Posted by: Kim_Hamilton on 09/24/2008 10:48 PM
Updated by: Kim_Hamilton on 09/24/2008 10:48 PM
Expires: 01/01/2013 12:00 AM
Public Information on Bret Harte Union High School District Measure K
Angels Camp, CA....Some Facts on Ballot Measure K....
Q. What is Measure K?
A. Measure K is a school facility improvement bond measure authorizing $18 million in school improvements and upgrades for our schools. This would allow the District to be eligible to receive State-matching funds to repair, modernize and upgrade classrooms throughout the District as available.....
Q. When is the election and who can vote?
A. The Board of Education placed the bond measure on the November 4, 2008 ballot. All the registered voters who live within the boundaries of the Bret Harte Union School District are eligible to vote on the Measure.
Q. What is a general obligation bond?
A. General obligation (G.O.) bonds fund real property improvements such as modernization, repairs, upgrades, and new construction projects. It cannot be used for administrator or teacher salaries or operating expenses. Similar to a home loan, G.O. bonds are repaid over 25 to 40 years. The loan repayment comes from an ad valorem property assessment on all property located within the District’s boundaries: residential, vacant, commercial, and industrial. This funding method is widely used by school districts throughout California.
Q. Why is a bond needed?
A. The last major classroom construction that occurred at Bret Harte Union High School was in 1972. Due to the old high school burning down in 1994, the District was able to construct the new Theatre and classroom wing using a combination of insurance dollars and Certificates of Participation. The school has been well maintained over the years, but at some point deferred maintenance becomes more expensive than upgrades and modernization. The District has reached this point with many of the systems and infrastructure that is outdated.
Q. What would the passage of Measure K mean to our community?
A. If voters approve Measure K, Bret Harte High School will receive four new science laboratories, four new classrooms, and 2 new classrooms designed for special education needs. In addition, the existing science laboratories will be modernized to meet current education standards, eight deteriorating portable classrooms will be removed, athletic fields will be upgraded for student safety, and an aquatic center will be constructed for community use. New heating and air conditioning systems will be installed throughout the school district resulting in cost-savings and energy efficiency. Measure K also includes funding for future classrooms and to provide funding for Joint-Use Projects on
Copperopolis school site.
Q. What will Measure K cost the taxpayers, and how will it be assessed?
A. The annual property assessment will be $12.20 per $100,000 of assessed valuation; about $2.54 a month for the average homeowner. Do not confuse assessed valuation with market value. Assessed valuation is the value placed on property by the County pursuant to Proposition 13 and is typically much lower than the market value for which a property may be sold.
Q. What can the District do with the bond money?
A. Under State law, bond money can only be used to acquire, construct, or improve school facilities. Bond funds are kept and monitored by the County Treasurer to ensure proper fund allocation. The payment of teacher and administrator salaries or operating expenses unrelated to bond measure projects is strictly prohibited.
Q. What about using lottery money for these projects?
A. State Lottery money accounts for approximately 2% of the Bret Harte Union School District’s budget. Under State Law, lottery money is restricted for purchasing classroom materials and cannot be used for construction or repairs of school facilities.
Q. What happens if Measure K fails?
A. Without Measure K funding, deferred maintenance costs will escalate, and that means more money will have to be used to repair the District’s infrastructure from the General Fund and less money will be spent in the classrooms. Without the funding to modernize and upgrade facilities, such as science laboratories, the District may not be able to provide students with
the tools they need to meet increasing state standards.
Q. I don’t have kids in school, why should I support Measure K?
A. The Bret Harte Union High School District does its best to provide quality education for its students as it prepares them for college and to enter the work force. While you may not have children attending school in the District, someday you may wish to sell your home and it is likely the new owner will have school-aged children. Good schools maintain high property values. If we fail to modernize, renovate and upgrade our schools, our quality of
life is affected.
Q. How can I be sure that the monies from Measure K will be properly spent?
A. By law, a citizens’ oversight committee must be formed to ensure that funds from the Measure are spent properly. This group acts as the “eyes and ears” of the community. The committee must be comprised of a bona fide taxpayers’ group representative, senior citizen, business owner, parent, and teacher; and it will work directly with the Bret Harte Union School District. Independent audits by a qualified accounting firm (C.P.A.) must be conducted annually and be available for public inspection.
Q. When was the last school bond for Bret Harte Union School District?
A. The District has not placed a school bond measure on the ballot in over 30 years.
Q. Where can I learn more about Measure K projects?
A. Community members can visit the District website at www.bhuhsd.k12.ca.us or by
calling the District at (209) 736-8340.