Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
What is Measure ES?
Measure ES is a local ballot measure on the November 6, 2018 ballot seeking voter authorization for funds to protect the quality of education for El Segundo public schools. Our six schools were built 50-90 years ago. While the District has worked hard to maintain our school facilities, it is time to invest in significant repairs and upgrades to support teaching and learning in core subjects like science, technology, engineering, fine arts, and math to ensure students’ success in college and in-demand careers. Measure ES is the result of two years of extensive work to develop a detailed plan to address El Segundo Unified School District’s most critical facility needs. No other funding currently exists to appropriately upgrade these facilities. All voters living within the jurisdiction of the El Segundo Unified School District registered by October 22 will be eligible to vote on Measure ES.
Why has the El Segundo Unified School District placed Measure ES on the ballot?
Our six El Segundo schools: Eagles’ Nest Preschool, Center Street School, Richmond Street School, El Segundo Middle School, Arena High School, and El Segundo High School, were built 50-90 years ago. While the District has worked hard to maintain our school facilities, it is time to invest in significant repairs and upgrades to support teaching and learning in core subjects like science, technology, engineering, fine arts, and math to ensure students’ success in college and in-demand careers. Ongoing investment in infrastructure is critical - part of the District’s responsibility to the community is to maintain quality school facilities. Measure ES is a wise INVESTMENT - GREAT schools protect property values.
What is the actual question that voters will be asked to decide on November 8, 2016?
“To upgrade classrooms, science labs, libraries, career training facilities and instructional technology to support student achievement in science, technology, engineering, arts and math, improve student safety, acquire, construct/repair classrooms, facilities, sites/equipment, repair roofs, plumbing/electrical systems, shall this El Segundo Unified School District measure authorizing $92,000,000 in bonds at legal rates, levying 4.3 cents/$100 assessed value, $5,500,000 annually while bonds are outstanding, be adopted, with independent oversight, no money for administrator salaries, all money staying local?”
How will Measure ES funds be used?
Measure ES will PROTECT, PRESERVE, and UPDATE! Measure ES Will:
Will Measure ES improve instruction?
YES! Our local schools strive for teaching and learning excellence in every educational setting. Safe, modern school facilities and technology are essential to student achievement. As school facilities and classroom technology are improved, teaching and learning will benefit.
No one in my household attends El Segundo Schools. Why should I know about Measure ES?
Quality schools are the foundation of any healthy, thriving community. Whether you have school-age children or not, protecting the quality of local public education is a wise investment in our future. Our El Segundo Unified School District public schools must remain competitive to protect our property values and keep our community strong.
Was the community involved in the decision to place Measure ES on the ballot?
Yes. Three years ago, a rigorous facilities assessment process began, with input from maintenance and operations staff, leadership at each school site, and the larger community. To build the Long-Range Facilities Master Plan (FMP), the District conducted a facility questionnaire, focus group meetings, school site interviews, a steering committee representing the diversity of our El Segundo community, and two rounds of town hall meetings. The facilities funding discussion also included a survey mailer to 7,135 households; two school-site stakeholder meetings at every school (for a total of 10); an El Segundo High School student stakeholder meeting with 40 students; two telephone surveys to 761 residents; direct feedback from more than 1,000 residents, parents, students, and staff via written and online survey responses; and hundreds of opinion leader personal conversations via district leadership and members of the Superintendent’s Advisory Committee.
Who is eligible to vote on Measure ES?
All of the over 11,000 registered voters living within the boundaries of the El Segundo Unified School District are eligible to vote on Measure ES. The last day to register to vote and be eligible to vote on Measure ES in the November 6, 2018 Election is October 22, 2018.
What is required for Measure ES to Pass (Win)?
At least 55% of the voters who cast their ballots in the November 6 Election must vote in favor of the bond for it to be approved. Measure ES is being sought under the provisions of Proposition 39, which prohibits use of the funds for operations, administrator salaries, or pensions and also requires independent financial and performance audits on the use of bond proceeds. By law, ALL Measure funds MUST stay local, dedicated to El Segundo Unified schools.
How much will Measure ES cost?
The $92M bond tax rate is $43 per $100K of the ASSESSED valuation of your home. This is the Proposition 13 assessed valuation – If you’ve lived in your home for a long time, your assessed valuation will be low, and so will your payment for this bond measure. This is the minimum amount the District requires to meet all our needs (If voters approve Measure ES, the typical homeowner in El Segundo USD will pay about $249 per year. For an assessed valuation of $1M, that would equate to $430 per year. You can find the assessed valuation on your tax bill or by going to one of the online sites (e.g., Zillow.com, Trulia.com, or realtor.com) or to the LA County Office of the Assessor).
