Voter's Edge California Voter Guide
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March 3, 2020 — Primary Election
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Special District

Escondido Union School District
Measure Q Bond Measure - 55% Approval Required

To learn more about measures, follow the links for each tab in this section. For most screenreaders, you can hit Return or Enter to enter a tab and read the content within.

Election Results

Failing

21,723 votes yes (53.7%)

18,707 votes no (46.3%)

Improve Quality Education in Escondido Measure. To repair deteriorating roofs, plumbing/electrical systems, remove asbestos, improve student safety/campus security; acquire, renovate, construct/equip classrooms, science labs, sites, school facilities/technology that support college/career readiness in math, science, engineering, technology/the arts; shall Escondido Union School District's measure authorizing $205,000,000 in bonds at legal interest rates be approved, levying 3 cents/$100 assessed value ($12,000,000 annually) while bonds are outstanding, with citizen oversight, all money staying local?

What is this proposal?

Pros & Cons — Unbiased explanation with arguments for and against

Information provided by Source: League of Women Voters of North County San Diego

The Question

Should the Escondido Unified School District authorize $205,000,000 in bonds to repair and improve aging school facilities?

The Situation

The Escondido Union School District (EUSD) serves over 17,000 elementary and middle school students with a student-to-teacher ratio of 19.6 to 1. The district contains 5 middle schools, 17 elementary schools, and one specialty school. With the passage of Measure E in 2014, authorizing $182,100,000 in bonds, EUSD began the process of upgrading aging K-8 schools.  All projects were completed on time and within budget, but more work remains due to the number, age and conditions of EUSD schools, many of which date from the 40s, 50s and 60s. 

The older schools need deteriorated and dangerous infrastructure repaired and replaced.  Computer systems and technology needs updating and modernization to meet academic standards for today’s instruction and hands-on learning in science, technology, engineering, arts and math.  Newer schools need upgrades to meet uniform safety standards. 

The Proposal

Measure Q would authorize the sale of $205,000,000 in bonds in multiple series over a period of time at legal interest rates with repayment of the bonds and interest over an estimated 32 years.  A property tax of 3 cents per $100 of assessed valuation to fund this issue would be levied at an annual cost of $12,000,000 while the bonds are outstanding.  In accordance with the California Education Code, a citizen oversight committee  will conduct independent audits to ensure all money is spent on EUSD projects and for the following purposes:

  • Renovate/modernize aging classrooms for today’s hands-on learning
  • Repair/replace deteriorated infrastructure
  • Upgrade and keep current computer systems and technology
  • Improve student safety and security

To pass, the measure requires a 55 percent approval of the registered voters.

A YES vote supports this measure to authorize $205 million in general obligation bonds for school facilities.

A NO vote opposes this measure to authorize $205 million in general obligation bonds for school facilities.

Fiscal effect

Estimated total debt service (principal and interest)  if all bonds are issued and sold is approximately $408, 021,948 over the expected period of time 2020 to 2052-53. However, the EUSD may qualify for $17 million in State matching funds, leveraging tax dollars further.

Supporters say

  • The longer Escondido waits the more expensive these necessary upgrades will be.
  • Older schools should have the same academic and safety standards as newer schools so that all Escondido students receive a quality education for the modern world.
  • No funds go to employee salaries, benefits or pensions, and Citizens’ Oversight ensures proper spending.

Supporters include:

 

San Diego County Taxpayer’s Association          

www.sdcta.org 

Opponents say

  • Schools need to better prioritize spending instead of assuming more revenue will improve education or increase safety.
  • New bonds permit school districts to shift existing funds to meet labor union demands and feed growing bureaucracies.
  • No new taxes and debt when student safety, facilities and teachers get funded last.

Opponents include:

 

Republican Party of San Diego                     

http://www.sandiegorepublicans.org/endorsements.html

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

YES vote means

A “YES” vote is in favor of authorizing the District to issue and sell $205,000,000 in general obligation bonds.

NO vote means

A “NO” vote is against authorizing the District to issue and sell $205,000,000 in general obligation bonds.

