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The Foothill-De Anza Community College District Board of Trustees on Feb. 21 voted to place a Proposition 39 bond measure on the June 6 ballot in order to meet long-term facility and equipment needs for Foothill and De Anza colleges.
The measure would be for voter authorization of up to $490.8 million in bonds over a 10-year period, for which local homeowners would pay $24 per $100,000 of assessed value, or less than $10 monthly for a home of average assessed value. By law, the publicly elected board of trustees would establish a Citizens' Oversight Committee, approve bond-funded projects and authorize each sale of the bonds. No administrator salaries may be paid with bond funds.
Board President Betsy Bechtel believes that the district's community members are entitled to be informed of the reasons the board decided to put this measure on the ballot: "The board agreed that it is critical to meet the district's urgent facility and equipment needs and that the long-term financial planning represented by the bond proposal is the best way to ensure that the excellence and opportunity that we provide for our students continues," she said. "State funding simply cannot meet all the facilities and equipment needs we face, particularly with increasing demand in a variety of critical fields such as nursing and an influx of students expected in coming years."
The bond measure is to upgrade, maintain and replace facilities, including electrical, heating and ventilation systems and classrooms for health care professionals including nurses and paramedics, improve fire and seismic safety and disabled access, reduce energy costs, and provide and upgrade information and office technology and other equipment. The bond proposal adheres closely to Foothill-De Anza's long-term educational, technology and facilities master plans.
The Foothill-De Anza Community College District has served the heart of Silicon Valley--the communities of Cupertino, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Sunnyvale and portions of San Jose, Santa Clara and Saratoga--for almost 50 years, providing workforce education and programs to prepare students for transfer to four-year institutions. The district educates more than 44,000 students each quarter.