Will businesses share in the cost of Measure ES?
Yes, both commercial and residential property owners will be subject to assessment.
Have previous improvements been maintained? What about current funding?
Yes. El Segundo USD maintenance and operations staff members work hard to keep our schools safe and in adequate working condition and maintain current assets and investments. They have kept up to date with needed safety and critical time-sensitive repairs. However, the current scope of facilities upgrades needed to ensure all students attending El Segundo schools receive the same high-quality education far exceeds our current budget. School bonds, along with state and federal matching funds, are the most common way to fund the significant upgrades needed.
What about previous bonds?
Our community has been supportive of our schools in the past, including passing previous bonds to modernize and repair our schools and keep us up to date - All previous measures included a clear system of fiscal accountability and citizens oversight committee. But it has been 20 years since El Segundo Middle School has had significant upgrades, and the Long-Range Facilities Master Plan has identified $92M in critical facilities needs at all campuses over the next 10 years. Measure ES will address these critical facilities needs.
What previous measures have been supported by our community? What is still owed?
Our community has been supportive of our local schools in the past, including three bonds to make timely upgrades, but not comprehensive. Measure C (1997, $24M) helped modernize campus facilities, Measure E (2001, $25M) completed necessary health and safety improvements, renovations at El Segundo High School, and a new academic center, and Measure M (2008, $14M) helped with energy efficiency and plumbing upgrades, reducing water use, and upgrading the auditorium and athletic fields and facilities. It has been 20 years since El Segundo Middle School has had significant upgrades. Just like a home mortgage, the District has $37.08M left to pay on previous measures - Measure C ($7.13M until 2027), Measure E ($15.95M until 2028), Measure M ($14M until 2033). To ensure local children can learn in quality school facilities NOW, the School Board has placed Measure ES on the ballot. Measure ES provides a prudent, responsible plan to address our pressing priority school facility needs.
Doesn’t the STATE provide funding for facility upgrades?
No. Limited State funding has been available to support some school upgrades but ESUSD cannot count on this uncertain source of funding. Passing a local bond, in this case Measure ES, is a way for the community to have a locally controlled source of funding for OUR local schools. There are no other sources of funding for major facility upgrades.
What is the current tax rate for Bonds already in place? What does this cost for a $1M home?
The current tax rate for El Segundo USD is ~$80 per $100K of assessed home valuation, not the current market value of the home. For an assessed valuation of $1M, that equates to about $790. The average assessed home valuation in El Segundo is ~$497K (You can find the assessed valuation on your tax bill or by going to one of the online sites (e.g., Zillow.com, Trulia.com, or realtor.com) or to the LA County Office of the Assessor).
How can we be assured that Measure ES money will be spent properly?
Significant Taxpayer protections are REQUIRED. By law, ALL Measure ES funds STAY LOCAL dedicated to El Segundo schools ONLY. Measure ES is for school infrastructure, facilities and equipment ONLY. NO funds are allowed for administrators' salaries, benefits or pensions. Independent Citizens' Oversight and mandatory audits will ensure funds are spent properly with a clear system of accountability. Measure ES requires the establishment of a Citizens Oversight Committee immediately after a successful election result is certified. The Committee is responsible for monitoring bond finances to ensure the public that the money is being spent properly. Measure ES also requires independent annual audits for the public on use of bond proceeds.
What about Imperial Street? Didn't the District just sell that site? Can't they use those funds for facilities?
Yes, the District just sold the Imperial Street property. The majority of the proceeds of that sale, $16,000,000, have be invested to create a recurring revenue stream so that the District has enough money each year to pay for ongoing school maintenance obligations and technology infrastructure at each site. These funds will also be used for emergency repairs so that we don't have to use our reserve funds to pay for emergencies. In addition, the District has spent or committed $6,5000,000 to update disability access and to add classrooms to Center, Richmond, and the Middle School. It's also important to note that our Facilities Master Plan (FMP) details over $90 million dollars of critical facilities needs - the Imperial Street sale was not nearly enough to cover the cost of our comprehensive needs outlined in the plan.
Who makes the final decision on Measure ES?
The locally elected El Segundo USD Board of Education is the legal entity that placed Measure ES on the ballot, for local voters to decide. Ultimately, El Segundo Unified School District REGISTERED VOTERS will have the final say when they vote for Measure ES on the November 6, 2018 ballot.
If voters approve Measure ES, when will the work begin?
Once the measure is approved, the ESUSD will immediately focus on the most critical facilities needs. Safety and security upgrades will be the highest priorities. A schedule for funding projects will be developed so they can be completed on time and within budget.
Where can I go for more information?
For more information, visit elsegundousd.net or email Dr. Melissa Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org