Friday, April 27 , 2018, 2:29 am | Fair 48º


Measure L to Ensure Future Hope School District Funding

Parcel tax extension to fuel energy-efficiency upgrades, educational technology and facilities

During this era of economic distress, the managers of many public agencies find themselves faced with budget deficits. Not so at the Hope Elementary School District, said Superintendent Dan Cooperman, but that situation is only likely to last for another couple of years at current spending levels.

“We’ll be OK for another two years, but by the third year, at current spending, we’ll be in a deficit,” he told Noozhawk, adding that enrollment numbers have crept steadily upward over the past few years in the three-school district.

Measure L, a general obligation bond that will appear on the June 8 primary ballot for residents living within the Hope School District’s boundaries, is aimed at extending a parcel tax — currently set to expire in 2026 — until 2053. The extension, which charges about $9 per $100,000 of assessed property value, would guarantee $8 million in funding for the district, about $650,000 of which would be locked into funding energy credits aimed at increasing efficiency.

In a recent commentary published on Noozhawk, Hope School District board president Tony Winterbauer asserted that with $65,000 per year of energy savings, the district would add $900,000 to its coffers within the first five years after the addition of solar panels and other energy-efficiency upgrades are installed.

Other uses for Measure L funding include a Monte Vista School library to replace the one housed in a portable building, a performing arts stage for Vieja Valley School, and the purchase of more laptop computers and other classroom technology at Hope School and the Monte Vista and the Vieja Valley campuses.

Perhaps because it’s an extension of an already existing tax rather than a new one, Measure L has enjoyed support from a diverse collection of community groups, including the League of Women Voters and the Santa Barbara County Taxpayers Association. Among the individuals, business owners and families living inside the Hope district boundaries, which includes Hope Ranch, opposition, if there is any, has been silent.

Noozhawk staff writer Ben Preston can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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