Do Our Kids Deserve Better and Safer Schools?

Don Gosney
By:

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The West Contra Costa Unified School District is considering a parcel tax and/or a school bond for either the March Primary election or the November General Election.

Parcel taxes can ONLY be used for people related expenses such as wages, fringes, programs, libraries, sports programs, counselors and such.

Bonds can ONLY be used for facilities (buildings and such).

The District is looking at a massive $47.8 million budget deficit which will negatively affect every facet of our District.

The District still has 21 schools needing work on the facilities.  Schools like Fairmont and Stege are literally falling down around our kids.  We owe it to our youth to provide them with a first rate school to spend their days while we teach them what they need to succeed in life.

Before spending funds on a ballot measure, it’s critical to know whether the public might support the measures.

The District solicited an online poll this morning to gauge the interest of the voters.

Here are the questions asked.  Keep in mind, please, that some of these questions tell you what the benefits might be while others are the kinds of comments you might hear from people trying to kill the bond.

What are your thoughts?

 


NEXT YEAR, VOTERS IN YOUR AREA MAY BE ASKED TO VOTE ON A LOCAL BALLOT MEASURE. HERE IS THE SUMMARY OF A POTENTIAL MEASURE.

To convert, update and transition schools for 21st century learning, shall West Contra Costa Unified School District:

  • upgrade science, technology, engineering and math labs and classrooms;
  • provide career training classrooms;
  • install lighting and security systems; and
  • acquire, repair and construct, equipment, sites, and facilities,

by issuing $575 million dollars in bonds at legal rates, raising $52 million dollars annually, with rates averaging $60 per $100,000 assessed value while bonds are outstanding, with citizen oversight, no funds for administrators, and all funds for West Contra Costa Unified School District schools?

If the election were held today, would you definitely vote yes, probably vote yes, probably vote no, or definitely vote no

on this measure?

[Please select one response.]

  • Definitely Yes
  • Probably Yes
  • Probably No
  • Definitely No
  • Not sure

NOW, HERE'S A LIST OF SCHOOL PROGRAMS THAT WOULD BE MAINTAINED WITH THE FUNDS GENERATED BY THE MEASURE.

IF YOU HEARD THE MONEY WOULD BE USED TO DO EACH OF THE FOLLOWING THINGS, WOULD IT MAKE YOU MORE LIKELY OR LESS LIKELY TO VOTE FOR THE MEASURE?

  • Bring all elementary and middle schools in the district up to the same standard
  • Install lighting and security systems
  • Provide workforce housing for teachers and district employees
  • Upgrade science, technology, engineering and math labs and
  • classrooms
  • Upgrade schools for earthquake safety and handicap accessibility
  • Improve, add, repair or replace aging restrooms
  • Improve, replace or install indoor and outdoor lighting to improve security and safety
  • Provide classrooms for visual and performing arts
  • Provide classroom computers and instructional technology
  • Refund existing debt to help save taxpayer money
  • Convert, update and transition schools for 21st century learning
  • Improve, upgrade or replace outdated electrical systems and equipment
  • Provide career training classrooms
  • Provide specialty schools for technical education

VOTERS WILL HEAR STATEMENTS FROM OPPONENTS AGAINST THE SCHOOL MEASURE PRESENTED.

GIVEN EACH STATEMENT AGAINST THE MEASURE BELOW, WOULD YOU BE MUCH MORE LIKELY TO VOTE 'NO' OR SOMEWHAT MORE LIKELY TO VOTE 'NO' ON THE MEASURE – OR DOES IT HAVE NO EFFECT ON YOUR OPINION?

  • The District has received voter approval for $1.6 billion dollars of bonds, using the funds to overbuild two high schools and build a $21 million-dollar football stadium. Taxpayers should not be asked for any more money
  • The average homeowner is already paying 8 school related items, or more than hundreds of dollars a year in extra taxes to the School District. Now they want even more
  • The School District has too many highly paid administrators. If the District managed its money better and spent within its means, this measure would not be needed
  • Voters have passed millions of dollars in bonds and parcel taxes to fund local schools. Enough is enough, property taxes are already too high
  • The School District has gone to the well too many times, we should tell them "No" to taxes once and for all
  • West Contra Costa schools are underperforming, why should taxpayers pay more for failing schools
  • The number of charter schools is increasing quickly, and they should not get a share of public funds
  • If the District had not mismanaged their money, we would not need this tax increase
  • Landlords say they will pass the tax increase on to tenants, making it harder to live in this area
  • Don't be fooled. Rising pensions are the real reason they are asking for the increase

VOTERS WILL HEAR STATEMENTS FROM SUPPORTERS IN FAVOR OF THE SCHOOL MEASURE PRESENTED.

GIVEN EACH STATEMENT IN FAVOR OF THE MEASURE BELOW, WOULD YOU BE MUCH MORE LIKELY TO VOTE 'YES' OR SOMEWHAT MORE LIKELY TO VOTE 'YES' ON THE MEASURE – OR DOES IT HAVE NO EFFECT ON YOUR OPINION?

  • The bond measure will create local construction jobs and boost economic activity in our community
  • The District has worked hard to refund existing debt to save the taxpayers money and this bond will do more to save taxpayer dollars
  • Our schools have relied on funding approved by local
  • voters for more than 20 years. This measure protects our tradition of academic excellence and ensures students continue receiving the high-quality education they deserve
  • The measure is critical to convert our schools so they can provide 21st century learning in science, technology, engineering, math and career training
  • The bond measure provides space for after-school programs so kids are safe from gangs and drugs
  • The measure will help keep our children safe while at school
  • None of the money raised by the measure would be used for downtown administrator salaries
  • The new schools will have modern technology and science equipment to better prepare students for further education or the workforce
  • The West Contra Costa Unified School District has completed projects on time and on budget. The measure will continue that progress by funding the next phase of urgent improvements
  • Good schools help maintain our property values. The measure will help keep the area an attractive place to live and own property
  • The bond measure upgrades classrooms to support core academics, namely math, science, reading and writing
  • The measure requires independent citizen oversight and audits to ensure the money is spent as promised
  • All money raised by this measure will be controlled locally, will go to our local schools and cannot be taken away by the State
  • The improvements to our schools will follow the needs identified in the District's updated facilities master plan

NOW THAT YOU KNOW MORE ABOUT THE MEASURE, HERE IS THE SUMMARY AGAIN:

TO CONVERT, UPDATE AND TRANSITION SCHOOLS FOR 21ST CENTURY LEARNING, SHALL WEST CONTRA COSTA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT:

  • upgrade science, technology, engineering and math labs and classrooms;
  • provide career training classrooms;
  • install lighting and security systems; and
  • acquire, repair and construct, equipment, sites, and facilities,

by issuing $575 million dollars in bonds at legal rates, raising $52 million dollars annually, with rates averaging $60 per $100,000 assessed value while bonds are outstanding, with citizen oversight, no funds for administrators, and all funds for West Contra Costa Unified School District schools?

If the election were held today, would you definitely vote yes, probably vote yes, probably vote no, or definitely vote no

on this measure?

[Please select one response.]

  • Definitely Yes
  • Probably Yes
  • Probably No
  • Definitely No
  • Not sure

 

Showing 2 reactions

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.
  • Cate Burkhart
    commented 2019-10-19 21:49:16 -0700
    Definately vote yes!
  • Nagi Obad
    commented 2019-10-18 22:07:09 -0700
    Definitely NO,NO,NO!
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