Q: What is Measure E?
A: Measure E is a $1.5 billion school bond measure approved by 75 percent of voters in November 2016. This is the largest school bond measure to date in the LBUSD. Funds are earmarked for air conditioning of all schools, safety and accessibility upgrades and recreational/athletic improvements for student use during and after school.
Q: What is Measure K?
A: Measure K is a ballot initiative, approved by 71 percent of voters in November 2008, which makes available $1.2 billion from property taxes to build, renovate and improve schools in the Long Beach Unified School District. The funds come from issuance of a series of bonds to occur four to six times in about ten years.
Q: What will school bond funds be used for?
A: More than 80 percent of the school district's permanent buildings were built prior to 1970. Most of our aging schools need major work to meet new building standards and to continue serving student needs in the 21st Century. Examples of work needed include:
- Retrofitting schools to meet new earthquake safety standards
- Meeting federal handicap accessibility requirements
- Removing lead paint and asbestos
- Upgrading and expanding instructional technology, including computer hardware and network infrastructure
- Building smaller high school learning communities
- Upgrading science labs, classrooms, libraries, restrooms, plumbing and roofs
- Improving energy and water efficiency
- Upgrading and adding air conditioning and related infrastructure upgrades
- Modernizing auditoriums, athletic fields, pools and stadiums
Q: What expenses are covered by school bond funds?
A: The expenses covered by Measures E and K are set by law and strictly limited to school repairs and construction. Included are architectural/engineering/planning costs, furniture, equipment, program/project management, and staff training.
Q: Who decided which schools will be built or renovated and when?
A: The priority list of projects was developed through a comprehensive process of evaluating a combination of key factors, including the district's Strategic Plan, the Technology Master Plan and the Facility Master Plan. These plans, created over a period of years, had extensive community and school site input. The Board of Education has ultimate authority to make and shift priorities, based on research, staff recommendations and public input.
Q: Does the state provide funding for school repairs and construction?
A: For school districts that meet requirements, the state has construction/repair funds available in the form of matching funds. LBUSD is eligible for approximately $300 million in state matching funds, which are contingent upon our ability to contribute local funds.
Q: Will the school bond program bring all our schools up to modern standards and allow us to meet changing student needs?
A: Measures E and K provide a total of $2.7 billion in funding. To bring all schools up to modern standards, the Facility Master Plan identified 100 project types, with a total cost up to $3.5 billion over 25 years (in 2007 dollars). With inflation and continuing deterioration of facilities, funding will likely be inadequate to address all needs identified, but will go a long way in modernizing schools and creating a 21st Century learning environment.
Q: Who is providing oversight of school bond funds?
A: To ensure that school bond funds are spent according to law, a Citizens' Oversight Committee reviews quarterly and annual financial and performance audits, then makes a report to the Board of Education. The committee is made up of volunteers who represent specific constituencies, such as senior citizens, parents, businesses, or the community-at-large.