Frequently Asked Questions
How are Castro Valley Unified School District schools performing?
The Castro Valley Unified School District (CVUSD) takes pride in providing each of our over nine thousand students at our 16 schools with a high-quality education that prepares them for success in the 21st-century economy. Strong academic programs, excellent teachers, high-performing students and a supportive community make our schools strong and our neighborhoods desirable places to live.
What challenges are facing our schools?
State funding for our schools is inadequate. Our district is one of the lowest-funded districts in Alameda County and our district has already been forced to make cuts. The Bay Area is one of the most expensive places to live in the country, and many of our teachers live right here in Castro Valley. We need to continue retaining and attracting the highest quality teachers to improve student achievement and continue providing a top-quality education to students. In addition, we need to maintain our strong academic programs and provide technology and career technical education to continue to prepare students for the competitive economy.
How does the District plan to address these needs?
To provide dedicated funding for our schools to support programs and teachers, the CVUSD Board of Education is considering placing a local parcel tax measure on an upcoming ballot. A local parcel tax measure would provide dedicated, locally-controlled funding for our schools that could not be taken away by the State or go to other communities.
What would the potential measure fund?
Although the Board has not made any final decisions, a potential measure may help to:
- Retain and attract highly qualified teachers
- Preserve strong academic programs in reading, writing, science, technology, engineering, arts and math
- Prepare students for college and careers
- Support the health and well-being of all students
- Keep schools clean and well-maintained
- Protect art and music programs
Would all funds benefit CVUSD schools?
Yes. Every penny from this measure would benefit local schools and be controlled locally. None of the funds could be taken away by the State or go to other communities.
How do I know that the local funds would be spent as promised?
All revenue from this measure would be spent right here in our district to support local schools and could not be taken away by the State. An independent citizens oversight committee would oversee all expenditures to ensure that all funds are spent only on voter-approved projects. No funds could go to administrator salaries.
How much would this potential measure cost?
While no final decisions have been made, the Board of Education could consider a measure that would cost $96 per parcel, generating approximately $1.5 million annually for CVUSD schools. All funds would support our schools. The measure would last for six years and could not be renewed without voter approval.
What would the cost be for renters?
Only property owners who pay property taxes would pay the cost. However, landlords may pass all or a portion of the cost of a measure on to their tenants.
Could senior citizens receive an exemption from the cost?
Yes. Senior citizen homeowners, aged 65 and older, could apply for an exemption for their primary residence. In addition, those who receive Supplemental Security Income for a disability or those who receive Social Security Disability Insurance benefits and have an income lower than 250 percent of the 2012 poverty guidelines would also be eligible for an exemption from the cost.
How does Castro Valley USD compare to other districts in Alameda County?
Castro Valley USD is one of the lowest-funded districts in Alameda County. Of the 18 unified school districts in Alameda County, Castro Valley USD is the fifteenth lowest in per pupil funding.
Has the District already implemented cuts?
Yes. The District has taken every effort to make cuts, where possible, while still protecting the quality of education for our students. The District has already made $1.8 million in ongoing cuts in the past two years. Cuts have included reducing administration, reducing professional development for our teachers, as well as reducing supplies and budgets for school sites.
What about the reserve?
All school districts are legally required to maintain a reserve—or savings account-- of 3% each year so they can continue to operate in the event of an emergency or drastic change in funding. It has been necessary for Castro Valley USD to rely on its reserve to insulate students from devastating budget cuts, however, this is a short-term solution as the reserve will eventually run out.
What will happen if Castro Valley USD does not secure additional revenue?
Without additional revenue, Castro Valley USD would be forced to make additional cuts. Although final decisions have not been made, the District may need to make reductions to teacher and support staffing and reductions to important programs supporting students.
Does Castro Valley USD currently have a parcel tax measure?
No. Castro Valley USD is one of the only school districts in Alameda County without a parcel tax to provide stable, locally-controlled revenue for our schools. Many of our surrounding school districts such as Dublin USD, San Leandro USD, San Lorenzo USD, Livermore USD, Fremont USD, Alameda USD, Hayward USD, San Ramon Valley USD and many others all have approved parcel tax measures.
Didn’t we just approve local funding for our schools?
In 2016, over 69% of local voters approved Measure G, a facility bond measure to fund much needed facility improvements in schools. Measure G funds can only fund facility improvements and upgrades, so Measure G funds cannot support student academic programs or teachers. On the other hand, parcel taxes can fund academic programs and help retain and attract teachers. CVUSD has never placed a parcel tax measure on the ballot.
What has Measure G accomplished?
The District has already completed multiple projects under Measure G, including: modernization of 83 classrooms across 8 school sites; new student lockers at CVHS and Canyon MS; new artificial turf field and synthetic track at CVHS; upgraded heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems at 3 elementary schools, power upgrades at CVHS and Chabot ES; a new mat room at Creekside MS; technology upgrade to CVHS, Canyon, and Creekside MS; shade structures at CVE, Chabot ES, and Canyon MS; modernization of libraries at 4 school sites; 19 play grounds at 9 elementary schools; and new ADA walkways at 4 school sites.
Our current and ongoing projects include: Engineering Wing renovations at CVHS with 5 new classrooms and makers space to be completed by October 2019; new Health & Wellness Center at CVHS with 3 new classrooms to be completed by February 2020; heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) upgrades at 6 elementary schools and Redwood HS; modernization of another 62 classrooms across 7 school sites, new shade structure at Alma Preschool; and power upgrades at Palomares and Stanton ES.
For more information about Measure G projects, go to: http://bit.ly/cvusd-measureg
What is the difference between a bond and parcel tax?
General Obligation Bond measures, such as Measure G, and parcel tax measures are used for different purposes — bond measures can only fund facility upgrades and improvements, or new facilities, and cannot be used for operating costs or academic programs. Parcel taxes may be used for teachers and academic programs.
I don’t have children in school; how would the measure impact me?
CVUSD schools are among the best in the County, making this community a desirable place to live. A potential measure would allow CVUSD schools to continue offering an excellent education, which helps keep property values high and neighborhoods strong and safe.
How do the inter-district transfer students affect funding for our schools?
By accepting inter-district transfer students, our school district receives more funding from the state, as funding for our District is based on the number of students attending our schools. Each year, our school district accepts a limited number of transfer students from other school districts only if space is available in our schools. In addition, these students must have good attendance and satisfy the requirements for an in inter-district transfer.
When would the potential measure appear on the ballot?
Though no final decisions have been made, the District is considering placing the measure on an upcoming ballot. To pass, this measure would have to be supported by 66.7% of those who vote. All registered voters in Castro Valley Unified School District would be eligible to vote on the measure.