Prop W - FAQ's
General Obligation Bond
Frequently Asked Questions
About the District. The Lemon Grove School District has been educating kids in the community for over 70 years. In recent years, the District has been recognized for excellence in a number of ways, including the recognition of two of our schools as California Distinguished Schools. State Superintendent Jack O’Connell has proclaimed the integration of technology and learning which he witnessed in the Lemon Grove School District to be a model for the rest of the state in promoting 21stcentury skills in the classroom. Two Golden Bell awards have been presented to the District, as well as an Achieve award. The District has also been commended for environmental awareness and utilizing renewable energy at the schools. Most importantly, student performance continues to improve each year.
Although it appears that our schools are in good shape based on achievements by our students, our classrooms need significant repairs. The following information is provided to assist voters in understanding the facts behind Proposition W and how its passage will affect the District and our community.
Why is Proposition W needed? Our schools are outdated and inadequate. The average age of our schools is nearly 60 years old, and Lemon Grove Middle School, our oldest, was first constructed in 1938! The amount of repairs, renovations, upgrades, and new construction needed at our sites has reached a critical point. Improved classrooms and school facilities will give Lemon Grove children the best chance for success as well as maintain the quality of our community.
Why can’t the District meet its facilities needs with its current budget? Today, the scope of improvements needed in the Lemon Grove School District is far more than the current funding sources available. The per pupil funding, which the District receives from the state is used for the day-to-day business of educating children and not the cost of upgrading, modernizing, and repairing facilities.
What is Proposition W? Proposition W is a $28 million general obligation bond program intended to help the District repair, replace, construct, update, and improve classrooms and school facilities in the District. This includes making health and safety improvements; upgrading electrical systems to improve student access to computers and modern technology; repairing or replacing deteriorating plumbing, sewer systems, and leaky roofs; converting a middle school into a magnet school specializing in programs such as science, technology, engineering and math; and constructing a library/media center for the students and the community.
How did the District come up with the project list for Proposition W? In 1998, the District passed a general obligation bond with the primary focus on modernizing all permanent classrooms, including electrical infrastructure, to support air conditioning and technology upgrades, new teaching walls, tackable surfaces, lighting, and floor coverings. The work completed as the result of that bond was Phase 1. Over the last several months with input from staff, teachers, parents, and community leaders, the District has prepared a facilities plan and identified significant repairs, upgrades, and classroom construction needs to complete Phase 2. Community surveys identified strong support for a new joint-use library as well as program elements to support stronger academic programs in math, technology, and science.
What is a general obligation bond? General obligation 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, general obligation bonds are typically repaid over 25 to 30 years. The loan repayment comes from a tax on all taxable property—residential, commercial, and industrial—located in the District.
How much will Proposition W cost? The tax rate per property owner is estimated to be $30 per $100,000 of assessed valuation per year or $5.10 per month for the average homeowner. (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 funds will be spent on improving our schools? As required by law, an Independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee will be established to ensure that the funds are properly spent. Also by law, there must be annual performance and financial audits. Furthermore, bond money cannot be used for administrator or teacher salaries.
What about using lottery money instead? By law, lottery funds cannot be used for construction or rehabilitation projects.
Has the District ever passed a bond? In November 1998, 81.5% of voters in the District approved a $12 million general obligation bond measure. The funds from the measure were used for the most critical improvements throughout the District. It is now time to make the remaining necessary improvements and repairs at each of our District’s schools.