Linden Unified School District - Measure G
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Why does the Linden Unified School District need to consider Measure G, a local school bond?
A. While our district has done a good job of maintaining school facilities all sites require essential repairs and upgrades to upgrade security, in addition to fixing antiquated restrooms, leaky roofs, and replacing aged heating and air-conditioning units. Our classrooms also require updated infrastructure that will replace old portable classrooms and add areas like new science classrooms which will help students develop the skills to become college and career ready. Lastly our athletic facilities are old, antiquated and require renovation that cannot be funded using the District’s current financial resources.
Q. How is the district planning to address these challenges?
A. Funding projects of this magnitude are beyond the capabilities of the District’s operating budget. For this reason, the Board of Trustees has authorized the placement of Measure G on the November 6, 2018 ballot, a local school bond that could raise as much as $31.2 million to address critical facility issues.
Q. What types of projects will Measure G fund?
A. Measure G will fund facility needs such as:
• Modernize classrooms, replacing aging finishes and systems to create better learning environments
• Address safety and security issues at all sites
• Modernize, construct and equip support facilities such as restrooms, multi-purpose rooms and science classrooms
• Upgrade the athletic facilities at Linden High School, including improvements to the track, football field, general field lighting, restrooms and pool
• Create additional parking, in conjunction with energy savings projects such as solar canopies
• Payoff the remaining liability from a previous borrowing that will return nearly $400,000 per year to the District’s general operating budget
Q. How will the project list be prioritized? Will all projects get completed?
A. The district undertook a thorough facility needs assessment process to identify improvement projects to classrooms, labs, technology, and other facilities that our schools need. All noted items were reviewed and assigned a priority ranking based on their current condition and potential for replacement or renovation. That information will be used to craft a final work plan should the decision be made to pursue a local school bond.
The Facility Needs Assessment is very comprehensive and contains nearly $167 million in identified facility needs. Although a local school bond will not enable the district to complete every project in the plan, it would allow the District to take the first steps necessary to address its facility concerns. The list of vitally needed work includes construction that will address safety and code regulations, and immediate academic program needs. Measure G projects will also address essential building system repairs, classroom modernizations, new science classrooms and restroom upgrades. Additionally, improvements to non-classroom areas such as athletic fields were included in the review process so that they too could be included in a prioritized work plan.
Q. Why is additional funding required to upgrade our schools?
A. The district receives funding from the state for operational costs like instructional programs and teachers, but this does not provide sufficient funding for major classroom and facility improvements. Also, a statewide facility improvement bond measure for school districts was passed by the voters in November of 2016. Its passage provides state funds to address local school district facility-related concerns. In order to access these state funds a local match is required. Funds made available through a Measure G would qualify the district to apply for these moneys and allow for the completion of additional projects at no added cost to local taxpayers.
Q. How do I know the Measure G funds will be used responsibly?
A. Measure G would include strict fiscal accountability provisions:
An independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee and annual audits to ensure funds are spent properly
None of the funds can be used for administrator or employee salaries, benefits, or pensions
Funds cannot be taken away by the state
Q. How is the Measure G Citizen’s Oversight Committee (COC) formed?
A. The COC must be made up of at least seven volunteer members who serve terms of two years each. Composition of the COC must include representatives from the business community, a senior organization, a taxpayer organization, a parent who is active in a school organization, and a parent with a child in the district. No employee or vendor of the district can be a member of the committee.
Q. How much will Measure G cost a property owner?
A. Measure G could authorize the district to issue up to $36 million in bonds. The annual cost to local property owners would be no more than $60 per $100,000 of assessed (not market) value. The entire cost is deductible on state and federal income taxes.
Q. What is the difference between assessed value and market value?
A. The assessment cost of a local school bond is based on assessed value, not market value, of a property. Assessed values often are closer to the original purchase price of the property than to the current market price. This most likely reduces the cost for seniors and others who have lived in their homes a long time.
Q. Is it only homeowners who pay the cost or do businesses pay as well?
A. The tax is levied on all taxable property within the Linden Unified School District, including commercial, industrial, and agricultural properties.
Q. How can I find out more information about voting or registering to vote?
A. You can register to vote by visiting www.RegisterToVote.ca.gov or by calling the San Joaquin County Registrar of Voters at (209) 468-2885. Registration forms will also be available at school sites.