Board Places Bond on November Ballot
The Long Beach Unified School District’s Board of Education recently approved the placement of a $1.7 billion health, safety and student achievement bond measure on the Nov. 8, 2022, ballot. The unanimous decision aligns with strong public support for repairing aging schools and coincides with the Board’s approval of LBUSD’s 2022 Facility Master Plan (FMP).
The District’s previous bond measures have funded the ground-up construction or rebuild of six schools, technology upgrades, accessibility and earthquake safety improvements, and the installation of new, high-efficiency air conditioning systems at more than half of the schools included in the Measure E program.
Proceeds from the new bond measure would provide funding for critical health and safety repairs and upgrades that enhance campus safety. Bond proceeds would also upgrade school facilities to meet 21st century learning standards and provide new, high-efficiency air conditioning at aging campuses that did not need air conditioning under the Measure E program but now have systems approaching end of life.
Additional repairs are necessary as more than 80% of the District’s school buildings are over a half-century old.
“Many of our aging school buildings were built 60 to 70 years ago, and they’ll continue deteriorating without intervention,” Superintendent Jill A. Baker said. “We encourage voters to participate in the November election.”
The new measure will require approval by at least 55% of voters who cast ballots on Nov. 8.
Nearly seven in 10 local voters polled in a recent phone survey believe LBUSD needs significant additional funding to renovate and modernize aging campuses. Renovations that improve plumbing systems, repair leaky roofs, provide safe drinking water, remove lead paint, asbestos and mold, and upgrade security systems top the list of priority projects for survey respondents.
LBUSD’s 2022 FMP was developed with input from community members, students, teachers, staff and District leaders. In community forums and an online FMP survey, LBUSD stakeholders expressed an interest in increasing student access to green spaces and career education classrooms that prepare students for high-paying jobs. The plan, available on the District’s website, identifies school-by-school needs that would cost an estimated $3.8 billion for all projects.