Investing in Our Schools and Community
Chino– Chino Valley School District is seeking the public’s support and feedback to weigh in on a possible bond measure to fund capital improvement projects in 2016.
What is a school bond? What does this mean for you?
School bonds are a way for school districts to borrow money. Bonds are the only means through which districts can build schools. The bond, once approved by voters, may be supplemented by state matching dollars to help the district fund facilities needed. Bonds are paid off through property taxes, so when I vote for a bond, I’m voting for higher taxes on my property.
According to the Chino Valley district website, most of Chino’s local schools were built decades ago – with some built in the 1950s – and need basic health and safety improvements.
“As the District plans for the future, the participation of our school communities couldn’t be more important,” Superintendent Wayne M. Joseph said. “Understanding the priorities of each school community is essential in developing a shared vision for the future.”
The Chino Valley school district has already completed two rounds of public discussions.
The first round of Facilities Master Plan update meetings took place at 35 school sites over the summer and ushers in the community engagement and information gathering process to better understand local school needs and the community’s priorities for them.
The discussion centered on the following four categories: Renovating existing buildings; completing work at schools to enhance or improve existing conditions; building something new at a school that currently does not exist; and incorporating new technology into classrooms and schools.
Some of the topics that participants raised were repairing schools that were 25-years-old or more under the state’s school modernization program, upgrading classrooms and equipment for career education programs, upgrading technology, adding security features to keep students and staff safe on our campuses, replacing portable buildings with permanent classrooms, and adding equipment that best suits the needs of 21st century classrooms.
“Whether it is investing in new technology, upgrading school-career education programs, improving classrooms, or making basic health and safety improvements at our schools, I would like to hear from our families and community members to help shape the future of our schools,” Joseph said.
An independent community survey of 400 voters in February shows residents feel Chino Valley schools provide a quality education but perceive schools to have a significant need for additional funding. The survey provides insight into community opinions and educational priorities for our schools.
More than two-thirds of respondents believe Chino Valley schools provide high-quality education to local students.
The second round of Facilities Master Plan update meetings with school staff and parents concluded in September. According to district officials, the survey was posted on the district website and handed out at back-to-school nights in September.
Further outreach will continue throughout the school year. During the summer, Superintendent Joseph met with business organizations, service clubs, senior citizen organizations, and a wide range of other community groups to exchange ideas.
“The community conversations will continue over the course of the year and will help to inform the Board of Education’s decision regarding a potential educational bond measure in November 2016,” Superintendent Joseph said. “We are focused on listening and gathering information before considering next steps.”
If a bond measure is place on the November 2016 ballot, the school board will need to make a decision by August 2016.