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Measure SA: Clarifying misapprehensions

Posted: October 27, 2008 4:38 p.m.
Updated: December 29, 2008 5:00 a.m.
 
In his Sept. 28 column, Tim Myers addresses the Measure SA bond without the benefit of contacting my office or me directly. I wish he had given me the opportunity to review Measure SA with him and clarify many of his assumptions.

Measure SA was placed on the November ballot earlier this year to ensure local schools meet modern fire and safety requirements; to improve classroom lab and computer technology; to improve access for students and others with disabilities; to repair failing and outdated electrical, plumbing, heating and ventilation systems; and to relieve severe overcrowding by adding a high school in the Castaic area and other classroom facilities where needed.

We should understand that the state of California, under the current fiscal crisis, will not fix these infrastructure needs for us, especially without local support.

In fact, passing a bond at this time would place the William S. Hart Union High School District at the "front of the line" for state matching funds that will be spent in addition to bond monies raised to address these vital needs.

It is important to remember that the $300 million bond amount would not be raised all at once.

As with any general obligation bond, a school district cannot access all its authorization until the assessed value is available to support the bond.

In keeping with this reality, the Hart district will issue its general obligation bonds in multiple series over the next 10 to 15 years.

In structuring the Measure SA bond, the Hart district has been diligent in the size of the bond by enlisting an independent consulting firm that projects assessed valuation will grow at a long-term average of 4 percent to 5.75 percent.

As a district, we serve more than 20,000 students at 17 schools. Our most recent California academic standards test results rank us No. 1 statewide among high school districts with 10,000 or more students.

Over 90 percent of our sophomore students pass the California High School Exit Exam, which is required of graduating seniors.

It all adds up. With that kind of success, why wouldn't we continue to invest in our local schools, our community, and our children?

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