Impartial analysis / Proposal

Source: San Diego County Registrar of Voters

COUNTY COUNSEL IMPARTIAL ANALYSIS

This measure was placed on the ballot by the governing board of the Escondido Union School District (“District”). This measure, if approved by 55% of the qualified electors voting on the measure, will authorize the District to issue and sell general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $205,000,000. If approved, the bonds may be issued in several series and may mature in 40 years or such shorter period as determined by the District Board. The interest rate on the bonds would not exceed statutory limits.

Approval of this measure will authorize a levy on the assessed value of taxable property within the District in an amount needed to pay the principal and interest on the bonds each year the bonds are outstanding. The Tax Rate Statement submitted by the District estimates the highest tax rate which would be required to be levied to fund this bond issue is $30.00 for every $100,000 of assessed valuation and the total debt service, including principal and interest, required to be repaid if all the bonds are issued and sold is approximately $408,021,948. These amounts are estimates. Actual amounts may vary depending on the timing of sales, amount of bonds sold at each sale, and assessed valuation.

Proceeds from the sale of bonds authorized by this measure can only be used for purposes described in the full text of this measure, as permitted by State law. Approval of this measure does not guarantee that the proposed projects identified by the District will be funded by the sale of the bonds.

The California Constitution permits property taxes, above the standard 1% limitation, to be levied upon real property to pay the interest and redemption charges on any bonded indebtedness for, among other things, the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or replacement of school facilities, including the furnishing and equipping of school facilities, when approved by 55% of the voters if:

(1) the proceeds from the sale of the bonds are used only for the purposes specified,

(2) the District evaluates safety, class size reduction, and information technology needs to approve a list of specific projects to be funded, 

(3) the District conducts an annual, independent performance audit to ensure funds have been expended on the specific projects listed, and

(4) the District conducts an annual, independent financial audit of bond proceeds.

Additionally, if the bond measure is approved, State law requires the District to establish an independent citizens’ oversight committee. The District has made the issuance of the bonds in this measure subject to these legal requirements.

A “YES” vote is in favor of authorizing the District to issue and sell $205,000,000 in general obligation bonds.

A “NO” vote is against authorizing the District to issue and sell $205,000,000 in general obligation bonds.

Tax rate

Source: San Diego County Registrar of Voters

TAX RATE STATEMENT

An election will be held in the Escondido Union School District (the “District”) on March 3, 2020, to authorize the sale of up to $205,000,000 in bonds of the District to finance school facilities as described in the proposition. If the bonds are approved, the District expects to issue the bonds in multiple series over time. Principal and interest on the bonds will be payable from the proceeds of tax levies made upon the taxable property in the District. The following information is provided in compliance with Sections 9400 through 9405 of the California Elections Code.

1. The best estimate of the average annual tax rate that would be required to be levied to fund this bond issue over the entire duration of the bond debt service, based on assessed valuations available at the time of filing of this statement, is 3 cents per $100 ($30 per $100,000) of assessed valuation. The final fiscal year in which the tax to be levied to fund this bond issue is anticipated to be collected is fiscal year 2052-53.

2. The best estimate of the highest tax rate that would be required to be levied to fund this bond issue, based on estimated assessed valuations available at the time of filing of this statement, is 3 cents per $100 ($30 per $100,000) of assessed valuation in fiscal year 2020-21.

3. The best estimate of the total debt service, including the principal and interest, that would be required to be repaid if all of the bonds are issued and sold is approximately $408,021,948. Voters should note that the estimated tax rate is based on the ASSESSED VALUE of taxable property on the County of San Diego official tax rolls, not on the property's market value. Property owners should consult their own property tax bills to determine their property's assessed value and any applicable tax exemptions.

Attention of all voters is directed to the fact that the foregoing information is based upon the District's projections and estimates only, which are not binding upon the District. The actual tax rates, debt service and the years in which they will apply may vary from those presently estimated, due to variations from these estimates in the timing of bond sales, the amount of bonds sold and market interest rates at the time of each sale, and actual assessed valuations over the term of repayment of the bonds. The dates of sale and the amount of bonds sold at any given time will be determined by the District based on need for construction funds and other factors. The actual interest rates at which the bonds will be sold will depend on the bond market at the time of each sale. Actual future assessed valuation will depend upon the amount and value of taxable property within the District as determined by the County Assessor in the annual assessment and the equalization process.

