• Frequently Asked Questions

    Millbrae School District


    How are Millbrae School District schools doing?

    Millbrae School District is fully committed to its longstanding tradition of delivering an excellent education for local students. Our local schools are award winning and serve over 2,100 students from TK-8th grade with a mission of providing each student a strong academic foundation.


    What is the state of Millbrae classrooms and school facilities?

    The District conducted a Facilities Master Plan to capture the current state of school facilities and provide a list of improvements needed at each school site. While our students continue to succeed, repairs and upgrades are needed across all Millbrae schools.


    How do aging facilities impact day-to-day classroom instruction and safety?

    Identified repair needs would provide teachers with the tools they need to help students succeed and ensure all students have equal access to modern, high-quality educational facilities. Updates and repairs to heating and ventilation systems and aging roofs are needed to make these systems efficient, sustainable and keep our children safe and healthy.


    What funding options does the District have?

    In the past, the State funded 40% of school construction, but now leaves this entire responsibility to local communities. That’s why voters in Burlingame and other San Mateo County communities have passed measures to support their schools. Currently, there are no resources available to improve or update Millbrae elementary schools. A similar measure in our community would allow Millbrae schools to complete identified improvements and ensure Millbrae students are prepared to compete in high school and college.


    How would the District fund these repairs?

    In order to complete identified repairs and improvements across all Millbrae schools, the School Board is considering placing a $95 million bond measure on the November 2024 ballot. This potential measure would cost $30 per $100,000 of a property’s assessed (not market) value per year, while bonds are outstanding.


    Specifically, how would a potential measure be used to complete needed improvements?

    If approved by voters, funding from this potential measure could be used to:

    • Make classroom and school repairs to help protect the quality of academic instruction in core subjects like math, science, reading and writing Update science, technology, engineering and math labs at every school
    • Repair and replace leaking roofs
    • Provide teachers with instructional tools to prepare students for high school and college
    • Update classroom computers and technology
    • Rebuild the outdated, windowless Lomita Park Elementary School to ensure all students have a safe and up-to-date learning environment
    • Update schools to improve student health and safety


    How do I know funds from a potential measure would be used responsibly?

    By law, a bond measure would require accountability protections:

    • All funds would be controlled locally for Millbrae schools only and could not be taken away by the State
    • An independent citizens' oversight committee and mandatory annual audits would ensure all funds are spent as promised
    • A project list outlining the specific use of funds would be required
    • The measure would include a plan on a school-by-school basis detailing the use of funds


    Would the State pay their fair share for facility improvements?

    The State of California may offer matching funds for school improvements in the future, but those funds would only be available to districts with local bond programs. If Millbrae schools had a local bond measure, they would be eligible to receive up to $15 million in State matching funds when it becomes available. That money would otherwise go to other districts.


    May funds from a potential measure be used for administrator salaries and pensions?

    No. By law, no funds from a potential measure may be used for operating expenses, including administrator salaries and pensions.


    I don’t have children attending local schools. How does this impact me?

    Even if you do not have school-age children, funding quality education can help improve the quality of life in the community and protect the value of our homes.


    What is the difference between assessed value and market value?

    The cost of bond measures is based on the assessed value of properties. The assessed value of a property is based on the original purchase price and may not increase by more than 2% a year, while the market value tends to grow at a much faster rate based on market conditions. Thus, the assessed value is usually much lower than the market value, especially if a property was purchased long ago at a much lower price than it could be purchased for today.


    Are senior exemptions available?

    State law does not allow for exemptions to be applied to bond measures. However, because the cost of a bond measure is based on the original purchase price of a home, older residents who have lived in their homes a long time have the lowest assessed values and will pay the least toward the cost of a bond measure.


    Didn’t we just pass a measure to fund our schools?

    In May 2023 with the passage of Measure A, local voters renewed existing parcel tax funding for our schools. Parcel tax revenues invest in ongoing expenditures like teachers and academic programs and are not used to fund facility improvements. Measure A would provide dedicated one-time funding for updating our classrooms and facilities for teachers and students.


    How can I share my thoughts or learn more?

    As Millbrae School District explores funding options to maintain our quality local schools, we value your thoughts. For more information or to ask questions, please reach out to our Chief Business Officer, Ralph Crame at rcrame@millbraesd.org.