Improving Community Schools
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is Measure H?
Measure H is an $46.0 million general obligation (G.O.) bond program. This measure is intended to address the needs of the student population through modernization and renovation projects at the District’s four schools.
What is a G.O. bond?
G.O. bonds fund projects such as the renovation of existing classrooms and school facilities, as well as construction of new schools and classrooms. Similar to a home loan, G.O. bonds are typically repaid over 25 to 30 years. The loan repayment comes from a tax on all taxable property – residential, commercial, agricultural and industrial – located within the District’s boundaries.
Why did the District place Measure H on the ballot?
Our schools are outdated, and upgrades and renovations need to be made. While facilities have been well maintained, old classrooms must be upgraded since many do not meet 21st century education and technology standards. A local school improvement measure would allow the District to improve the quality of the school facilities and education provided to local students.
Why can’t the District meet its facilities needs with its current budget?
Today, the scope of improvements needed at the Washington Unified School District is far more than the current funding sources available. The funding which the District receives from the state is intended to be used for the day-to-day business of educating children and not the cost of upgrading and modernizing facilities.
How did the District come up with the Measure H project list?
Over the last several months with input from staff, teachers, parents, community leaders, and the District architect, the District has prepared a School Facilities Needs Analysis. The analysis identifies the major repairs and upgrades that need to be made including:
- Repairing or replacing outdated heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems
- Improving student access to computers and modern technology
- Repairing or replacing leaky roofs
- Modernizing/renovating/constructing classrooms, restrooms and school facilities
- Repairing or replacing outdated plumbing and sewer systems
What will the passage of the measure mean for our students and the community?
Measure H will provide our students with a better learning environment by making repairs and upgrades to existing classrooms and school facilities; many of which are also used and available to the community.
What will happen if Measure H does not pass?
If the measure does not pass, our classrooms and school facilities will continue to deteriorate. In addition, funds that would otherwise go to classroom instruction will be needed to make critical safety repairs and improvements at each school. Major repairs will need to be postponed and as a result will likely be more expensive to make.
What will Measure H cost?
The tax rate per property owner is estimated to be $60 per $100,000 of assessed valuation per year. (Do not confuse assessed valuation with market value. Assessed valuations are the value placed on property by the County and are lower than market values). Check your property tax statement for your current assessed valuation.
How can I be sure that Measure H funds will be spent on improving our local schools?
By law, all funds have to be spent locally and cannot be taken by the state. Furthermore, an independent citizens’ oversight committee will be established to ensure that bond funds are properly spent. Also, by law, there must be annual audits and no bond money can be used for teacher or administrative salaries.
The renderings below are of proposed projects under Measure H prepared for the Washington Unified School District by Integrated Designs by SOMAM, Inc.