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Does TUHSD Measure A need $440 million or $80 million?

The Tamalpais Union High School District Management was recently disappointed that revising their Measure A school bond from $517 million down to "only" $444 million did not poll very well.

Later Management stated that they really needed only $80 million to get by, but this would not fully cover long-term needs. So, what does?

Between $80 million and $444 million, there is a gigantic gap. I look at these two figures as starting outlying guard rails. They may be both undesirable extremes.

TUHSD acknowledges that we should focus on critical needs that they define as Priority 1 as described below.

Referring to my earlier study on Measure A, I parsed out what the $517 million was prospectively funding. I did that by using TUHSD's parsing of the original $376 million bond amount. And, then I pro-rated upward the original amounts to add up to $517 million. I had no other choice in making such assumptions since TUHSD never updated their parsing.

As shown above, the Priority 1 critical needs add up to $329 million. However, even those may include non-critical needs. Indeed, close to half of this amount is focused on Tam alone ($137 million). And, $54.7 million is a project contingency figure associated with total project costs of $517.1 million.

The majority of the $137 million would be spent on a music building and an auto shop. The music building as proposed looks like a vanity project.

The prospective amount spent on Tam under the Priority 1 column should be given a second look with a rational fiscal approach.

So what does TUHSD truly need?

To answer this question I built a straightforward model.

I first start by taking the Priority 1 amount for Tam and all others. They add up to $274 million. Next, as a starting point, I assume that 100% of the Tam amount is funded. And, that the overall contingency rate is 10%. So, the total amount TUHSD would need under this starting scenario is:

(137.4 x 100% + 136.6)(1 + 10%) = $301.4 million

As a shortcut:

274 x 1.1 = 301.4

But, the above assumes we do not revise at all the amount spent on Tam which may appear bloated.

Next, I sensitize the % of Tam funding from 50% to 100%.

And, I sensitize the contingency from 8% to 14%. And, here is what we get:

As shown above, based on the assumptions of % Tam funding and the contingency rate, the TUHSD Measure A would be revised and range from $222 to $312 million.