Vote Yes to Replace Dilapidated Portable Trailers with Permanent Classrooms
Over the decades the Santa Barbara Unified School District has been forced to bring temporary portables onto many of our school sites to house a growing population of students. Our student enrollment is now holding steady, but many of those temporary trailers have been serving as classrooms on our campuses for over 20, 30 and 40 years. They are in bad shape and need to be replaced with permanent buildings.
Vote Yes to Acquire the National Guard Armory for Our Community
We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to purchase the National Guard Armory in downtown Santa Barbara, which would be a huge community and educational resource for students and adults on the South Coast. The National Guard is selling it, and the district has rights to purchase the property before it goes on the open market. However, we cannot purchase it without having available bond funds.
Vote Yes for Student Safety and to Repair Aging Infrastructure
Most of our schools need major repairs beyond normal maintenance. These include basic things like fixing windows and replacing deteriorated roofs to keep our kids’ learning environment safe; resurfacing degraded school playgrounds and other areas to eliminate hazards; and updating electrical and plumbing systems to modern standards. These repairs are critical to prevent dangerous failures and to ensure student safety.
A delay in making repairs will only make present conditions deteriorate further and result in more expensive improvements being needed later. And doing the work now when we are still enjoying historic low interest rates is the most economical way of moving forward.
The bond funded projects that will be carried out at all of our campuses will create new local jobs, providing a needed boost to the local economy. Santa Barbara County contractors have accounted for 2/3 of the previous work on school projects.
We know that upgraded facilities are essential to student safety and will enhance learning, that high-quality campuses increase home values, and that strong schools help build a stronger community. In order to minimize the cost to local taxpayers, the school board is allowing the current school parcel taxes to expire and drop from your property tax bills in 2017. The addition of these bond measures now will thus have a much reduced impact on property tax bills.
The statewide school facilities bond (Prop. 51) also on the November ballot will not affect local property taxes. If it passes, there will be $3 billion in matching funds to school districts for school modernization projects. But the district will not be able to access those matching funds unless our local bonds pass. The matching state money could be used to subsidize the district’s projects and save local taxpayers money.
This combination of factors along with the historic opportunity to purchase the Armory means that now is the time to pass Measures I and J!
Which Schools Are Affected?
These bonds will pay for important facility work at all schools run or chartered by the Santa Barbara Unified School District. For Measure J this means: Adams, Adelante Charter, Cleveland, Franklin, Harding University Partnership, McKinley, Monroe, Open Alternative School, Peabody Charter, Roosevelt, Santa Barbara Charter, Santa Barbara Community Academy, Washington; For Measure I this means: Goleta Valley JHS, La Colina JHS, La CumbreJHS, Santa Barbara JHS; Dos Pueblos HS, La Cuesta HS, San Marcos HS, Santa Barbara HS.
What's on the Ballot?
Voters are being asked to vote yes on Measure I, a $135 million school bond for junior highs and high schools that will replace our oldest portables, repair and update critical campus infrastructure, and allow us to acquire the National Guard Armory. If you live in the boundaries of our Santa Barbara elementary schools, you will also be asked to vote yes on Measure J, a $58 million bond for our elementary schools that will also replace portables and update infrastructure. Costs to homeowners for Measure I are estimated to be $12 per $100,000 in assessed property value as it appears on your property tax bill. For Measure J, the cost to homeowners is estimated to be $13 per $100,000 in assessed property value.