The Fountain Valley School District's Board of Trustees voted unanimously Thursday night to put a on the agenda at the board's next meeting on June 28.
The decision came on the heels of a report by Ann Nock of investment banking firm George K. Baum, which conducted a telephone survey of 400 registered Fountain Valley voters on June 3 and 4. Of those surveyed, 54 percent said they would be willing to vote for the bond issue, which would bring in about $19 million initially, and a total of about $30 million over the life of the bonds.
Additionally, 83 percent of those surveyed agreed that it is important to provide the district's students with up-to-date technology. Nock noted that about 60 percent of Fountain Valley's registered voters do not have children in the district, something, she said, should be looked at as a positive in light of the survey results.
"I've been to enough of your board meetings with enough full houses to think you'd have a great shot," she said.
Should the board vote to put a bond issue on the November ballot, the ballot statement would have to be ready by July 17. Should the bond pass, the cost of the election would be rolled into the bond as an issuance cost, but should it fail, the district would be stuck with the bill. Assistant Superintendent for Business Steve McMahon said he hopes to have an estimate from the county registrar's office by the end of the week, but the final cost is essentially at the county's whim.
In a painfully appropriate segue, McMahon presented the board with an update on the state budget situation, which had literally changed as late as Thursday afternoon. The state is facing a $16 billion shortfall, and while home prices are up slightly and unemployment is down, McMahon called those factors a "lukewarm recovery," as state revenues are still $2 billion below projections.
The state is projecting a budge of $95.7 billion for the 2012-13 school year, but that estimate is based on the assumption that Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed tax initiative will pass this November. Should it fail, schools could face a $475 per student reduction in funding and two additonal shortened school years of 175 days. Since the 2007-2008 school year, per-student funding has dropped from $5,515 to $4,917, and een if the tax initiative passes, that number will still drop to $4,493.