What is Measure T?
Measure T makes critical upgrades to San Mateo and Foster City elementary and middle schools to provide safe, modern learning environments for all students. Measure T updates computer technology to allow students to more effectively work from home when health and safety requires it, modernizes our classrooms and labs and makes critical health and safety upgrades to every San Mateo and Foster City school.
Why do we need Measure T?
Our schools are at the heart of our communities and have served us well, but some schools are now decades old and require essential upgrades so they can provide a high-quality education to local students. Measure T ensures students have access to updated technology to support distance learning and healthy and safe learning environments when they return back to school.
As seen with recent wildfire seasons, our schools do not have adequate ventilation systems to filter out smoke and other air pollutants. COVID-19 makes this an even more urgent problem. We need Measure T to replace our heating, air conditioning and ventilation systems to better filter classroom air and keep students and teachers safe.
Voting YES on T also provides modern classrooms and labs to support the high demand for science, technology, engineering, math, art and music instruction, to ensure our students have access to 21st-century, hands-on instruction.
Will Measure T address student health and safety issues related to COVID-19?
Yes. Measure T ensures San Mateo and Foster City schools are safe and healthy places for students, teachers and staff and can support a safe return to in-person learning. Measure T will replace heating and air conditioning systems to filter classroom air, and remove viruses, smoke and other air pollutants. Measure T also provides handwashing stations in every classroom for student and staff hygiene, and replaces drinking fountains with bottled water filling stations that prevent disease transmission.
How will Measure T support San Mateo and Foster City Schools?
Measure T will make essential improvements to our schools, including:
- Upgrading classrooms for science, technology, engineering, math, art and music instruction
- Modernizing science labs to support hands-on, 21st-century instruction
- Repairing deteriorating bathrooms, plumbing, sewer, electrical, heating and cooling systems
- Providing student computers and classroom technology, as well as Wi-Fi in underserved areas, to support distance learning and ensure all students can access the internet
- Installing and upgrading air conditioning and ventilation systems
- Upgrading schools to meet current earthquake, fire, health and safety standards
How can I be sure Measure T funds will be spent as promised?
Measure T requires strict fiscal accountability:
- All Measure T funds stay local to benefit both San Mateo and Foster City schools
- No funds can be taken away by the State or used for administrators’ salaries
- Independent citizens’ oversight and audits are required
Can the State take away Measure T funds?
No. All Measure T funds must stay local to improve San Mateo and Foster City schools. No funds can be taken away by the State or go to other communities.
I don’t have kids in school – how will Measure T impact me?
The quality of local schools impacts the quality of life in our community and our home values. Whether or not you have school-age children, voting YES on T is a wise investment to maintain the quality of San Mateo and Foster City schools and, in turn, protect our property values and quality of life.
How much will Measure T cost?
Measure T costs the typical homeowner less than $20 per month, or $30 per $100,000 of assessed (not market) value per year. Measure T generates $409 million in local funding to make critical upgrades to San Mateo and Foster City elementary and middle schools.
What if I rent my home and I do not own a property? How much will Measure T cost me?
The cost of Measure T is paid by the property owner. If you rent your home and do not pay property taxes, there would be no direct cost to you resulting from Measure T.
Do businesses share in the cost of Measure T?
Yes, all property owners, including owners of commercial or industrial property, pay the cost of Measure T based on the assessed value of their property.
Is this the right economic time to consider an investment in our schools’ facilities like Measure T?
Acknowledging the current economic challenges, San Mateo-Foster City School District recently conducted a survey of local residents before moving forward with Measure T and 64% of local voters indicated support for the measure.
Our schools are aging and in need of urgent repairs to meet current earthquake, fire, health and safety standards. Deteriorating bathrooms, leaky sewer pipes and outdated electrical systems all need improvements. These repairs have been needed for some time now, but COVID-19 has only made the upgrades more urgent.
Our schools need Measure T now – waiting will likely make the necessary repairs more expensive to complete, inhibit the District’s ability to return to safe, in-person learning and will mean local students must wait years for modernizations to classrooms and labs. Now is not the time to leave our students behind. Voting YES on T will provide a dedicated source of local funding for these facility and technology improvements.
In addition, lower interest rates and declining construction costs will likely make these improvements less expensive than they would have been a year or two ago.
Has our community supported a measure to improve our school facilities before?
Local voters have a history of supporting San Mateo and Foster City schools with local facilities funding, supporting Measure L in 2008 and Measure X in 2015 to repair and upgrade our schools. These measures successfully expanded capacity by building a new school in Foster City, and building new classrooms and facilities at Borel, Bayside and Abbott Middle Schools.
While these measures successfully addressed the most critical facilities needs at the time, our district has 20 schools, many of which are decades old, and urgent repairs and modernizations are needed for our aging facilities. Measure T will ensure equal access to safe and healthy classroom facilities and updated technology at every San Mateo and Foster City school.
You can view the citizens’ oversight committee reports, verifying that all Measure L and Measure X funds have been spent as promised on essential improvements to our schools here: www.smfcsd.net/en/bond-measures/bond-oversight-committee.html.
When can I vote YES on Measure T?
Measure T is on the November 3, 2020 ballot. Whether or not you normally vote at the polls, all registered voters in the San Mateo-Foster City School District will get a ballot in the mail the week of October 5.
How can I vote YES on Measure T?
Whether or not you normally vote at the polls, all voters will get a ballot in the mail the week of October 5. Once you receive your ballot, make sure you go to the bottom of your ballot, vote YES on T, seal and sign the envelope and mail it back right away. No postage is required. Your ballot must be postmarked by November 3 to be counted.
You can also vote YES on T in-person at any Vote Center in San Mateo County, or drop your ballot off at any ballot drop-box in the county. For a full list of vote centers and ballot drop-boxes, please visit www.smcacre.org.
How many votes does Measure T need to pass?
Measure T needs to be supported by 55% of those who vote on it in order for it to pass – so every vote counts!
How can I register to vote or learn more about voting?
You can register to vote at www.registertovote.ca.gov. To find out more about voting in this election, please contact the San Mateo County Registrar of Voters at (650) 312-5222 or visit www.smcacre.org.