Frequently Asked Questions
Why is the bond necessary?
While we have maintained our facilities exceptionally well, the fact is our two high schools, which serve approximately 2,500 students, are in desperate need of repair. San Luis Obispo High School is 78 years old. Morro Bay High School, “the new high school,” is 56 years old.
SLCUSD is committed to providing our youth with an education that prepares them for a dynamically changing world. The physical learning environment plays an extremely important role in education. Morro Bay and San Luis Obispo High Schools were designed for instruction using blackboards and podiums. Work space is inflexible and inefficient for an optimal learning environment.
From a physical standpoint, 50 years without significant investment in our facilities has burdened our operational budget with excessive maintenance cost for leaky roofs, aging bathroom plumbing, and out of date lighting systems. Updating our buildings to today’s energy and building codes will provide substantial annual savings in taxpayer money.
Most importantly, savings in operational costs can be redirected into instructional programs, directly benefiting students.
How will the money be spent?
Approximately $120 million will be designated for renovation of our two existing high schools in Morro Bay and San Luis Obispo. An additional $57 million will be spent on our two middle schools, 10 elementary schools, one charter elementary school, our continuation high school and adult school.
We will construct and renovate classrooms, update and upgrade facilities, labs and infrastructure to improve energy efficiency throughout our system.
How can we be sure the money will be spent on these expenses?
By law the SLCUSD Board of Trustees must appoint an independent citizens’ oversight committee who will conduct annual independent audits to assure that bond funds are spent only for construction, renovation, and rehabilitation of district facilities. Bond funds cannot be used for administrative salaries or benefits. Additionally, bond money approved by local voters cannot be “taken” by county or state government.
Can the District afford this bond debt?
San Luis Coastal has no current bond debt and is one of only two school districts in San Luis County (Pleasant Valley School District) that has no existing debt.
I thought San Luis Coastal passed a bond just a few years ago?
Measure A, a tax override measure, was passed in 1990. It was used to renovate and improve the district’s elementary and middle schools. The debt for that bond was paid off in 2001.
Why can’t the district take money from normal taxes and improve the facilities?
Our district devotes funds annually to maintain our facilities, but our revenues aren’t sufficient to provide the funds required to make sizable renovations.
In California, schools in need of major facilities improvements ask local voters to support bond measures.
How much will it cost the typical homeowner?
The $177 million bond amount will be collected through property tax assessments. The maximum tax rate required to fund the bond issue is $49 per $100,000 of assessed valuation. Based on the median price of a home in the district, the annual cost would be about $300 per year, or about $25 per month.
Will bond money be spent on salaries and pensions?
Not a single dime of this money will be spent on teacher or administrator salaries. The ballot language is clear in prescribing how the money would be spent:
“to construct/renovate classrooms, facilities, labs, and infrastructure; update career education programs for job readiness; replace leaky roofs; improve student access to computers and technology; upgrade/replace outdated electrical, plumbing, and sewer systems; make health, safety, and energy-efficiency improvements …”
Can the state take away the money?
Will this really make all improvements needed?
This would facilitate a giant leap forward in providing the kind of facilities needed. While we have a list of needs greater than $177 million; as a matter of trust we believe that we should prove to voters this bond money is spent wisely before we have conversations about continuing to strengthen our schools.
Where can I see the full text of Ballot Measure D?
Here is a PDF of the measure