The Board of Trustees will vote on placing a $56 million bond measure on the November ballot when it convenes Tuesday night. The measure has been under consideration for the past year, during which work study sessions, surveys and public meetings have been conducted.
Although the district passed a four-year, $76 per parcel tax in 2011, growing student enrollment and projected future enrollment increases, paired with state funding cuts, are at the heart of the district’s financial concerns.
“The driving factor behind this whole piece is [growing enrollment],” said School District Board of Trustees President Michael Barber back in February.
Trustees plan on using the bond funds for modernizing schools and adding classrooms, along with renovating Hoover School, which was purchased in 2010 and is scheduled to open for the 2014-2015 school year.
In 2007, district voters approved Measure A, a $48.3 million bond measure similarly directed towards classroom modernization. While Measure A funds helped modernize Washington and Roosevelt Elementary schools and construct new buildings at Lincoln and McKinley Elementary schools, modernization projects are still underway in the district, and need a renewed source of funding.
While in past elections, like November 2011, district officials had the task of getting out the vote in support of the parcel tax, they face a different challenge in 2012.
Officials foresee the November ballot as a crowded one, especially with the Presidential election. Therefore, they can expect high voter turnout and must focus on increased public education regarding the bond measure.
“The bottom line is going to be about the measure, not getting people to come out to vote,” said Trustee Liz Gindraux at a February meeting. “It’s a different story.”