The $42 million question: Can’t we all get on board to pass Measure E in March? Many who want the community to vote against Measure E are quick to say they know and agree that Culver City desperately needs a school facilities bond. Just not in March, they say. They want us to wait until November. Their logic is confounding.
The consequences of voting down Measure E in March are significant:
1) Let’s start with the biggest consequence of all: The district will be leaving millions and millions of dollars on the table. The state offers matching funds to districts that pass bonds, on a first-come, first-served basis. If we pass this bond in March, Culver City Unified will have access to an estimated additional $42 million from the state, on top of the intended $358 million the bond will generate. Suddenly, our school bond is worth $400 million at no extra cost to CCUSD or taxpayers.
2) Multiple districts up and down the state will have school facility bonds on the November ballot. When any or all of these pass, Culver City will have to get in line with everyone else, slowing down the application, approval and funding process. In addition, the competition for contractors will be stiff, causing construction costs to rise. And as anyone who monitored our last bond, Measure CC, would have to admit, parts of the implementation process, such as waiting for approval from the State Architect, can add months of delay. If Culver City is not ahead of the pack, we can count on many additional months as our plans wait at bottlenecks with scores of other districts. A March passage means Culver City can get started sooner, with lower construction costs, and work through summer to get some projects underway before fall 2024.
3) People who support Measure E are out campaigning now because the needs in our district are so dire now. Waiting another eight months will only further serve to delay sorely needed repairs.
4) Culver City’s November ballot will be crowded as heck with council candidates, school board candidates and a municipal park bond. Will a school facilities bond get the attention it truly deserves?
5) If the bond doesn’t pass in March, what makes anyone think it will pass in November? Why would people who buy into the “no” rhetoric now, change their minds and vote yes in November? For those who don’t trust the current School Board, electeds will turn over multiple times in the coming years, while Bond money is being spent. Don’t squander $42 million now over leadership that is destined to change.
In California, the ONLY way to fund major repairs, upgrades and construction of school facilities is with a bond. Oh, wait, “November” folks know that; and as stated above, agree that we absolutely need a school facilities bond. So why are they working so hard to sink Measure E instead of putting their time, energy, and voices into helping us pass this in March? That is the $42 million question.
Please vote YES on Measure E in March.
Parent, Former Linwood Howe PTA President