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BILL PRESTRIDGE, San Clemente
There is a lot of false and misleading information about the school bond Measure H in our community. Accusations of mismanagement and alternative bond measures that will fix our schools are floating around.
The real truth is that Capistrano Unified School District has the lowest rate of school levies in Orange County. Our district receives $7.45 for every $100,000 of our home’s assessed value.
The average in Orange County is $38, and in some districts, it is closer to $80. To put it bluntly, our community has not been paying for the maintenance that San Clemente High School and Las Palmas Elementary School desperately need.
These schools are falling apart. The state does not and will not pay for the maintenance and upkeep of our schools. Instead, the state leaves that up to each community.
The bond issue that was passed over 20 years ago was spread out districtwide so each school got a little something, but not enough to fix the bigger issues at our oldest schools like SC High, which was built in 1965, and Las Palmas, which dates to the 1920s.
Measure H is only for schools in San Clemente, particularly SCHS and Las Palmas, and has very strict guidelines where the monies will be spent. One can go online and read the reams of information on this.
For those worried about the health of their bank accounts, modern, up-to-date schools will lead to increases in property values in the area. But most importantly, we will not receive matching funds from the state when Proposition 13 passes if we do not pass measure H.
To qualify for matching funds, a district must have passed a local school bond. So, if Measure H does not pass, we will be paying higher taxes that will go to other districts that have passed local school bonds.
One last thing, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, for every $1 spent on public schools in a community, home values increased $20. Do not be penny wise and pound foolish.