Facilities Improvement Bond Measures Approved for March 2020 Primary Ballot

This+chart+demonstrates+how+Capistrano+Unified+School+District+has+had+the+lowest+tax+levy+for+school+facilities+improvements+bonds+through+2018.+CUSD+officials+believe+this+trend+can+be+turned+around+with+the+help+of+the+new+facilities+improvement+bonds+that+will+be+up+for+vote+in+the+California+primary+elections+in+March
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Facilities Improvement Bond Measures Approved for March 2020 Primary Ballot

This chart demonstrates how Capistrano Unified School District has had the lowest tax levy for school facilities improvements bonds through 2018. CUSD officials believe this trend can be turned around with the help of the new facilities improvement bonds that will be up for vote in the California primary elections in March

This chart demonstrates how Capistrano Unified School District has had the lowest tax levy for school facilities improvements bonds through 2018. CUSD officials believe this trend can be turned around with the help of the new facilities improvement bonds that will be up for vote in the California primary elections in March

Image Courtesy of Amy Hanacek

This chart demonstrates how Capistrano Unified School District has had the lowest tax levy for school facilities improvements bonds through 2018. CUSD officials believe this trend can be turned around with the help of the new facilities improvement bonds that will be up for vote in the California primary elections in March

Image Courtesy of Amy Hanacek

Image Courtesy of Amy Hanacek

This chart demonstrates how Capistrano Unified School District has had the lowest tax levy for school facilities improvements bonds through 2018. CUSD officials believe this trend can be turned around with the help of the new facilities improvement bonds that will be up for vote in the California primary elections in March

Max Katz, Staff Writer

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The Capistrano Unified School District Board of Trustees voted to put new bond measures before voters on the March 2020 primary election ballot with the intent of generating funds to upgrade infrastructure at certain schools in CUSD.

The move comes four years after the failure of Measure M, a previous educational funding measure for CUSD, that was rejected by voters in 2016.A bond is essentially a tax voters place on themselves to raise money for projects. The tax levy for the proposed bond measures is $34 for every $100,000 in assesed property value.

Many schools in CUSD are in need of facilities improvements funding and the district has the lowest tax levy for school facilities bonds from 2008-2018.“While CUSD students continue to excel, our classrooms and school facilities require much needed upgrades for health and safety,” said Area 1 trustee, Amy Hanacek

Jim Reardon, Area 2 Trustee who represents SJHHS, came out in favor of the new measure after being an opponent of Measure M in 2016. Reardon explained that Measure M put an additional tax on communities that already paid Mello-Roos taxes, a tax for financing local infrastructure, while other communities had greater need for renovation in their schools, but were not already paying these Mello-Roos taxes. This diversity of needs and taxation in different parts of the district was ultimately too much for voters within CUSD and Measure M failed to pass in 2016.The current bond measures are designed to affect the communities more specifically in need of funding.

There is no dispute that our older schools are in need of renovation. After the 2016 election, the board as a whole began work to create zones that correspond to the needs and attendance patterns. These zones exclude areas that are already paying Mello-Roos school taxes”

— Jim Reardon

“There is no dispute that our older schools are in need of renovation. After the 2016 election, the board as a whole began work to create zones that correspond to the needs and attendance patterns. These zones exclude areas that are already paying Mello-Roos school taxes,” said Reardon. The specific areas affected by the new measures include San Clemente (excluding Talega) Capistrano Beach, Aliso Viejo, Laguna Niguel, and Dana Point. Residents of these areas only will be given the opportunity in March to vote for this measure that focuses on funding infrastructure needs for schools located in these areas.

“We moved away from a General Obligation bond to regional, localized bond measures-keeping taxpayer dollars in our communities at the schools your students use” said Superintendent Kirsten Vital. Essentially, the measures up for vote this March are more localized and designed to pertain to individual communities, and that is why they have been approved by the Board of Trustees more enthusiastically than Measure M was.
Although SJHHS is not one of the schools that would receive funding, if the measures are approved, it could open the pathway for future policy that creates district funding for the school.

“The District will be looking at different cities and regional areas for the March 2022 election,” said Hanacek.

According to the 2017 Facilities Condition Assessment for SJHHS, the B and E buildings are both in need of roof replacement and the Administration building needs a ceiling replacement. These a few of the immediate needs the report lists.

Assistant Principal, Darrin Jindra mentioned other needs at SJHHS, including improved lighting on the track and baseball field, and even the construction of a new two story building in the space where the I building portables currently exist.

Voter approval of the bond measures in March could potentially be the beginning of tax-levied funds for CUSD in the future.