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Frequently Asked Questions about the 2022 Bond Measure

 

What improvements have been made to Alameda schools in recent years?

In 2014, Alameda voters approved Measure I to upgrade and modernize our local schools. We’ve received overwhelmingly positive feedback from the community for these Phase I improvements, which have included: 

  • New classroom buildings at elementary and secondary sites

  • Modernized science labs and classrooms

  • Complete transformation of the campus at Encinal Junior and Senior High School

  • New, more secure offices at elementary and secondary schools

  • A new music room at Lincoln Middle School

  • An award-winning restoration and renovation of the Historic building at the Alameda High School

  • Safety and security upgrades at all campuses, including new fire alarms, locks, and PA systems

  • Infrastructure upgrades, including new HVAC systems, roofs, electrical, and technology

Is further work needed to repair, upgrade and modernize local schools?

Yes. While much of Phase I has already been completed, there is still more work to be done. In fact, the district’s 2014 Facilities Master Plan identified more than $590 million in facility needs. Measure I provided the necessary funding for the most urgent priority upgrades, but additional needs remain. As such, students at some schools are still learning in old and outdated classrooms and facilities and AUSD is committed to ensuring that each child has an equal opportunity for success in equitable school facilities. 

 

How would the District fund these needed upgrades?

The District has placed a bond measure on the June 2022 ballot to complete Phase II repairs and upgrades, including a potential bond measure. Funding from a bond measure would be locally controlled and entirely dedicated to AUSD schools, ensuring that all students have equal access to equitable and enriching facilities in modernized schools. 

 

Would these repairs support the community at large?

Yes, AUSD’s facilities benefit the whole community and are available for public use. Residents and local organizations regularly use our schools, athletic facilities, and performance spaces for community events.

 

What sort of basic repairs are included in Phase II?

Phase II would help finish basic repairs to keep schools safe, fully functioning and accessible. These include updates to outdated electrical, ventilation and fire safety systems and improvements to lighting and school security systems. Phase II would also include upgrades to performing arts spaces and athletic facilities at the secondary level.

 

Will Phase II fund new construction as well?

Yes, Phase II of AUSD’s bond program can help fund new, modernized classroom buildings and athletic facilities.

 

Does Phase II also include classroom modernizations and updates to meet current learning standards?

Yes, in addition to basic health and safety repairs, Phase II would fund updates to classrooms, labs and instructional technology. These updates are aimed at preparing students to compete at top colleges and for careers in today’s competitive global economy, in fields like computer science, medicine, biotech and media. 

 

How will the educational changes of the last two years affect Phase II?

All Phase II improvements will build upon the lessons we learned from the COVID-19 pandemic — such as the importance of improved ventilation systems and outdoor learning spaces — that place an emphasis on student, teacher and staff safety. 

 

What priority repairs and improvements could a bond measure support?

Bond measure funding would address high-priority facility needs in Alameda schools, including:

  • Keeping schools clean, well maintained and in good condition

  • Upgrading classrooms, science labs and career training facilities to support high-quality academic programs in science, technology, reading, writing and math

  • Creating new classroom buildings to replace deteriorating structures

  • Updating performance spaces, athletic facilities, gymnasiums and outdoor learning spaces

  • Replacing out-of-date plumbing to save water and improve water quality, and outdated heating/cooling systems for energy efficiency and safe air quality

  • Modernizing outdated middle school science labs to prepare students for high school and college 

  • Making essential upgrades to earthquake safety and school security, with improved lighting, electrical and security systems

Do bond measures include fiscal accountability provisions and taxpayer protections?

Yes, there are many legally required accountability measures built into bonds. If approved, a bond measure would be subject to the following requirements:

  • All funds would be spent in Alameda and could not be taken by the State

  • A detailed project list would ensure all funds are spent as promised 

  • Independent audits and a Citizens’ Oversight Committee would be required

  • No funds could be used for administrators’ salaries or benefits

How much would this measure cost?

The board placed a $298 million bond measure on the ballot to complete Phase II repairs, costing homeowners approximately $45 per $100,000 of assessed value annually. It’s important to note that the cost is derived from the assessed value of a home, not its current market value. Assessed value is based on the original purchase price of a home and is often much lower than its market value, particularly for longtime homeowners.

 

Didn’t we just pass Measures A and B1? Why do we need this?
In 2016 and 2020, Alameda voters passed two parcel taxes, Measures B1and A, respectively. Those funds are crucial for teacher retention and maintaining small class sizes and helped the district avoid massive layoffs and cuts to academic programming. In order to finish the basic repairs to keep schools safe and functioning and provide modern learning environments, a bond measure — which can only fund capital improvements — is needed.