Measure A2022 Bond
The Lompoc Unified School District (LUSD) was established as a unified school district in 1959 and educates students in the City of Lompoc, Vandenberg Village, Mesa Oaks, Mission Hills, Vandenberg Space Force Base, and the rural areas adjacent to these communities. The District covers approximately 300 square miles and currently serves approximately 9,000 students. The District operates nine elementary schools, two middle schools, two high schools, one continuation high school, and an adult education school. In all, LUSD facilities total about 1.2 million square feet of floor space.
LUSD schools were constructed over time since the 1950s and have served many generations of students well. The facilities have been maintained with local, federal, and state funds, as well as with donations from community members and philanthropic organizations. However, most of LUSD’s classrooms and buildings are now over 60 years old and need comprehensive repair and modernization beyond the scope of the District’s maintenance budget.
The District began planning efforts several years ago to identify needed facilities improvements as well as options to fund the projects. The process focused on achieving the District’s goal of establishing 21st Century school modernization and upgrade projects to better prepare students to compete and succeed in access to colleges or careers and high-paying jobs upon graduation.
The governing body of a school district does not have the power or ability to levy a sales tax, and the annual revenues the District receives from the State are not designed to fund this scope of modernization or construction of school buildings. After careful consideration, the Board selected a new General Obligation (G.O.) bond program to fund the needed projects.
G.O. bonds are a mechanism frequently used by California school districts to fund similar projects, and the District successfully used such a program in 2002 to complete some school construction and improvement programs. Subsequent attempts by the District to implement a G.O. bond program garnered support from a majority of voters but did not meet the threshold for approval. On that basis, the Board prepared a revised school improvement plan which focuses on projects that are priorities of the community as identified by a sample survey of LUSD area residents.
The District then established a plan of finance in which the aggregate tax rate for outstanding bonds plus the new Measure A2022 bonds is projected to not exceed the Fiscal Year 2021-22 tax rate of approximately $0.072 per $100 of assessed value. The plan accomplishes this by issuing Measure A2022 bonds only as bonds from the prior election are paid, thereby avoiding an increase in the total tax rate. More information may be found in the Tax Rate Statement included in the School Board Resolution calling the election.
The District established the final Facilities Improvement and Bond Program Plan in May 2022 and called for an election to authorize a new bond program at their June 14, 2022, Board meeting. The County subsequently assigned the designation Measure A2022 to the election.
Measure A2022 would require a “Yes” vote on at least 55% of the votes cast to pass and would provide the funding to make needed facility upgrades at all LUSD schools to meet current academic and safety standards. If approved by voters, the Measure would generate $125 million in locally controlled funding with no projected increase in the overall tax rate for school bonds and could also make the District eligible to receive an estimated $46 million in State grants through the State School Facilities Program. Measure A2022 will improve all school sites, and the proposed projects include the following components:
- All permanent classrooms will be modernized to receive 21st Century upgrades to meet District and State specifications and curriculum programs
- Kindergarten classrooms will be constructed or upgraded to meet enrollment and State standards, including Title 5 requirements for age-appropriate facilities
- Additional vocational and career training facilities will be constructed at each High School to accommodate State standards and the planned educational curriculum
- New science labs will be provided, and classrooms will be updated to support STEM and STEAM academies at each middle school
- School building security will be improved for better student and teacher safety
By law, an independent Oversight Committee shall be established to inform the public about expenditures of bond proceeds, and annual financial and performance audits must be conducted by an external audit firm to ensure that proceeds are expended only for the purposes defined in the measure and that no proceeds are used for staff or administrative salaries or benefits. A copy of the Facilities Improvement and Bond Program Plan, as well as the Board Resolution, have been posted as a link below for public review.
For more information about the November 8, 2022, General Election or to obtain information about registering to vote, visit the County of Santa Barbara Elections website at https://www.countyofsb.org/164/Elections. All registered voters living in the Lompoc Unified School District will be eligible to vote on the Measure.