This November 6, registered voters have the opportunity to vote on a school bond (Measure J) that will impact funding at Walnut Acres and other schools in Mount Diablo Unified School District. As your PFC Executive Committee, we are sharing this information so all of you, as members of the PFC, can understand what's at stake and make an informed decision. For a detailed look at the rationale for this bond, you can review the attached presentation from the July 23, 2018 school board meeting.
WHY DO WE NEED SUPPLEMENTAL FUNDING? As you know, some of our classrooms and school facilities are over 50 years old and need to be updated. State education funding remains inadequate; California is currently ranked 41st in per-pupil spending. There is no amount of school fundraising (Auction, Walk-a-Thon, Jag Fund or Read-a-Thon) that could pay for the types of upgrades and improvements that we need to make. The last school bond (Measure C) was passed in 2010 and the money has almost all been spent. As a reminder, Measure C funding provided Walnut Acres with solar panels, A/C in all classrooms, high-speed internet access, new flooring in the library and B7, electrical upgrades and renovated bathrooms.
WHAT IS A SCHOOL BOND MEASURE? A school bond is a way for under-funded school districts to borrow money to pay for capital expenditures and facility upgrades. Measure J will provide $150 million in funding for upgrading facilities at MDUSD schools. It would cost property owners approximately $15.00 per $100,000 of assessed, not market, value per year. All funds would support repairing and improving schools in our community. It’s important to note that by law school bond money cannot be spent on salaries, benefits or pensions. Measure J money can’t be taken away by the state and there will be community oversight insuring strict financial accountability. At least 55% of the voters must approve the measure in order to pass Measure J.
HOW WILL MEASURE J FUNDING BE SPENT? Measure J funds will be used to address a range of facility needs at schools across the district, but in broad terms the funds will be used to make repairs and safety upgrades to our aging school sites, and support 21st century instruction. At Walnut Acres needed improvements include campus security enhancements including upgrades to our emergency communications system, bathroom renovations in the B-wing, exterior painting and general maintenance.
If you’d like to learn more about Measure J, please visit The Mt. Diablo Unified School District website’s Bond Information web page or Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). You can also talk to Walnut Acres parents Anna Halverson and Cherise Khaund who are volunteering on a grassroots campaign to support Measure J.