Kings County voters have an opportunity to invest in local education and approve school bond measures for the Lemoore Union High School District (Measure L), Reef Sunset Unified School District (Measure S), Hanford Elementary School District (Measure U), Armona Union Elementary School District (Measure V), Hanford High School District (Measure W) and Pioneer Union Elementary School District (Measure Y) on Nov. 8.
The money raised will be used to pay for a variety of projects at the school districts including constructing a library at Sierra Pacific High School, replacing outdated restrooms, adding classrooms, getting rid of asbestos and lead paint and making sure students have safe drinking water.
Other areas of improvements to be added or improved at all districts are increased security features and technology. When schools were built years ago, computers in classrooms were only a dream so technological improvements need to be made to outfit older classrooms to meet 21st century requirements. As for safety, schools must unfortunately be outfitted now so that intruders stay out and students stay safe.
The costs for property owners in the districts range from $54.90 per $100,000 of assessed property value (APV) per year for a $12 million school bond in Reef-Sunset (Measure S) to $14 per $100,000 APV for Measure W, a $33 million bond for the Hanford High District.
Other bond measures and costs are:
- Measure L (Lemoore High District) $24 million bond, $27.50 per $100,000 APV
- Measure U (Hanford Elementary, $24 million bond, $30 per $100,000 APV
- Measure V (Armona Union) $6.5 million bond, $30 per $100,000 APV
- Measure Y (Pioneer Union) $7 million school bond, $29.50 per $100,000 APV.
Voters can be assured that the money raised will only be used on projects the districts have specified because local school bond money can’t be taken by the state and can’t be used to pay for salaries for administrators or teachers.
School districts must also have a citizens’ committee that ensures that the money is only spent on the school projects specified when the bond is approved and an annual audit is also required from the district of how the bond money is spent. The measures must be approved by at least 55 percent of voters.
Voting for a school bond is one of the few ways that citizens have a voice in how school districts are operated. Although property taxes increase, good schools boost property values of homes because people want to buy homes in neighborhoods because of the quality of the schools.
The Sentinel recommends a yes vote on measures L, S, U, V, W and Y.