We’re Supporting Irvine’s Measure E School Bond Measure


The Irvine Unified School District is traditionally one of Orange County’s and California’s best performing school districts despite the fact it’s also one of the lowest funded school districts in the state.

Measure E, a bond for much needed repairs in many of the city’s older elementary/middle/high schools, could raise as much as $250-$319 million dollars towards things like fixing old plumbing systems, electrical systems, retrofitting restrooms, replacing heating/air conditioning systems, and fixing school roofs.  This week, Irvine voters will be getting phone calls from live human beings to explain Measure E; it’s your chance to ask any question you wish.  You can start by going to this link to learn more.

The bond will cost Irvine homeowners and other property owners a few hundreds bucks on average over the next 30 years; if you’re a renter in the city (and half of Irvine’s residents live in apartments), its unclear how the landlord will collect this fee.  Initially, it looked like only homeowners were going to be paying — not businesses and not renters — but that’s changed.

My biggest questions were answered after sitting down to review the plan with experts close to it; the elementary school and high school in my neighborhood are barely 15 years old, so I was surprised to see them on the list.   Each school, regardless of how old or new it is, has some work that needs to be done.  At CanyonView, where my kids attended for the first 13 years of its existence, there’s a need for covered storage of musical instruments.  That’s covered by the bond.  At Northwood High, there’s a need for a practice basketball gym (yes, it should have been built when the school was opened in 1999, but it wasn’t); and Northwood needs its track updated from plan old dirt to a modern quarter mile track.  Those are just some examples.

Other schools are in much worse shape.

Science labs where there’s no running water.  HVAC systems so old there aren’t replacement parts.  Network bandwidth stretched so think video playback is hung up while trying to teach a lesson. You get the idea.

Great schools mean great neighborhoods, a strong local economy and homes that maintain their value and increase equity.  The excellence of our schools is just one reason why Irvine is the heart of Orange County’s economy and the bond represents an investment in our schools that we need to make.  The concept of spending money to make money means our kids are better equipped for the jobs of tomorrow.  Today, IUSD gets less money per pupil than schools in Santa Ana or Anaheim.

While IUSD is blessed with the work of the Irvine Public Schools Foundation and matching funds provided by the City of Irvine that pay for a lot of things schools need, the fact that locally we need this bond.  Progressive candidates for office should endorse this bond.

But what the bond highlights is a long standing failure on the part of Irvine’s Republican-elected state officials from Don Wagner to Matt Harper to John Moorlach.  Pro-education Irvine residents have gone to these officials again and again to get our fair share of state funding only to be denied.  Residents are told “you’re going to have to do this yourself.”  Oh, a parcel tax?  Nope, these elected officials will no nothing to make it easier to pass a fair parcel tax.

But oddly enough, local school board members or members of IUSD’s leadership remain largely silent on any criticism of these elected officials.  Why?  Clearly, the Three Stooges of our State-Electeds won’t do their jobs when it comes to funding needed repairs because they are far more beholden to Republican Party interests and Conservative Principles than those of voters or students or teachers for that matter.  Think about that when casting your vote for these do-nothings in June.  Or better still, ask them why they won’t do their jobs when they are campaigning.

So we’re endorsing Measure E; we’ll do so even more enthusiastically when Irvine’s education leaders start complaining about the lack of support from those we send to Sacramento to protect for and advocate for our interests.

  14 comments for “We’re Supporting Irvine’s Measure E School Bond Measure

  1. Alan
    April 12, 2016 at 11:17 am

    If everyone in the city was going to be paying for this I would be more than happy to vote yes on this bond. Only some will be paying and I see this as very unfair. Unless this changes I will be voting no on this bond.

    • April 12, 2016 at 9:59 pm

      The parts of the city not paying this are actually paying more in mello Roos taxes for newer schools

      • Alan
        April 13, 2016 at 12:48 am

        Dan, I know that is true but they chose to pay those taxes when they purchased their home. I chose to purchase a home were there was no Mello Roos. Like I said if everyone has to pay then I will vote for it. I have no kids but don’t mind paying my fair share.

      • Alan
        April 14, 2016 at 4:24 pm

        Dan, I wonder why the IUSD has let the schools get in such bad condition. I thought our school district was one of the best? Seems like maybe they have been asleep at the wheel when it comes to Maintenance? Not sure why all of a sudden they need so much money for repairs?

