A: Measure A is a school facility improvement bond measure authorizing $250 million in improvements and upgrades for schools in the Garden Grove Unified School District. Voter approval of Measure A allows the district to receive an additional $200 million in State matching funds to repair, modernize, and upgrade classrooms throughout the district, depending on each school's most critical facilities need. Such projects may include renovating electrical circuitry, plumbing, lighting, roofing, intercom, and fire safety systems; improving energy efficiency; replacing doors, windows, and outdated heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems; updating playground safety matting; upgrading telecommunications systems to accommodate current technology; replacing restroom and drinking fountain fixtures; and retrofitting schools for better accessibility for the disabled.
A: The Board of Education placed the bond measure on the June 8, 2010, ballot. All the registered voters living within the boundaries of the Garden Grove Unified School District are eligible to vote for Measure A.
A: General obligation (G.O.) bonds fund real property improvements such as modernization, repairs, upgrades, and new construction projects. Bond funds cannot be used for administrator or teacher salaries or operating expenses. Similar to a home loan, G.O. bonds are repaid over 25 to 40 years. The loan repayment comes from an ad valorem property assessment on all property located within the district’s boundaries: residential, vacant, commercial, and industrial. This funding method is widely used by school districts throughout California.
A: Schools in the district range in age from 37 to 89 years old. By the end of the current school year, more than half of district schools will be in excess of 50 years old. The schools have been well maintained over the years, but the modernization requirements to maintain our schools exceed the limited and restricted resources available for facilities repair and renovation. Safety and structural standards have increased since these buildings were built. Also, advances in technology require schools to have adequate and updated electrical wiring and distribution systems so new computer equipment may be added or operate without overloading outdated or insufficient power systems.
A: In developing the scope of projects, district staff – working with federal and state agencies, architects, and school construction experts – determined the requirements for meeting current health and safety needs and code requirements so that the most critical facility needs are addressed. The district’s Facilities Needs Analysis for Modernization was updated in 2009 listing the proposed improvements in a draft facility needs assessment report.
A: The annual property assessment will be approximately $35 per $100,000 of assessed valuation; about $7.17 a month or $0.25 a day for the average single family residential homeowner in this district ($244,720 average assessed valuation of a single family home). Do not confuse assessed valuation with market value. Assessed valuation is the value placed on property by the county pursuant to Proposition 13 and is typically much lower than the market value for which a property may be sold.
A: Under state law, bond money can only be used to acquire, construct, or improve school facilities. Bond funds are kept and monitored by the County Treasurer to ensure proper fund allocation. The payment of teacher and administrator salaries or operating expenses unrelated to the bond measure projects is strictly prohibited. There will also be a Citizen’s Oversight Committee to assure the appropriate expenditure of bond funds.
A: State lottery money accounts for approximately 1.3% of the Garden Grove Unified School District’s budget. Under state law, lottery money is restricted for student education and classroom purposes only and cannot be used for construction or repair of school facilities.
A: YES! The district qualifies for $200 million in state matching funds for modernization projects. These are tax dollars you are already paying through your personal taxes. To access these dollars, the district must have the required matching funds. Otherwise, our tax dollars will go to other school districts that can provide the local matching funds requirement.
A: School facilities are community assets. Without Measure A funding, maintenance and repair costs will continue to escalate beyond a level which the district can meet with existing resources. The district will always strive to maintain its facilities in a condition expected by the community, but those efforts may be hampered as infrastructure modernization needs outpace available funds to support such projects.
A: By law, a Citizen’s Oversight Committee must be formed to ensure funds from Measure A are spent properly. This group acts as the “eyes and ears” of the community. The committee must be comprised of a bona fide taxpayer’s group representative, senior citizen, business owner, district parent, and a district parent who is active in a parent-teacher organization, and it will work directly with the Garden Grove Unified School District. Independent audits by a qualified accounting firm (C.P.A.) must be conducted annually and be available for public inspection.
A: The lack of proper facilities affects teaching and learning. Improved electrical systems allow students and teachers to safely access technology. Renovated facilities protect the community’s investment in schools and help preserve property values.
A: Community members can visit the district website at www.ggusd.us or by calling the district at (714) 663-6503.