Feasibility Study for General Obligation Bond


Although it appears that our schools are in good shape based on achievements by our students, our school facilities need to be improved.  Faced with aging classrooms and the need to bring school facilities up to current standards, the Snowline Joint Unified School District is considering placing a general obligation bond measure on the November 2024 ballot that would modernize and renovate our aging schools.  A feasibility study is being conducted now through telephone calls to community members to determine if there is support to pursue the bond measure.


The following information is provided to assist voters in understanding the facts behind the proposed measure and how its passage will affect the District and our community.


What is the proposed measure?

The proposed measure is a $98.7 million general obligation (G.O.) bond program.  The measure is intended to address the needs of the student population through modernization and renovation projects at the District’s 13 schools.


What is a G.O. bond?

G.O. bonds fund projects such as the renovation of classrooms and school facilities, as well as construction of new schools and classrooms.  Similar to a home loan, G.O. bonds are typically repaid over 30 years.  The loan repayment comes from a tax on all taxable property - residential, commercial, agricultural, and industrial - located within the District’s boundaries.


Why is the District considering placing a measure on the ballot?

Our schools are outdated and major upgrades and renovations need to be made.  Although our schools have been well maintained over the years, they are old with aging classrooms and facilities that do not meet 21st century standards.  Some of our schools were built over 80 years ago. Today, our schools need major classroom and infrastructure improvements to maintain the quality of education provided to local students.  By investing in our schools, we can meet today’s safety, technological, and educational standards as well as better our community.


How did the District come up with the project list for the proposed measure?

Over several months with input from staff, teachers, parents, community leaders, and an architect, the District has prepared a School Facilities Needs Analysis.  The Needs Analysis identifies the major repairs and upgrades that need to be made. 

Specific projects identified include:

  • Repairing or replacing leaky roofs
  • Constructing career technical education classrooms and labs to better prepare students for employment after high school
  • Modernizing outdated classrooms, restrooms, and school facilities
  • Replacing outdated heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems
  • Making health, safety, and security improvements
  • Upgrading inadequate electrical systems


Why can’t the District meet its facilities needs with its current budget?

Today, the scope of improvements needed at the Snowline Joint Unified School District is far more than the current funding sources available.  The per pupil funding which the District receives from the state is intended to be used for the day-to-day business of educating children and not the cost of upgrading, modernizing, and repairing facilities.


What will the passage of the proposed measure mean for our students and the community?

The proposed measure will provide our students with a better learning environment by making repairs and upgrades to existing classrooms and school facilities; many of which are also used by and available to the community such as our multipurpose rooms and playing fields.


What will happen if the proposed measure does not pass?

If the proposed measure does not pass, our classrooms and school facilities will continue to deteriorate.  In addition, funds that would otherwise go to classroom instruction will be needed to make critical safety repairs and improvements at each school.  Major repairs will need to be postponed and as a result will potentially be more expensive to make.


What will the proposed measure cost?

The tax rate per property owner is estimated to be $60 per $100,000 of assessed valuation per year. (Please do not confuse assessed valuation with market value.  Assessed valuations are the value placed on property by the County and are almost always lower than market values). Check your property tax statement for your current assessed valuation.


How can I be sure that funds will be spent on improving our local schools?

By law, all bond funds have to be spent locally and cannot be taken by the state.  In addition, a local independent citizens’ oversight committee will be established to ensure that bond funds are properly spent.  Also by law, there must be annual audits of expenditures and no bond money can be used for teacher or administrative salaries.