        • April 14, 2016 at 6:57 pm

          The state was in such bad shape 8 years ago. We had furlough days. Class overcrowding. You can’t spend money to fix things when there isn’t money to fix it

          • Alan
            April 14, 2016 at 8:27 pm

            Dan, Has it been that bad for the last 8 years or was 8 years ago when it was at it’s worst? Just trying to figure out why they waited so long to act.

            • April 14, 2016 at 9:17 pm

              Great question for the superintendent, isn’t it?

              • Alan
                April 14, 2016 at 10:11 pm

                Absolutely, I will have to check the calendar to see when the next meeting is. Thanks

    April 12, 2016 at 11:24 am

    Dan, The Public Education Facilities Bond Initiative will be on the ballot for voters in California as an initiated state statute on November 8, 2016.
    A “yes” vote would be a vote in favor of the state issuing $9 billion in bonds to fund improvement and construction of school facilities for K-12 schools and community colleges.
    A “no” vote would be a vote against the state issuing $9 billion in new debt to fund the improvement and construction of education facilities.
    The $9 billion in bonds proposed by this initiative would be stored in a 2016 State School Facilities Fund and a 2016 California Community College Capital Outlay Bond Fund. Proceeds would be allocated for the following purposes:
    $3 billion for the construction of new school facilities;
    $500 million for providing school facilities for charter schools;
    $3 billion for the modernization of school facilities;
    $500 million for providing for facilities for career technical education programs; and
    $2 billion for acquiring, constructing, renovating, and equipping community college facilities.

    Ballot title:
    School Bonds. Funding for K-12 School and Community College Facilities. Initiative Statutory Amendment.
    Official summary: “Authorizes $9 billion in general obligation bonds: $3 billion for new construction and $3 billion for modernization of K-12 public school facilities; $1 billion for charter schools and vocational education facilities; and $2 billion for California Community Colleges facilities. Bars amendment to existing authority to levy developer fees to fund school facilities, until new construction bond proceeds are spent or December 31, 2020, whichever is earlier. Bars amendment to existing State Allocation Board process for allocating school construction funding, as to these bonds. Appropriates money from the General Fund to pay off bonds.”

    Is this not a duplicate bond measure (double dipping) or is this written as a State wide measure versus Local measure?

    I am in support of the State wide measure,

    Thank you Dan

  3. Ltpar
    April 13, 2016 at 3:28 am

    You can take it to the bank anything the State is involved in is a rip off for the taxpayers. Voters should vote “No” on any new taxes proposed by the State of California. On the local issue, I will have to look at it closer before making a decision. I want to see exactly what the money is going to be used for. I want to make sure it is going to facility rehabilitation and not higher salaries for personnel. If it excludes salaries/benefits, I will probably support it. Alan, might I remind you that it was politicians who voted for Mello Roos Districts rather than making developers ante up the money needed.

    • Alan
      April 13, 2016 at 5:11 pm

      Ltpar And may I remind you that no one was forced to buy a home were there is Mello Roos. It was their choice and I chose not to pay Mello Roos and I should not be punished for that choice. LIke I said if everyone has to pay I will gladly vote for this but if they are going to pick and choose who pays then they can take a hike.

  4. Monte
    April 17, 2016 at 9:00 am

    “$3 billion for modernization of K-12 public school facilities” – HOW MUCH goes to IUSD???? This sounds like a large number but two things have to be considered. One, what districts will even get money, in other words, if some districts are much “more in need” then they will get the money and IUSD may get none. Two, if and what we do get may be a very small percentage of what we need. That would mean either doing nothing for certain areas because there just wasn’t enough money to even start the project, or to fix a handful of things and we simply get left paying for a lot of other districts repairs and we get next to nothing and our schools don’t look much different whatsoever.

    I say bring this measure home to Orange County, better yet, Irvine. Not expect a state bond to bail our schools out as only uneducated folks believe that will happen when you look back in the past on state measures that do next to nothing for many disenfranchised voters who paid for something they thought would benefit their city!

    • Alan
      April 17, 2016 at 3:54 pm

      Monte, I agree with you and that is why if they really want this local bond passed everyone in the city should be paying not just the ones who live were the schools are located. When they start picking and choosing who should pay, things get more unfair than they already are. If the IUSD really cares about this then all home owners in Irvine should pay for it.

  5. doug
    May 11, 2016 at 9:43 pm

    As an educator, i am voting “NO” on E. As an Irvine resident, our taxes are too high

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