By Allison Jarrell 

After Capistrano Unified School District’s Measure M failed to pass Nov. 8, district officials have said they intend to remain focused on improving school facilities and will increase outreach to city officials regarding the district’s facility needs.

The CUSD Board of Trustees placed the $889 million general obligation on the ballot in an effort to leverage state funds for more than $800 million in deferred facilities maintenance.

Measure M failed with 72,915 votes (45.5 percent). The bond needed 55 percent of the vote to pass.

In a post-election press release, board president Amy Hanacek wrote that with more than “4 million square feet of building space and inadequate funding,” the district still faces facility challenges such as “leaky roofs, HVAC, plumbing and electrical issues, security and fire safety, insufficient classroom and bathroom spaces for overcrowded schools, classroom technology upgrades, access for special needs students” and more.

At the board’s Nov. 16 meeting, Hanacek said she hopes to improve communication with city officials so they understand that the children in their communities “need more from them than a photo opportunity or a handshake at graduation.”

In addition to continuing those conversations, the district has created two new opportunities for community oversight—the Community Facilities District Citizen’s Oversight and Advisory Commission, and the School Facilities and Finance Administrative Advisory Committee. To learn more about the new committees, visit www.capousd.org.

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