Over the past several months, the Irvine Unified School District (IUSD) has been communicating about the possibility of IUSD placing a School Facilities Improvement Measure on the June 2016 ballot, which would enable the District to begin modernizing schools that are more than 30 years old so that they have the same academic and safety features as Irvine’s newer school sites. During Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting, which included a public hearing on the matter, the Irvine Unified School District Board of Education voted unanimously to place the measure on the ballot and to establish a School Facilities Improvement District (SFID). The Board heard IUSD staff presentations and public comments from a capacity audience of parents, students and community members before making their decision.
If approved by 55 percent of voters in the areas identified by the SFID this June, the measure will provide an investment of up to $319 million in addressing the serious school facility issues that have been identified. The cost of the measure will be $29 per $100,000 of assessed value, (as opposed to market value, which is typically much higher) over a 30-year period. To provide some perspective, the estimated approximate cost to the average property owner will be about $10 per month.
Funds from this measure would be used to upgrade Irvine’s oldest schools by:
- Providing the facilities and equipment needed for career and technology classes so students are prepared for college and good paying jobs in fields like science, engineering, technology and skilled trades.
- Providing classrooms, science labs and school facilities that meet current academic, technology and safety standards.
- Ensuring that all schools have the classrooms and instructional spaces needed for Irvine’s world class art and music programs.
- Improving traffic and safety in and around schools.
- Updating instructional technology in the classroom for improved student learning in core subjects like reading and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
- Replacing aging roofs, plumbing, electrical systems, and heating and cooling systems.
- Ensuring classrooms, labs and other facilities are accessible for students with disabilities.
Only voters in the neighborhoods served by the oldest schools will vote on this measure and all property owners within the SFID will contribute to this investment in these schools. These are neighborhoods that are not currently receiving local facilities funding. Most property owners in the newest areas, who are already paying Community Facility District (CFD) fees toward infrastructure and school facility construction, will not be impacted by this measure. However, all IUSD students and families will see benefit from the bond, as most IUSD high schools and middle schools serving graduates of Irvine’s newest and oldest elementary schools will receive significant improvements.
The possibility of a modernization measure comes at a critical time, when funding for IUSD is at an extreme low. As recently reported in the Orange County Register, “Compared to unified districts across the nation, Irvine Unified – with more than 32,000 students enrolled – gets nearly $5,000 less per student; unified districts statewide, on average, get roughly $1,500 more than Irvine Unified does per student.
Schools included under the measure are:
|Elementary/K-8 Schools||Middle Schools||High Schools|
Bonita Canyon Meadow Park
Canyon View Oak Creek
College Park Santiago Hills
Deerfield Stone Creek
Eastshore Turtle Rock
Greentree University Park
Meadow Park Westpark
Northwood Plaza Vista K-8
Rancho San Joaquin
For more information and ongoing updates about the School Facilities Improvement Measure, visit iusd.org/schoolimprovements or email SFIMinfo@iusd.org. In addition to the information above, the School Facilities Improvement Measure webpage provides the following information:
- An overview of the need and why the Board voted to place the measure on the June 2016 ballot
- Frequently asked questions
- A map of the SFID
- PDF copies of mailers and information the District has sent to voters
- IUSD’s Legislative Priorities (including an overview of significant underfunding from the state)
- General information points
- Fiscal accountability information
- Contact information
- Key definitions