Measure S - Voter Guide Statements

Statements appearing in the official county voter information guide:


Argument Against Measure S


This is a bad approach to addressing Alum Rock Union School District's problems.

When enrollment declines, the answer is to downsize. Since 2016-17, enrollment has dropped by 1,774!*

If bonds that voters approved for facilities are no longer needed, great! The solution is simple: don't issue new bonds, don't borrow older bonds' allowable debt, and avoid putting taxpayers and their children on the hook for repaying them.

(Proponents aren't saying the exact cost of the 30 years' interest, but legally the rate could reach 12%/year!)

If ARUSD struggles to pay teachers enough to afford living here, reducing headcount commensurate with enrollment means each teacher could be paid more.

If ARUSD has properties no longer needed for instruction, repurpose them! Make them available for other services or businesses—paying fair, market rents—raising funds for actually educating children!

Never has that duty been more crucial, as children still suffer from governments' COVID-19 policies. In our district (2018-19, latest available):

62.17% of students are below grade level in English!
70.83% are below grade level in math!*

We pay ARUSD to be EDUCATION expertsnot real estate developers!—yet they are neglecting their ONLY JOB: educating our children well.

Building and operating housing should be left to people already in that business. Having your employer be your landlord is a recipe for trouble, e.g., disputes among district, teachers, and their union about costs, favoritism, employee lifestyles, fairness, mismanagement.

This plan won't improve children's academics—it is just a gimmick to hide the true cost of hiring teachers in a maze of dubious financial transactions whose problems won't become obvious until the current trustees are gone.

You can be FOR students, FOR teachers, FOR schools—and AGAINST Measure S.

Neighbors, please vote NO on Measure S.

Learn more:

* Source:

Joe Dehn
Chair: Libertarian Party of Santa Clara County

Linda Chavez
Trustee, Alum Rock Union School District

Mark W.A. Hinkle
President: Silicon Valley Taxpayers Association

Elizabeth C. Brierly
District Homeowner/Resident


Rebuttal to Argument in Favor of Measure S


Alum Rock Union School District refuses to face this fact: they are nearly insolvent.

In 2018, Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) seized ARUSD's banking authority, then in 2019 warned them to CUT $13.400,000 of expenses (including teachers), writing "there is no room for error" in implementing budget reductions.

Since then, ARUSD closed or repurposed only three schools—cutting under $1million.

From 2020-2022, Governor Newsom sent millions in COVID-19 relief, enabling further budget mismanagement.

This April, SCCOE wrote to ARUSD that in 7 years, enrollment has declined from 11,000+ to under 8,000, saying ARUSD "has yet to take the necessary action."

To cover costs, each school needs 500-600 students. As of August, only one school has enough, with one having just 251.

Now, rather than DOWNSIZING to survive and continue educating, they want loans of $71.500.000, to EXPAND. Into what?

Housing development!

Until COVID-19, the state hadn't been fully funding districts for EDUCATION purposes.

What makes ARUSD think they can secure state "matching funds" for HOUSING purposes?

ARUSD shouldn't seek loans before responsibly...

closing/repurposing seven more schools
fulfilling their duty: educating well!

Because here...

62.17% of children tested below grade level in English!
70.83% tested below, in math!


Those are 2018-19's results reported. Why aren't ARUSD's 2020-21 results published?

Because we suspect, they are even worse, from children's learning loss during shutdowns.

As for how to "protect local taxpayers"? Reduce expenditures and get SCCOE to return the checkbook!

Tell ARUSD, "Face facts." Vote NO.


Linda Chavez
Trustee, Alum Rock Union School District

Elizabeth C. Brierly
District Homeowner/Resident

Mark W.A. Hinkle
President: Silicon Valley Taxpayers Association

Jonathan Fleming
CEO and Executive Director, Silicon Valley Public Accountability Foundation

Honor M. Robson
Chair, Libertarian Party of California