Measure W Frequently Asked Questions
What is Measure W?
Measure W DEFINED: Measure W is a local school bond measure on the November 3, 2020 ballot seeking voter authorization to repair and upgrade school facilities and equipment within Oceanside Unified School District (OUSD). To pass, the measure must secure at least 55% support among Oceanside voters casting ballots in the November 3, 2020, Election, and voting on this measure. A “YES vote” approves funding to implement the District’s bond plan to repair and upgrade impacted schools; a “NO vote” rejects the Plan. All Oceanside residents registered to vote within Oceanside Unified School District boundaries are eligible to vote on this measure.
Why has the Oceanside Unified School District (OUSD) placed Measure W on the ballot?
Oceanside Unified School District believes all students deserve to learn in quality classrooms and school facilities. As part of our commitment to maintaining a high quality of education in neighborhood K-12 schools, one of our key priorities is the ongoing assessment of OUSD school facilities and technology needs at all 23 school sites. Our reality: OUSD schools are aging. Many are 40+ years old. Jefferson Middle School was built in 1954 – 66 years ago. Additionally, the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are creating additional challenges for school districts trying to meet current health and safety standards. Unfortunately, the level of school funding provided by the State of California is one of the lowest in the nation. We need local funding to fill in the gap in order to provide facilities that will help keep our kids safe and give them a quality learning environment to be prepared for college and careers of the future.
What is the actual question that voters will be asked to decide in November?
“To protect quality schools and upgrade aging facilities, shall Oceanside Unified School District’s measure to: Upgrade classrooms for science, technology, engineering, arts, math instruction; Address school earthquake, fire, health and safety standards; Modernize computers and technology; and Repair or replace deteriorating roofs, plumbing, electrical, heating and cooling systems; by issuing $160,000,000 in bonds at legal rates, providing approximately $9,100,000 annually, levying 3¢ per $100 of assessed value while bonds are outstanding, with independent oversight and audits, be adopted?”
What is required for Measure W to pass (win)?
At least 55% of the voters who cast their ballots on Measure W in the November 3, 2020 Election must vote in favor of the bond for it to be approved. Measure W is being sought under the provisions of State Proposition 39, which prohibits the use of bond funds for operations or administrator salaries, benefits, or pensions, and also requires independent financial and performance audits on the use of bond proceeds.
How will Measure W funds be used?
• Modernize science, technology, engineering, and math instructional spaces
• Renovate classrooms and labs for hands-on 21st-century learning
• Improve computers and technology - for both classrooms and safe online/distance learning
• Repair or replace deteriorating roofs, plumbing, electrical, heating, and cooling systems
• Upgrade student-support facilities and instructional equipment
• Complete safety upgrades to meet current earthquake, fire, health, and safety standards
By law, ALL Measure W funds MUST stay local, dedicated to Oceanside Unified School District schools ONLY.
What about other funding?
Our school district makes every effort to use resources wisely; however, the burden is growing to ensure needed instruction and modern facilities in our local schools. OUSD continues to explore all options – including seeking State matching funds when they become available, to leverage local taxpayer dollars even further in the effort to improve our local schools. To be eligible for state matching funds in California, local school districts must provide a “local match” in the form of authorized local funding from the passage of a voter-approved school bond.
What about ongoing maintenance at OUSD schools?
Oceanside Unified maintenance and operations staff work hard to keep our schools in adequate working conditions with limited resources. While the District is funded to perform ongoing building maintenance, the kinds of upgrades we need – especially major renovations and modernization of aging school buildings – are not funded, other than turning to our General Fund, which would likely take resources away from core teaching and learning.
What about the Lottery or Proposition 30? Weren’t they supposed to fix our schools?
Unfortunately, Lottery funds can only be used for classroom instruction, not facility or technology infrastructure upgrades. Moreover, the money OUSD receives from the Lottery each year comprises less than 3% of our annual General Fund Budget. Proposition 30 funds, approved by California voters in November 2012, restored earlier classroom cuts but did not provide any “new” funding for schools or school facilities. Neither Lottery nor Prop 30 funds can provide the funding solution that our local schools need for repairs, upgrades, and modernization.
Have there been other OUSD school bonds? If so, when?
OUSD strives to be a model of financial responsibility, making every effort to spend taxpayer dollars wisely. We greatly appreciate the passage of two previous school bonds, approved by local voters, which have helped address critical school needs. These are Proposition H, passed 12 years ago in 2008 to improve learning and ensure local students’ access to comparable, modern classrooms, facilities, and technology; and Proposition G, passed in 2000 to upgrade technology and to repair and renovate classrooms. Measure W is on the ballot to obtain authorization for the next set of upgrades to OUSD schools. All schools require ongoing safety and security upgrades.
Who is eligible to vote on Measure W?
All residents within Oceanside Unified School District’s boundaries who are registered to vote by October 19 are eligible to vote on Measure W.
What if I am not currently registered to vote? What do I need to know? How can I register to vote?
The last day to register to vote is October 19, 2020, online or by postmark. Additionally, anyone can register to vote conditionally until your information is verified. Visit sdvote.com to learn more.
How much will Measure W cost?
The $160 million bond currently translates to about $30 per $100,000 of ASSESSED property value. The “assessed” value of your home refers to the taxable value, not its market value. The taxable value of your home or business will depend on when you purchased it. The median assessed value in Oceanside is $323,121 which translates to $97 per year. Approval of Measure W will support locally-controlled funding for critically needed Oceanside Unified School District school facility improvements.
Will businesses share in the cost of Measure W?
Yes, both commercial and residential property owners will be subject to Measure W assessments, if it passes.
Who makes the final decision on a local school bond?
The locally elected Governing Board of the Oceanside Unified School District is the legal entity that placed Measure W on the ballot. Ultimately, Oceanside Unified School District registered voters will have the final say on whether or not Measure W is implemented when they vote on the measure on November 3, 2020.
How can we be assured that Measure W money will be spent properly?
Taxpayer protections are REQUIRED. All Measure W funds stay local - they cannot be taken away by the State or used for other purposes. ONLY facilities and equipment upgrades are allowed. Measure W requires the establishment of a Citizens’ Oversight Committee within 60 days after a successful election result is certified. This Committee is responsible for monitoring bond finances to ensure the public that the money is being spent properly. Measure W also requires independent annual audits for the public on the use of bond proceeds.
Doesn’t the STATE provide funding for facility upgrades?
The State does provide funding, but there is a long waitlist, considerable uncertainty, and no guarantees. Moreover, in order to access State funding, school districts must generate local matching funds by passing a local school bond measure. In fact, passing a local bond is the ONLY way to qualify for additional State funding when it becomes available. There are no other sources of funding, outside of turning to our General Fund (which would take funding away from teaching and learning) for the major facility upgrades OUSD needs.
If voters approve Measure W, when will the work begin?
Once the measure is approved, the District will immediately focus on the most critical facilities needs, starting with safety and security upgrades. A schedule for funding projects will be developed so projects can be completed on time and within budget.