SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Sacramento Unified School District (SUSD) has done its research and is now counting on county voters to help them receive needed funding.
By voting to support measure Q and R on the November ballot, voters would be passing bonds to increase funding for construction, repairs and classroom operations at schools within SUSD.
Measure Q would allow the district to sell $346 million in bonds to upgrade two middle schools (Kit Carson and Albert Einstein) and seven high schools (McClatchy, Kennedy, Hiram Johnson, Luther Burbank, West Campus, Sacramento High and the American Legion Continuation School).
Passing measure Q would result in an annual cost to property owners of $44 per $100,000 of assessed valuation, according to a statement.
The funding would help to “radically transform our high schools into 21st century plants,” according to Jonathon Raymond, superintendent for SUSD in a statement.
It has been 10 years since voters in Sacramento City Unified approved school bonds. The last set of bonds in 1999 and 2002, helped to significantly improve schools through state funding — but now the funds are depleted and the state is hoping to continue its success with the schools by having voters support measure Q and R.
If voters were to pass measure R, it would allow the district to sell $68 million in bonds to continue the work of removing unsafe conditions at all schools (from repairing playgrounds to replacing leaky fixtures) and upgrading kitchen facilities. Passing the measure would only cost property owners $10 per $100,000 of assessed valuation.
The district estimates the two measures together would cost the average homeowner just $7 a month over the life of the bonds, which is usually 20 years.
While the bonds seem like worthy solutions — SUSD still has the problem of having too many schools in the district. If the district wants to change the minds of their critics, the superintendent and school board need to assure voters that as they upgrade facilities, they will make progress in consolidating schools to match enrollment, according to a statement.
By supporting the measures, voters are supporting the future of the students at SUSD and also boosting community involvement.
The School Services of California predicts that “when times get tough, voters are much more likely to take matters in their own hands and turn to the local ballot box, not the state, for support of their children.”