Measure L Information

Porterville Unified School District
Frequently Asked Questions 

Although it appears that Porterville K-8 schools are in good shape based on achievements by our students, our classrooms and facilities need significant repairs and improvements. Faced with aging classrooms and the need to bring school facilities up to current standards, the Porterville Unified School District is placing a general obligation bond measure on the March 3rd ballot that will modernize and renovate our local elementary and middle schools.

The following information is provided to assist teachers, staff, students, parents, and voters in understanding the facts behind Measure L and how its passage will affect the District and our community.

What is Measure L?
Measure L is a $33.4 million general obligation (G.O.) bond program. This measure is intended to address the needs of the student population through modernization and renovation projects at the District’s elementary and middle schools in Porterville.

What is a General Obligation (G.O.) bond?
G.O. bonds fund projects such as the renovation of existing classrooms and school facilities, as well as construction of new schools and classrooms.

Similar to a home loan, G.O. bonds are typically repaid over 25 to 30 years. The loan repayment comes from a tax on all taxable property - residential, commercial, agricultural and industrial - located within the District’s boundaries. For the proposed school improvement measure, the boundaries would be those of the former Porterville Elementary School District.

What is a School Facilities Improvement District (SFID)?
A School Facilities Improvement District (SFID) is a subset of a school district’s boundaries which allows voters within the subset to vote on the proposed measure to generate funds to be spent only within the subset. An SFID may fund projects, through a G.O. bond measure, such as new school construction, modernization of classrooms and school facilities, and replacement of portable classrooms. The boundary for the District’s proposed SFID is the former Porterville ESD because the improvements would only be made at the elementary schools and middle schools in the District.

Why did the District place Measure L on the ballot?
Our elementary and middle schools are outdated, and major upgrades and renovations need to be made. Although facilities have been well maintained over the years, aging classrooms (some dating back to 1937) must be upgraded to meet 21st century standards. A local school improvement measure would allow the District to improve the quality of the school facilities and education provided to local children.

Why can’t the District meet its facilities needs with its current budget?
Today, the scope of improvements needed in the Porterville Unified School District are far more than the current funding sources available. The per-pupil funding which the District receives from the state is intended to be used for the day-to-day business of educating children and not the cost of upgrading, modernizing, and repairing facilities.
 
How did the District come up with the project list for Measure L?
Over the last several months with input from staff, teachers, parents, and an architect, the District has prepared a School Facilities Needs Analysis. The Needs Analysis identifies the major repairs and upgrades that need to be made.
 
Specific types of projects identified include:
• Making health, safety and handicapped accessibility improvements
• Repairing or replacing leaky roofs
• Updating inadequate electrical systems
• Modernizing and constructing classrooms, restrooms and school facilities
• Replacing deteriorating plumbing and sewer systems.
 
Why aren’t the High Schools part of Measure L?
While the School Facility Needs Analysis identified significant repairs and upgrades across all sites, including high schools, community survey information indicated broader support from voters to address facility needs at the elementary and middle schools. Measure L represents the initial phase of the identified improvements.

What will the passage of Measure L mean for our students and the community?
Measure L will provide our students with a better learning environment by making repairs and upgrades to existing classrooms and school facilities; many of which are also used and available to the community such as the libraries and playing fields. In addition, Measure L will qualify the District to receive over $31 million in state-matching funds. However, a local match is required, and Measure L will be that match.

What will happen if Measure L does not pass?
If Measure L does not pass, our classrooms and school facilities will continue to deteriorate. In addition, funds that would otherwise go to classroom instruction will be needed to make critical safety repairs and improvements at each school. Major repairs will need to be postponed and, as a result, will potentially be more expensive to make. Furthermore, the $31 million in state-matching funds will go to other districts that do have a local match.

What will Measure L cost?
The tax rate per property owner is estimated to be $36 per $100,000 of assessed valuation per year. (Do not confuse assessed valuation with market value. Assessed valuations are the value placed on property by the County and are almost always lower than market values). Check your property tax statement for your current assessed valuation.

How can I be sure that bond funds will be spent on improving Porterville K-8 schools?
By law, all bond funds have to be spent locally and cannot be taken by the state. Furthermore, an independent citizens’ oversight committee will be established to ensure that bond funds are properly spent. Also, by law, there must be annual audits and no bond money can be used for teacher or administrative salaries or board member benefits.