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Officials push school bond for Castaic

Officials, volunteers call for voter approval to modernize facilities

Posted: September 30, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: September 30, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Castaic Union School District officials are stumping in earnest for Measure QS, the school bond measure that Castaic voters will find on their November ballots.

“All of the technical detail is done; we have a master plan and the costs ready for the project,” Castaic Union Superintendent Jim Gibson said.

“We’ve formed a citizens’ committee and all the work necessary for that,” he said.

The bond measure would modernize school facilities, upgrade technology and allow the district to spend its general fund to keep teachers as much as possible and properly equip classrooms, Gibson said.

“So having enough textbooks, having effective teachers, maintaining class sizes — those aren’t direct results from a bond, those are an indirect result,” he said.

If approved, Measure QS — so named for “quality schools” — would authorize the issuance of a $51 million bond for kindergarten-through-eighth-grade schools in the Castaic area.

“(The bond) is guaranteed to be at $19 per assessed $100,000 in value,” Gibson said. “That’s (on average) just under $70 a year, $6 a month for the bond.”

The approval of the bond would also allow the district to become eligible for about $15 million in matching technology funds.

Despite the lingering effects of the so-called Great Recession, Santa Clarita Valley residents have regularly approved local school bond measures. The most recent district to receive voters’ approval was Sulphur Springs School District in Canyon Country, where voters in the June primary authorized $73 million for school improvements.

A $60 million bond passed in Newhall School District last November, and William S. Hart Union High School District voters approved Measure SA in November 2008 — about 13 months after the onset of the Great Recession. It authorized $300 million for school construction.



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