Dated: Nov. 22, 2019.

/s/ L. A. Rankins-Ibarra, ED. D.
Superintendent
Escondido Union School District

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR

ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF MEASURE Q

VOTE YES on Measure Q to improve the local quality of education and protect your investment in Escondido Union School District (EUSD) K-8 schools. The need is great and our kids are worth it!

In 2014, Escondido voters generously approved Proposition E, a local school bond to begin upgrading our aging K-8 schools. Projects were completed on time and within budget, and today local children are learning in improved elementary and middle school facilities. However, due to the number, age, and condition of EUSD schools after decades of constant use, more work remains.

Measure Q provides a prudent, responsible plan to complete the next set of critically needed school facilities upgrades. Every EUSD school will benefit.

Measure Q will: 

  • Renovate 1940’s, ‘50’s and ‘60’s era classrooms for today’s instruction and hands-on learning in science, technology, engineering, arts and math
  • Repair or replace deteriorated roofs, plumbing, HVAC, and electrical systems
  • Upgrade and keep current computer systems and technology infrastructure
  • Modernize older schools to meet the same academic and safety standards as newer schools
  • Improve student safety and security.

MANDATORY TAXPAYER PROTECTIONS:

  • ALL funds are dedicated to EUSD schools ONLY.
  • NO funds go to employee salaries, benefits or pensions.
  • Citizens' Oversight, independent audits and public reporting ensure proper spending.

VOTING YES helps Escondido qualify for up to $17 million in State matching funds, leveraging taxpayer dollars even further. The longer we wait, the more expensive these upgrades will be.

Measure Q is a smart investment too, good for both our children and community. VOTING YES will help keep kids safe, healthy and engaged in school while also protecting property values and Escondido’s quality of life.

Please, join the San Diego County Taxpayers Association, teachers, parents, and civic leaders across Escondido VOTING YES on Q for safe, modern K-8 schools.

Learn more at www.YesonQforEUSD.com

HANEY HONG
President & CEO, San Diego County Taxpayers Association 

CRUZ Q. ZAPIEN
Parent and Family Advocate

KYLE BOLEN
Orange Glen Elementary School 
Parent and PTA Member 

CHRISTINE HANSEN
718 Math - Quantum Academy, EUSD.
San Diego County Teacher of the Year - 2020

JACQUELINE SKAY
Attorney At Law

— Source: San Diego County Registrar of Voters

Arguments AGAINST

ARGUMENT AGAINST MEASURE Q

Why is the answer always “more money”, i.e. more taxes? What is needed is better prioritization of spending, just like all of us do in our own household budgets.

Until existing funds are prioritized towards the direct needs of students and hard-working teachers rather than gigantic bureaucracies and union leader demands there is no reason to think that more revenue will improve the quality of education or increase our safety.

New bonds are promoted under the guise of improving the infrastructure and resources in schools, only to see existing district money squandered to meet labor union demands and feeding ever growing bureaucracies that don’t directly help students or teachers.

The problems we face in our schools are more systemic – making the top priority the placating of powerful union bosses and burgeoning school bureaucracies that crowd out teachers and the resources they need to properly educate our students.

Proponents argue that reforms have been made and that these additional funds will only go to worthy needs. But the reality is that new revenue allows school districts to shift existing school district money that's currently slated for maintenance and improvements to instead pay for bloated bureaucracies and associated pension benefits.

The truth is teachers struggle with classroom resources because of rigid labor union rules and too many bureaucrats, and wasteful contracting policies – not a lack of funding.

The needs of classrooms must be funded FIRST. Somehow student safety, facilities, and teachers get funded LAST, and then the tugging at the heartstrings comes in the form of issuing more bonds which means taking on MORE DEBT and MORE taxes to pay. No more.

