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Saturday, February 16 , 2019, 4:38 am | Fair 50º


Santa Barbara School Board to Vote on November Bond Measures

District proposal would secure $110 million for capital improvement projects

Santa Barbara School District trustees will decide Tuesday night whether to put two measures on the November ballot that could secure $110 million toward capital improvements for the elementary and secondary districts.

The measures would not raise tax rates but rather maintain current district spending under Proposition 39 to make classrooms and bathrooms disability accessible, upgrade secondary school science labs and elementary libraries, purchase new computers and provide wireless Internet access.

“None of the money can be used for administrative salaries,” said Eric Smith, the districts’ deputy superintendent.

Smith said Tuesday’s hearing would have a sense of urgency because the Santa Barbara County Elections Office needs to be notified by July 1 — Thursday — to put it on the November ballot. The measures would not be able to be voted on during a special election, he said.

The measures must be approved by 55 percent of voters for the district to raise $75 million for secondary schools and $35 million for elementary schools, Smith said.

The district hired consultants from Godbe Research to conduct polls of local residents, Smith said.

“Based on their data, we think we have sufficient support,” he said.

Other capital improvements, including new roofing and energy-efficiency upgrades, would be paid for by this funding, Smith said.

“Since these funds would be generated locally there is no way the state could take away them away from us,” he said. “So there is an element of local control.”

District Superintendent Brian Sarvis was unavailable for comment.

The district encourages public input on the measures during Tuesday’s school board hearing at the school district office, 720 Santa Barbara St., Smith said. The meeting begins at 6 p.m.

Noozhawk intern Daniel Langhorne will be a junior at Chapman University in the fall. He can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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