Local voters are being asked to support a $1.5 billion school district bond measure to not only complete the work of the earlier bond Measure K approved in 2008, but to ensure that all of the K-12 facilities are in the best condition possible to provide the best education possible for students. This includes repairs, retrofits, new construction, technology upgrades and much more.


The Long Beach Board of Education voted to place the measure on the November 8 ballot. For the measure to pass, 55% of voters must support it. The $1.2 billion Measure K bond was supported by 71% of voters. Additionally, a recent phone survey showed that more than seven in 10 local voters believe additional funding is needed to “modernize and improve campuses.”


To provide voters full transparency about the measure, the Business Journal asked school district officials to respond to several questions. Also, the district has a seven-member citizens oversight committee, which “is charged with informing the public about Measure K projects, reviewing Measure K expenditures, and developing an annual report to the board of education on the progress of projects.” The next meeting of the oversight committee is September 22, 5 p.m. at Poly High School Construction Trailer, 1600 Atlantic Ave.


LBBJ: What is the cost to property owners and how many years does the assessment last?


LBUSD: We estimate $60 per $100,000 of assessed valuation (not market value, but assessed value). Measure K was the same. Such bonds are issued in series with estimated financing terms of up to 30 years.


LBBJ: If the measure passes, when does it go into effect?


LBUSD: The billing would begin with the 2017-18 property tax bill.


LBBJ: Is the assessment the same for a  residence as it is for an office building, industrial park, strip center, etc.?


LBUSD: Yes. The estimated rate would apply to all taxable property at $60 per $100,000 of assessed value (not market value) regardless of the type of property, whether residential, commercial or industrial.


LBBJ: Are government facilities exempt from the assessment? Is there any other property exempt?


LBUSD: Government, non-profits and churches are the only types of exempt property.


LBBJ: What is the estimated total cost of the bond at the conclusion of the assessment?


LBUSD: The estimated total cost is $3.8 billion.


LBBJ: Is there a specific list of projects that the bond measure is targeting? In other words, as stated by the district, “needed improvements to meet 21st Century safety and environmental standards.”


LBUSD: The overall facilities need remains at more than $3 billion, even after Measure K. We knew all along that Measure K would not meet all needs, so we began by addressing high priority projects.  Should the bond measure pass in November, we would again address higher priority needs, focusing on health and safety-related repairs and upgrades. That includes air conditioning as one component.  We estimate the cost of air conditioning the entire district to be more than $700 million, including the necessary upgrades to electrical and other equipment.


Many of our schools were built 60 to 70 years ago. Beyond air conditioning, there is also a great need to fix deteriorating bathrooms and leaky roofs, upgrade fire alarms and security systems, improve plumbing and electrical wiring to increase water conservation and energy efficiency, and make upgrades to meet newer handicap accessibility and earthquake safety laws.  We posted this related item online right after the board’s June decision to call for the bond election, and it includes links to supporting materials: http://lbschools.net/Departments/Newsroom/article.cfm?articleID=2242.


Among the supporting materials is the newly updated Facility Master Plan for our district, with a school-by-school project list: http://lbschools.net/District/measurek/pdfs/LBUSD-Facilty-Master-Plan-Update-2016.pdf.


LBBJ: What specifically has been completed with the funds from Measure K, and can you put a dollar figure with each project?


LBUSD: Most of the $1.2 billion in Measure K funding has been used or allocated. A list of completed and current Measure K projects, with dollar figures, is available on the Measure K website: http://www.lbschools.net/District/measurek/measurek.cfm.