Even taking into account the tough financial times individuals and government officials are dealing with now and will face in the months and years ahead, we believe voters need to jump on board and support Proposition S.
The school bond measure would pump more than $13 million into La Jolla’s five public schools, bringing an array of improvements that the schools need from security enhancements to technology upgrades as well as fixes needed to meet federal Americans with Disabilities Act standards. Part of the money this time is allocated to the schools - $150 per student - to use on what those on the campuses feel is needed most.
The measure would not be a new or increased tax but rather a continuation of the $66.70 rate per $100,000 of assessed value approved when Proposition MM was passed. Currently set to expire in 2029, the assessment would be extended to 2044.
We acknowledge, as have school officials, that Prop. S’s predecessor had some problems with its execution, from mismanaged contracts to poor planning.
For example, at La Jolla High School Prop. MM brought some new walkways to improve access for disabled students and visitors. But when a contractor found a boulder in the way and its removal wasn’t budgeted for, he merely ended at the top of the steps and left a still troublesome path on the campus.
At a recent meeting attended by LJHS administrators, district representatives and the architects working on the school’s master plan, it was made very clear that if the school and community “support Prop S that the implementation will be different this time and that the needs of La Jolla High School will, in fact, be addressed.”
We second that motion and applaud those who have met with parents and teachers to develop priorities for their campuses. In some cases they’ve weeded out some of the “boilerplate” projects that they say aren’t essential and come up with new ideas that make more sense.
Let’s give our schools some of the money they need to improve the learning environment. But let’s also hold school officials’ feet to the fire and see that the jobs that are done are those that are needed and that they’re done right this time.