benefit Berryessa Union School District?
Yes. All funds would stay in our community to support classrooms and school facilities in Berryessa Union School District. No funds could be taken away by the State or go to other communities.
What would the cost be for renters?
Only property owners who pay property taxes would pay the cost. However, landlords may pass all or a portion of the cost of a measure on to their tenants.
Can seniors receive an exemption from the cost?
No. By law, Prop 39 General Obligation Bonds cannot include an exemption for seniors.
What is the difference between a bond and parcel tax?
Bond measures and parcel tax measures are used for different purposes — bond measures can fund facility upgrades and improvements and cannot be used for operating costs or programs. Parcel taxes may be used for teachers and academic programs.
Have we ever passed a bond for our schools?
Yes. In 2014, 69% of local voters approved Measure L, a bond measure to make essential updates to our schools. The independent citizen oversight committee has reported that all projects have been completed on time and on budget. You can learn more about the projects on the district website here. This measure has helped complete the first phase of improvements to our schools. Today, however, many of our schools continue to age and need safety and modernization improvements to meet current standards.
How would the independent citizens' oversight committee be formed?
By law, a citizens' oversight committee must form within 60 days after the Board enters the election results into Board minutes. The committee must be made up of a minimum of seven volunteer members who serve a term of two years each. Composition of the committee must include representatives from the business community, a senior organization, a taxpayer organization, a PTA member as well as a parent with children in the District. In addition, no employee, vendor or contractor of the District could be a member of the committee.
If you are interested in serving on the oversight committee, please contact Dr. Roxane Fuentes at email@example.com.
I don't have children in school; how would the measure impact me?
Berryessa schools are among the best in the county, making this community a desirable place to live. A potential measure would allow Berryessa Union School District schools to continue offering an excellent education, which helps keep property values high and neighborhoods strong.
How I can receive more information or ask questions?
If you have any questions or feedback, please contact Kevin Franklin, Assistant Superintendent of Business Services, at firstname.lastname@example.org.