I am so excited about the passion and enthusiasm that so many have shown for improving our school facilities to make them an even better place for our community’s students to receive a great education. I am convinced that the entire school board shares in that excitement and looks forward to sending a fiscally-responsible ballot measure to the voters as soon as possible. I personally pledge to support just such a ballot measure as soon as the following necessary steps are completed by district staff and brought to the school board:
• The creation of a comprehensive facilities master plan that details the short and long term facilities needs of the district, prioritizes them based on the needs of our students, and determines a responsible way to provide maintenance on those facilities so that our schools remain the pride of our community for generations to come.
• Solicit and document stakeholder feedback on that facilities master plan from parents, students, district employees, and community members to ensure that all voices are heard and that our facilities become a great representation of our community’s diverse needs.
• Determine the most responsible payment mechanism for each item in the facilities master plan so that we save taxpayer money while simultaneously funding prioritized projects immediately.
• Reach out to senior and community groups (including civic organizations) to create a dialogue on our facilities needs and help them to understand how improvements to our school facilities helps all who live in this community.
• Conduct polling of our resident to track the impact that a bond measure would have on the renewal of our parcel tax (Measure EE) which would need to go to the voters in 2014. Measure EE has raised nearly $6 million for Culver City schools and has been used to fund arts programs, librarians, technology classes, and advanced placement programs. Without the renewal of that parcel tax, we may be unable to maintain our excellent educational programs. Before putting a bond measure on the ballot, we have to collect data and work strategically to ensure that we are able to BOTH improve our facilities and provide our students with the type of education that makes Culver City schools so special.
Asking our community’s taxpayers, including seniors and low income residents, to invest $3,340 over the next 25 or more years is a major step and requires all of us to create a united plan to spend that money wisely and responsibly. However, by working together to complete these 5 steps with urgency, we will lay the groundwork for a successful campaign and the types of beautiful and functional school facilities that match the superior education that the Culver City schools continue to offer.