(This message was sent by the Redwood Shores Community Association to the Belmont-Redwood Shores School Board of Trustees on February 2, 2012.)
February 2, 2012
Superintendent Dr. Emerita Orta-Camilleri and
Members of the Belmont-Redwood Shores Board of Trustees
2960 Hallmark Dr
Belmont, CA 94002
I am writing at the direction of RSCA’s Board of Directors to address the School District’s plans for the use of the more than $8.7 Million in matching State grant funds recently awarded to the District.
As long time supporters of the School District, the Redwood Shores Community Association has a strong interest in how the Belmont-Redwood Shores School District plans to use funds provided by the State of California as a match to the bond funds raised for use in the Redwood Shores SFID by Measure C.
- When the School District was unable to come up with funds to build the much-needed second elementary school in the Shores, a separate funding district (‘the Redwood Shores SFID’) was created, and Shores residents voted to approve Bond Measure C to provide $25 Million to purchase land and cover building costs for the new Redwood Shores Elementary School.
- Funding for land and construction of the new school was paid entirely by the residents of the Shores.
- The grant of State funds was to match funding for construction for the new school, again those Measure C bond funds provided entirely by the residents of the Shores.
Therefore we believe strongly that the matching State grant funds should be used ONLY for new construction or improvements at Redwood Shores Elementary and Sandpiper Elementary, or to pay off Measure C bonds.
In the past we asked the School District to provide relief to Shores taxpayers by paying off a portion of the Measure C bonds with matching funds not used for school projects in the Shores. We still favor this plan.
However, should the School District decide to retain the Measure C bond funds for present and future school projects, we feel quite strongly that those funds should be maintained solely for use in the Redwood Shores SFID (i.e., at Sandpiper Elementary or Redwood Shores Elementary).
We were surprised to read yesterday that the School District is planning to spend potentially millions of the Measure C matching dollars at Ralston Middle School, arguing that this would be acceptable because Shores students also attend Ralston. While this may be true, it is also true that the School District recently passed a bond measure within the entire School District (including the Shores) for those Ralston improvements. Rather than spending Measure C matching funds at Ralston, it would be more appropriate for the School District to apply for additional matching funds for Ralston based on the District-wide Ralston bond measure.
We can only hope that the School District will exercise its fiduciary responsibility in the use all bond and SFID Measure C matching funds both prudently and appropriately. You should expect that the support of RSCA and the Shores community for any future School District bond measures and/or parcel taxes will be quite dependent upon the District’s decision in this matter.
Harris Rogers, President
270 Redwood Shores Parkway, PMB 205, Redwood City, CA 94065-1173
RSCA is a proud member of the Redwood City Chamber of Commerce