Peninsula schools: Mountain View-Whisman School District bond measure seeks to alleviate overcrowding

While some school districts on the Peninsula are closing campuses amid declining enrollment, just miles away in Mountain View and Portola Valley, officials have seen a surge of new students and are asking voters to support new taxes aimed at upgrading and expanding aging facilities to retaining teachers.

With more than 7,000 housing units added to the city of Mountain View over the past five years, the Mountain View-Whisman School District has increasing enrollments that have put pressure on its small and outdated facilities.

Aiming to alleviate overcrowding — one of many issues the bond funds would help address —   the district is asking voters on March 3 to support Measure T, a bond that would pump $259 million into schools over a decade to refurbish existing classrooms, build new ones, replace aging roofs and equipment and upgrade inefficient heating and ventilation systems.

The $18.6 million a year that the district will generate from the bonds will primarily go to accommodate the influx of hundreds of new students that will be crowding its ten primary and secondary schools and pay for new teachers as the state faces a massive shortage of educators.

The district is among the first in the Bay Area to explore workforce housing to ease teacher turnover due to ever-increasing housing costs, and part of the funds would go into projects that house them.