Why You Should Vote No on Measure S

We have already written a couple of articles, which you can read here and here, on local Measure S that will appear on the November ballot. This Measure was placed on the ballot by a unanimous vote of the Tustin Unified School District and is championed by school board president, Jonathan Ablelove and school board member Lynne Davis. The proceeds from the bond issue would be used to implement technology in Tustin  schools, something I admit is sorely needed.

In meeting earlier this year with their technology guru, Alex Rojas, I was impressed with the amount of work that had gone on behind the scenes to get this measure in front of the voters. He also explained that all of the money would go toward actually putting technology into the classrooms, from infrastructure to front end systems. While Measure G  paid for some infrastructure, the restrictions in the construction bond limited the amount of technology that could reach the classroom. Measure S would change that.

My complaint, of course, has not changed: In times like these, it is unfair to take more money out of pockets of the voters, many of who are struggling to make ends meet. Rojas told me the $135 million dollar bond would be repaid over thirty years and would amount to another nine dollars or so being put on a property tax bill. But, that is the rub. As I said before, we are still paying for Measures G and L and we will continue to pay that for some time. Now, Measure S, being repaid over a whopping thirty years would increase that debt. That is debt our children will be responsible for repaying. And, as I said before, raise you hand if you think this is the school district’s last bond measure.

There also has been no effort by the school board to pay for the technology through budgeting over multiple years or through other means. The initial reaction to the question of technology was to go immediately to a bond issue rather than find alternate sources to pay for this. Admittedly, that would be difficult given the present fiscal circumstances of the country, but that should be an indicator that the TUSD should also live within their means rather than living off the voter credit card.

For our money, we will vote no on this issue. Send the school board back to the financial drawing board to do what they need to do and stop saddling property owners and their children with debt.

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9 thoughts on “Why You Should Vote No on Measure S

  1. I disagree with you on this. Yes it is a slight tax increase, BUT it is an investment in schools to keep them and our students on the forefront. Remember our community is only as good as the schools within the community. The world and business is evolving faster than I would like, but it is what it is, We as a community to make sure our students are getting if not the best, at least keeping up with the rest of the world. Something important to remember in all this is that the bonds will be taken as they are needed over the 30 year life of the bonds. Technology in business is evolving and the schools have to keep up with them in order to prepare our students for the business world of the future. Considering the current state of the state, it is a bet that technology infusion would not be considered if TUSD has to cut millions from its budget.

  2. Slight tax increase. That is what they say every time. How many is too many? The school district hasn’t paid of the last two measures and let’s not forget, they are not the only ones to hit the ATM (Automated Taxpayer Machine). The water district, community colleges and even cities have gone after taxpayer money through bonds and district fees. When does it stop? That is my point.

  3. Bonds are debt. Technology fails. Tustin High had a test program where laptops were used in the classroom. The network had problems and laptops were stolen. Much of the equipment was paid for by the parents. The school district doesn’t need more debt.

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