School Board Approves Bond Measure Election

If passed, the $23.5 million bond would be used to make sweeping technology upgrades in the district's classrooms.

The Fountain Valley School District's Board of Trustees voted 4-1 Thurday night to put a $23.5 million technology bond issue on the November ballot.

"I see this bond as an opportunity to bring something extra to the people of Fountain Valley," said board member Christine Allcorn, who said that while funding has gone down consistently over her tenure on the board, requirements and expectations have increased. "I want to live in a community that has a school district that attracts people."

If passed, the bond would increase local property taxes by a maximum of $14.50 per $100,000 of assessed property value. Because there's already an election on for November, putting the issue on the ballot will cost the district only about $8,000, as opposed to a cost of a special election, which would cost somewhere between $52,000 and $65,000.

Sandra Crandall, the lone board member to vote against putting the issue on the ballot, said she favored a "pay-as-you-go" model for upgrading the district's technology, saying that four of the district's schools are already well on the way to meeting the goals set forth the in district's technology plan. Plans are already in place to form a committee to address the district's technology concerns, something Crandall said could still be done without the bond issue.

"Fountain Valley is one of four school districts that have never floated a bond," she said. "To me, that's a badge of honor."

Crandall also cited the outstanding bonds still being paid by local taxpayers, as well as the host of other tax measures already on the November ballot and others that are still in the works, including a potential $700 million bond issue being considered by the Coast Community College system. Board President Ian Collins conceded that people could end up feeling overtaxed but said he was still willing to put the issue on the ballot and let the voters decide.

"I too see a problem with the taxation," Collins said. "But how far do we allow our kids to fall behind? I have to embrace change and accept change. School funding in California is a national disgrace. I just don't want to deny the kids that opportunity."

The board also approved the district's budget for the 2012-13 school year, which, Assistant Superintendent for Business Steve McMahon said, is based on the state's assumption that Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed tax initiative will pass in November, and which includes five furlough days to account for a funding gap of $2.5 million.

Should the tax measure fail, that number could go up by as many as 15 days, and the district would be facing an additional reduction in funding of $457 per student. Overall, the district has been able to operate with a balanced budget, but, McMahon said, that's largely because it's been able to borrow from its reserve fund, $2.3 million more of which will be transferred to the district's general fund in 2012-13.

"We're seeing no good news on the horizon," he said. "Regardless of whether the tax measure passes, we're looking at a tough road ahead."

Joker Joe June 29, 2012 at 03:45 PM
"I want to live in a community that has a school district that attracts people." said board member Christine Allcorn Maybe it is time to move???
Ted Andersen June 29, 2012 at 05:39 PM
Can't we just all get "along" without: spending........taxing...........spending...........taxing? How about living within our means for a change? How about saving for a rainy day for a change? What are we teaching out kids? Spend and tax will be all they know. It starts here in Fountain Valley, then to Sacramento, then to DC............. I will vote no on every tax or spend measure until there appears a measure to reduce spending (on anything) or cut taxes (on anything).............that will be when I ever cast a yes vote again. I'll be waiting
Melissa Pete June 30, 2012 at 02:35 AM
I am completely disenchanted with our school board. I'm sorry they are spending money to put a measure on the ballot that will most likely not go through. We don't want to be taxed so that our kids can have iPads while our district continues to make cuts. When we are short on money, why are we putting money out for a bond that doesn't generate money? People aren't going to want to come to our district because of what this bond provides anyway. Sadly, there is some confusion as to what will draw people to our district. I doubt that our out-of-district families who came for the K-8 option will be returning. Watching an option that draws people in be shut down while the search is on for something else that will draw folks in...it's like speaking out of two sides of the same mouth. Gah. I'm so over this.
Fed Up June 30, 2012 at 10:02 PM
Well said!
Fed Up June 30, 2012 at 10:04 PM
Maybe Ecker should stop taking 10% rate increases EVERY YEAR and the district could buy the iPads! NO NEW TAXES!
Melissa Pete July 01, 2012 at 06:31 AM
Well said.
Shannon Kelly October 08, 2012 at 03:14 AM
Last Time I checked they were pulling in alot of people out of the district.
Shannon Kelly October 08, 2012 at 03:16 AM
Well said. Here is someone trying to make the top pay scale before he retires. Isn't that what everyone is complaining about??
RL October 18, 2012 at 11:34 PM
We have lived in FV 22 yrs., and both boys went through the elementary school district only four years ago. Both boys qualified for top colleges. Just with the technology we have.Weekly, teachers use their classroom televisions to show movies and videos. Do we want more screen time in elementary school? Thank you, Sandra Crandall. About five years ago, taxpayers finally paid off the original 40 year bond for FV elementary schools. If you look at your current property tax bill, you will see three bonds for the Coastline Community Colleges - and three for the HB HS district.


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