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Brian Sarvis: Community Continues to Show Its Support for Schools

Measures Q and R will fund infrastructure improvements and enrich the lives of students

The Santa Barbara School District is thankful to Montecito, Goleta and Santa Barbara residents for their support of local schools.

Recently, facilities bond Measures Q and R were passed by voters by 69 percent and 71 percent majorities to support basic facilities improvements in the Santa Barbara elementary and secondary districts. The measures will provide much-needed infrastructure improvements such as roofing, heating, a kitchen, libraries, replacement of portables, refurbished science labs, improved security and safety systems, and modernization of classrooms.

The Measure Q improvements at junior high schools and high schools from Goleta through Santa Barbara and Measure R improvements in Santa Barbara elementary schools will provide upgraded facilities for students for many years to come.

Just two years ago, voters approved parcel tax Measures H and I with similar levels of support to provide additional programs not funded by core local and state funding, or special federal funding for categorical needs such as low-performing students or students who are English learners. Elementary students now have classroom music programs. Junior high schools have additional electives in the arts and high schools have smaller ninth-grade math class sizes. Secondary schools also have additional foreign language classes, and all schools have additional money for science equipment, math and computer technology.

Citizens from the community serve on oversight committees to see that the funds are spent as intended. These are wonderful people who give their time freely to study the use of money for parcel tax Measures H and I. Click here to view “Investment Matters,” their last report, on the district Web site.

We will soon be asking for more volunteers to oversee the use of funds for facilities bond Measures Q and R. Community committee members will not make decisions about how the funds will be spent, as that is the job of elected school board members. But they will work to ensure the funds are spent in the way they were intended as described in the ballot language. If you are interested in serving on one of the committees, e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Information about all of these measures was provided to the community before the election by the Santa Barbara Education Foundation. Again, people from the community serve on the foundation board, volunteering their time unselfishly to leverage the needs of schools and educational programs. They also deserve our appreciation.

Great schools don’t exist without the support of a great community. On behalf of our students, the school board and I thank the community for enriching the lives of our students.

— Brian Sarvis is superintendent of the Santa Barbara School District.

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