Vote NO to force the right kind of prioritization in school spending, putting the needs of students and taxpayers ahead of bureaucrats and union bosses.

TONY KRVARIC
Chairman, Republican Party of San Diego County

— Source: San Diego County Registrar of Voters

Replies to Arguments FOR

REBUTTAL TO ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF MEASURE Q

Vote NO on Measures Q to avoid further wasteful bureaucratic spending at the expense of our students and teachers.

Every year we are told that our schools are underfunded, with our teachers lacking necessary supplies and school buildings rapidly decaying. These pleas are not exclusive to San Diego County, nor is the trend of drastically increasing education spending per pupil over the last several decades.

MORE SPENDING SOLVES NOTHING:

The U.S. spends more on education per capita than nearly every other country, and our local schools are no exception. We spend more and more with little to no improvement in our schools. This is because the educational challenges we face can’t be solved by simply throwing more money at the issue. The problems we face are more systemic, with union priorities constantly superseding the needs of students and teachers. The predictable result has been an insatiable bureaucratic desire for more funding, which comes in the form of taxes in one way or another.

BONDS ALWAYS REQUIRE TAX INCREASES:

While proponents promote bond measures to avoid having to justify direct tax increases on working families, the measures immediately increase property taxes. Furthermore, state and local governments will need to pay back the bonds eventually, which necessitates more taxes or unsustainable borrowing.

Until existing funds are prioritized towards the direct needs of students and teachers rather than unaccountable bureaucracies and union demands, there’s no reason to believe that more revenue will improve school infrastructure, safety, or education quality.

TONY KRVARIC
Chairman, Republican Party of San Diego County

— Source: San Diego County Registrar of Voters

Replies to Arguments AGAINST

REBUTTAL TO ARGUMENT AGAINST MEASURE Q

Measure Q’s Opponents are either terribly misinformed or letting concerns regarding others cloud their judgment and rational thinking about OUR neighborhood schools and the need for this measure. Apparently, they haven't visited Escondido schools recently or they would know, as we do, that Measure Q is absolutely needed and is a sound investment.

Consider these facts:

  • EUSD school facility needs are real, and they aren't going away. Some schools were built over 60 years ago. One was built in 1938! Although well maintained, they need critical upgrades for today’s instruction.
  • We cannot count on the State to fund needed improvements.
  • No other funding currently exists to complete these critically needed upgrades.
  • The San Diego County Taxpayers Association, our county’s leading advocate for local taxpayers, conducted a full and thorough review of Measure Q, and has ENDORSED the measure, firmly recommending a YES VOTE.
  • The longer we wait to make repairs and upgrades, the more expensive they will be.
  • Taxpayer protections ARE MANDATORY. Independent Citizens Oversight, and financial audits ensure proper spending. NO money is allowed for employee salaries.
  • Passage of Measure Q qualifies Escondido Union School District for up to $17M in State matching funds, leveraging taxpayer dollars even further.

These Measure Q facts have convinced homeowners, seniors, taxpayers and voters from all parties—in addition to parents and educators – to VOTE YES on Q.

Measure Q deserves your support too.

Stand with the San Diego County Taxpayers Association – and all of us. You’ll be in good company.

VOTE YES on Q - for our children, for our community.

www.YesonQforEUSD.com

HANEY HONG
President & CEO, San Diego County Taxpayers Association

LINDA BAILEY
San Diego County Taxpayers
Rep ICOC

OLGA DIAZ
Escondido City Councilmember

DAVID WARREN
Rose PTA President

JOAN GARDNER
EUSD Trustee

— Source: San Diego County Registrar of Voters

Read the proposed legislation

Proposed legislation

A typeset version of Measure Q, from the San Diego County Registrar of Voters, is available at:
https://www.sdvote.com/en/election/march-2020-primary/Measures/Measure_Q.pdf

Who supports or opposes this measure?

Yes on Measure Q

Organizations (1)

Elected & Appointed Officials (0)
No on Measure Q

Organizations (1)

Elected & Appointed Officials (0)

More information

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