IUSD Board of Education approves feasibility study for possible technology bond

The IUSD Board of Education voted Tuesday to move forward with a study designed to determine the feasibility of a technology bond.

By a 4-1 vote, board members secured the consulting services of Fieldman Rolapp & Associates, TBWB Strategies and True North Research. Experts from the latter firm will conduct polling to gauge public support for the bond, which could be used to generate new revenue for 21st century learning strategies.

IUSD is in the process of exploring new technologies as a means of leveraging the talents of its staff and making the most out of classroom time, but high-tech educational tools require a more modern and robust technology infrastructure. A bond would allow IUSD to rebuild its aging infrastructure and upgrade its data systems, leading to greater opportunities for customized learning, enhanced engagement and collaboration, and immediate assessment feedback.

While Tuesday’s action represented a very preliminary step, the board is expected to use the results of the feasibility study to decide whether to draft a measure and begin public outreach. Consultants have identified June 2014 and November 2014 as potential election dates.

As we noted in an earlier post, a technology bond requires at least 55 percent of the vote, and proceeds can be used to pay for construction, rehabilitation or replacement of school facilities and equipment, as well as the acquisition or lease of property. Voters in the Tustin Unified School District approved a $135 million technology bond measure in November.

Board OKs modified solar plan for Uni

Also Tuesday, the board voted in favor of a new design layout for solar panels at University High School.

In July, as part of the second phase of IUSD’s solar initiative, board members voted to place two rows of vehicle shade structures topped with the photovoltaic panels in Uni’s parking lot along Campus Drive. However, it was later determined that the configuration encroached on city property.

Staff came back Tuesday night with a revised recommendation to have a smaller strip of the vehicle shade structures along Campus Drive, as well as two rows of structures in the parking lot that faces Culver Drive to achieve comparable savings. After some discussion, the board approved a single row of shade structures along Campus Drive.