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November 3, 2020 — California General Election
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Special District

Mount Pleasant School District
Measure Q - 55% Approval Required

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To acquire equipment/instructional technology to improve distance learning and internet access; renovate heating/cooling systems, aging restrooms; upgrade school emergency preparedness, outdated electrical wiring, handicapped accessibility; acquire, renovate, construct classrooms, equipment, sites and facilities, shall Mt. Pleasant Elementary School District's measure authorizing $12,000,000 in bonds at legal rates, levying 3 cents/$100 assessed value, $975,000 annually while bonds are outstanding, with independent citizen oversight, no money for administrators' salaries, pensions or benefits, and all money benefiting local schools?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

Impartial analysis / Proposal

James R. Williams, County Counsel

 

California law permits school districts to issue bonds with the approval of 55% of the voters. Such bonds may only be used for construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or replacement of school facilities, including the furnishing and equipping of school facilities, or the acquisition of lease of real property for school facilities. These bonds are require to be paid by the levy of ad valorem taxes—a tax on the assessed value-or property within a district.

 

 

 

The board of Trustees (Board) of the Mt. Please elementary School Distinct (District) proposes to issue such bonds in the amount of up to $12,000,000 for the purposes of acquiring equipment and instructional technology to improve distance learning and internet access; renovation heating/cooling systems and aging restrooms; upgrading school emergency preparedness, outdated electrical wiring, disability accessibility; and acquiring, renovation, and constricting classrooms, equipment, sites and facilities.

 

 

 

As identified in the Measure, projects may include but are not limited to:

 

 

 

Increase all student access to technology and the internet by purchasing equipment and improving technology infrastructure.

 

Replace outdated, inefficient heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems.

 

Replace aging restrooms and toilets.

 

Repair or replace old leady roofs.

 

Upgrade old electrical wiring throughout the District.

 

Upgrade school emergency preparedness.

 

Improve disability accessibility

 

Repair or replace unsafe athletic e fields, playgrounds and playground equipment.

 

Build new classrooms and renovate old classrooms and facilities

 

Upgrade food service facilities and kitchens.

 

Upgrade safety and security systems.

 

 

 

The Project List also includes all of the projects authorized by Measure JJ, approved by the voters of the District on November 6, 2018. Projects costs include the costs of furnishing and equipping such facilities, and all costs that are incidental, but directly related to the types of projects described in the measure.

 

 

 

The Board has certified that it has evaluated safety, class size reduction, and information technology needs in developing its project list.

 

 

 

Under the California Constitution, these bond funds cannot be used for teach and administrator salaries or other school operation expenses. The District also must conduct independent annual performance and financial audits. State law requires the District to have an independent citizen’s oversight committee to help make sure bond funds are spend only for projects included in the measure.

 

 

 

The District’s stated best estimate of the highest tax rate to be levied to repay the opposed bonds is $30 per $100,000 of assessed. The District estimates the total debt service during the life of the bond. Including principal and interest will be approximately $13.5 million. Measure Q was placed on the ballot by the Board.

 

 

 

A “yes” vote is a vote to authorized the issuance of the bonds in the amount of up to $12,000,000 to be secured b the levy of ad valorem taxes on property located within the District.

 

 

 

A “no” vote is a vote to not authorized the issuances of the bonds.

 

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR

 

The COVID-19 crisis has forced us to take a critical look at the most important aspects of our community, particularly our schools. When schools and classrooms were suddenly closed and educators were forced to transform the way they teach, we all realized the true importance of our schools. They are more than buildings – they are centers of our community where our children explore, feel connected and thrive.

 

Now, more than ever, it is crucial that we ensure our schools are equipped with the tools children need to learn, regardless of the circumstances.

 

Measure Q will help us achieve this goal by providing our schools with the resources to make essential improvements and better prepare our children for the future.

 

Projects to be funded by Measure Q include:

 

  • Increasing student access to the internet and instructional technology to improve distance learning
  • Repairing school playfields and playgrounds
  • Upgrading school emergency preparedness
  • Replacing outdated electrical wiring

 

We must also protect taxpayers by watching over and managing every tax dollar. That is why Measure Q comes with iron-clad taxpayer protections, including:

 

  • Requiring a rigorous independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee and third-party audit
  • Qualifying for state matching funds
  • Prohibiting any funds from being used for administrator’s salaries and benefits
  • Guaranteeing that all bond money will be spent locally, not taken by the state for use elsewhere

 

Our schools are our community’s most valuable public resource. They provide our children with a place to thrive, they protect local property values, and they make our community a better place to live. Let’s make sure they remain that way.

 

 

 

Vote Yes on Measure Q.

 

Arguments AGAINST

 

Just 2 years ago, voters approved $27,500,000 in bond debt (Measure JJ)>

 

 

 

The School district placed on the ballot a $27,500,000 bond (debt) measure o do:

 

 

 

  • Repair leaking roofs
  • Repair deteriorating restrooms
  • Renovate & Construct classrooms
  • Upgrade wiring
  • Upgrade fire and emergency systems

 

 

 

Now, just 2 years later, they want to spend $12,000,000 to do:

 

 

 

  • Modernize aging classroom
  • Improve “aging restrooms”
  • Renovate “outdated electrical writing” again?
  • Upgrade school emergency preparedness

 

 

 

Amazing how fast schools deteriorate in just 2 years!

 

 

 

Do you agree?

 

 

 

Education Data Partnership (www.Ed-Data.or) shows the District’s enrollment declining from 2,753 students during the 2009-10 school year, to 2,229 during 2018-19.

 

 

 

Since the numbers of students are way down, expenses should be way down, too. That should allow more funds from the current budget to be applied to basic maintenance of the school. In fact, you and I take care of our homes, our condos, and even our apartments out of our yearly budgets. Why can’t Mt. Pleasant Elementary School district do the same?

 

 

 

School bonds are much like mortgages, in that they must be paid back, in full—plus interest. Lots and lots of interest. Interest payments that do not go to teachers, libraries, computer, maintenance, etc.

 

 

 

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