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Committee for Safe and Modern TUHSD Schools

Help Spread the Truth About Measure A

Help spread the truth about Measure A and debunk the misrepresentations and mistruths that are being spread by the opposition.

The Tam District provides students with an excellent education, but its facilities are falling behind. Bond dollars can only be used on facilities, not on operating expenses like salaries and programs. Space matters, however, and it is erroneous to say that building up to date, safe facilities won’t help enhance teaching and learning.

Measure A has the same tax rate as school bonds across the State of California, including other Marin Districts. This rate is based on assessed value of one’s home, so even though senior exemptions aren’t allowed by law, those who have owned their home for the longest or who live in smaller homes or condos will pay the least. The rate is set not to exceed $30 per $100,000 of assessed value and the typical homeowner in the Tam District will pay approximately $300 a year.

Measure A will bring in $517 million to the Tam District because the district is so large, not because the tax rate is high. Saying that the tax is over $1 billion is like saying the homeowner who has a $1 million mortgage actually has a $2 million mortgage. This strategy is designed to mislead voters on how bonds work.

Measure A is the result of multiple years of diligence and input from 775 stakeholders. The facilities master plan outlines the most urgent needs at all 5 school sites and Measure A will provide the funds for the repairs and maintenance necessary to ensure that the next generation of students has safe, clean, modern facilities in which to learn.

The schools have a range of needs and Measure A isn’t a one size fits all approach. Instead, it provides each school with what it needs most. Tam High, Redwood, and Tamiscal all have dilapidated buildings and portables that need to be replaced to provide updated classrooms and labs. Archie’s portables don’t need to be rebuilt because though the school serves fewer students than Tam, it has more current classrooms. Instead, Archie’s portables will be replaced with an outdoor learning space—a top priority for teachers. All of the sites will receive upgrades and repairs to leaky roofs, and electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems as well as improved ADA access.

Redwood is indeed receiving a new kitchen and cafeteria. However, the opposition has repeatedly mispresented the amount of money that the cafeteria will cost, conflating it with academic buildings that are being built. The current cafeteria was originally built as an outdoor covered area and has seating for approximately 150 students, out of 1,800. Since the State of California mandated that districts provide free breakfast and lunch to all students, the Tam District has been feeding approximately 800 students a day at Redwood alone. The outdated kitchen and cafeteria need to be replaced and the total cost for that portion of the project is approximately 4% of the bond amount—a far cry from the “gold plated cafeteria” the opposition continues to claim is being built.

The Tam District has been good stewards of taxpayers’ money, refinancing past bonds to save homeowners approximately $28 million and maintaining a AAA rating. This will ensure that the district gets the best rates for the Measure A bonds as well.

Measure A is good for students, teachers, staff, and our entire community. Investing in our buildings is investing in the future of our young people. For more information, visit the Measure A website at

www.yesona4tamdistrictschools.org.

Leslie Harlander, Tam District Board President (for informational purposes only) and Measure A Volunteer