Frequently Asked Questions About School Facilities Needs
6 months ago
Frequently Asked Questions About School Facilities Needs
How are our Val Verde schools doing?
Val Verde Unified School District is committed to providing every student with a high-quality, 21st-century education in safe, modern and well-maintained schools. Our District continues to be one of the best in the county, and we’re proud of our award-winning schools.
Two of our high schools were recently recognized by U.S. News & World Report on their “Best High Schools” rankings and our schools are consistently recognized as California Distinguished Schools. The District’s Music Education Program also received national recognition by the NAMM Foundation’s Best Communities for Music Education 2019.
How is overcrowding affecting Val Verde schools?
While student achievement continues to rise, our area is growing fast and overcrowded schools are making it harder for students to learn while also reducing the amount of time teachers get to spend with students. For example, our middle schools are so overcrowded that we now have to keep some middle school students at elementary schools.
Studies have shown that overcrowded schools are not safe – overcrowding increases health risks, makes it hard to respond to fire or other emergencies and increases the amount of violence on campus. Addressing overcrowding at Val Verde schools would ensure all students have access to safe and modern learning environments.
What other challenges face Val Verde schools?
Outdated classrooms, labs and school facilities require upgrades to ensure our students have the same educational opportunities as others in the region. Modernizing classrooms and labs would provide the facilities to prepare students with the solid background in science, math, engineering and technology necessary to succeed in college and 21st-century careers.
Improving music, arts and athletic facilities in particular would benefit our community as kids participating in these activities stay healthy, learn discipline and are typically less likely to get involved in drugs, gangs or crime.
How does Val Verde Unified School District plan on addressing these challenges?
The Board of Education voted to place Measure C, $192 million school improvement bond measure, on the March 3, 2020 ballot.
Measure C would provide local funding to address overcrowding and repair, upgrade and modernize Val Verde schools. This funding would provide facilities to help prepare students for college and provide career training to those who don’t plan to go college.
What projects would Measure C address?
If approved by voters, Measure C would:
· Improve student safety and campus security systems including security fencing, security cameras, emergency communications systems, smoke detectors, fire alarms and sprinklers
· Improve access to school facilities for students with disabilities
· Repair or replace deteriorating roofs, plumbing, sewer lines and electrical systems where needed
· Provide modern science and engineering labs, and career technical education facilities so students are prepared for college and in-demand careers in fields like health sciences, engineering, technology and skilled trades
· Modernize classrooms, libraries, science labs and computer systems to provide 21st-century learning environments that support high-quality instruction in math, science, engineering and technology
· Construct a middle school to relieve severe overcrowding and upgrade older schools so they meet the same academic and safety standards as newer schools
How do we know funds from Measure C would be spent wisely?
· Measure C requires a clear system of accountability, including a project list detailing exactly how the funds would be used, a Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee and independent audits
· All money raised by Measure C would be spent locally on Val Verde schools — no money can be taken away by the State
· By law, no funds can be used for administrators’ salaries or benefits or other operating expenses
Can’t the State fund these school facility improvements?
Unfortunately, California ranks 38th nationally in per-pupil funding and we cannot rely on the State to fund these necessary repairs and upgrades in local schools. Local funding would allow us to update our schools and maintain high-quality educational facilities.
How much would Measure C cost?
Measure C would cost property owners approximately $49 per $100,000 of assessed value (not market value) per year, or approximately $115 per year for the typical homeowner to improve Val Verde schools.
Would all funds be spent on Val Verde schools?
Yes. All funds from Measure C would be locally controlled and would only be spent on Val Verde schools. No funding can be taken away by the State or used for other purposes.
Is there any other way to repair and improve our schools?
Val Verde Unified School District has very few options when it comes to funding the improvements that our schools need. We can’t rely on the State to complete these repairs and redirecting funds in the current budget would take resources out of our classrooms and away from our students.
Measure C would provide local funding to upgrade classrooms and school buildings to help provide a safe and modern learning environment for our students.
What level of support would Measure C need to pass?
Measure C would need to be supported by 55% of those who vote on it in order to pass. All registered voters living in Val Verde Unified School District would be eligible to vote on the measure.
How can I learn more about Val Verde schools?
You can contact Stacy Strawderman at firstname.lastname@example.org with any comments or questions.