Measure ES — Is It Fair To All Concerned?

Equal access to the best quality public education is essential to our country’s common good.

In my opinion, school bond financing is not fair, it’s not equitable, and it’s the most expensive method of paying for school facility upgrades and modernization. The October 25, 2016 SGV Tribune Editorial on Prop 51 and School Bonds states: “…. we’ve come to see bonds as an inefficient and financially burdensome way to fund school districts.”

Every property owner benefits equally from high quality, well maintained , safe and secure schools. So it would make sense that every property owner should share equally in payment, but that’s not how it works.

The law limits the maximum property tax payment to $60 per $100,000 of assessed property value. That means that in the same neighborhood of similarly valued homes, someone who just bought a home could pay $600 or more a year, but a property owner that has lived in that same neighborhood for over 30 years could pay as little as $100 a year. This disparity is not equitable.

School bond financing does not promote equal access to the highest quality education available. The maximum amount of money West Covina can borrow works out to approximately $9 million dollars per school. But a high-wealth, high-income school district like Beverly Hills can borrow up to $110 million dollars per school. By using School Bond financing a high-wealth, high-income school district can spend as much as ten times more on upgrading their schools — far more than the vast majority of school districts in the state of California. That’s not fair to all concerned.

School bond funding is economically discriminatory and does not promote equal access to the highest quality education to all children. A vote for Measure ES is a vote to continue this archaic and unfair method of school facility financing. As the Tribune Editorial states: “Rather than forcing school districts into looking at less-expensive and more targeted ways to place much-needing investment into our schools, continuing to approve bond measures only encourages greater public indebtedness.”

According to West Covina Superintendent Hinman, this $143 million school bond will cost the taxpayers over $257 million. That means, after issuance costs, only 55% of taxpayer money will go to improve our schools and 45% will go to increase the wealth of high income taxpayers. That’s just not right, it’s not fair to our society, and it’s not fair to our children. It’s not fair to all concerned.

Please consider voting NO on Measure ES. Our children deserve better, we deserve better.