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Raise Taxes and Repair Schools?

The Pajaro Valley Unified School District talks Wednesday evening about a possible bond measure.

There's a 60-day window at to rennovate an old bathroom that, for years, has been used as a storage closet.

But the school, built 75 years ago, needed the additional facilities for its 600 students, so a work crew is hustling to get the bathroom built (and as of Wednesday, they're about 13 days in).

It's just one of many shortcomings at the aging Pajaro Valley Unified School District schools, and why the school board is considering floating a bond measure later this year to fund facilities improvements.

"We're hoping we can do something at all of our schools with old buildings," said Murry Schekman, the assistant superintendent for secondary education for PVUSD.

Wednesday, the Board of Trustees will meet to discuss the bond options: $210 million, $160 million and $110 million.

A phone survey done of about 450 would-be voters last fall indicated the most people would support about $150 million for a bond measure. A substantial number also said they'd vote for the $210 million option, according to information presented to the school board earlier this year.

The $200 million bond would increase property taxes within the Pajaro Valley Unified School District $50.97 per $100,000 of assessed value. That means if your house is worth $300,000, you'd pay $152.94 more in property taxes each year.

By comparison, a $100 million bond would cost $76.46 more for a homeowner with a $300,000 home.

The bond would pay for a long list of improvements at dozens of schools: computers in Aptos, science classrooms at Watsonville High, athletic facilities at Pajaro Valley High, solar carports and less-sexy repairs, like roofs and bathroom upgrades.

"At E.A. Hall, one of the things that's really in need is that field out there," Schekman said. "... It breeds gophers, not athletics."

For a full list of the costs to big each PVUSD school up to par, .

Improving the school district's oldest and newest high schools is a priority. Watsonville High has electrical problems its science wing, which was built seven decades ago, among other issues. PV High, built a decade ago, has never been finished and Schekman said that affects student morale.

"We really need to finish the high school," Schekman said. "PV deserves its own athletic facility."

Parents and staff from some schools came to an earlier school board meeting . People can weigh in at Wednesday's meeting as well.

The meeting is at 6 p.m. Wednesday in .

For specifics about what repairs and imrpovements each school would get with the varying levels of possible bond funding, read the PDF attached to this story.

beviej April 18, 2012 at 02:12 PM
Isn't the vast amounts of money that people spend on the lottery supposed to take care of school problems? Politicians keep raising taxes but they never learn how to budget and spend wisely and they never will.
Cathy P. April 18, 2012 at 03:05 PM
If economic times weren't as tough as they are right now, I'd have no problem voting yes on this. I know the schools needs improving and upgrading but why is it always on the backs of homeowners??? Seems to me there has to be a fairer way to spread the financial pain. I don't even have kids in the schools and my property taxes could go up over $200. Why can't those with the kids pay for the improvements? And what happened to that $58 million voters aproved in 2002?
David H. Perez April 18, 2012 at 03:33 PM
I pretty much agree with itsmecissy. As a member of the community, yes, I am willing to pay my fair share to support the schools, even though I have never had any children in these public schools. But I wonder why it always has to fall on the backs of the homeowners. I also wonder what percentage of parents that have children in our Pajaro Valley Schools and use these services are actually homeowners themselves. Renters are also members of community and should also have to pay their fair share. One would figure that the added property taxes would trickle down from the landowner to the renter, but that is not necessarily the case. The only way I could vote in favor of this measure is if there were a more equitable way to distribute the financial burden than to put it all on homeowners.
Randy C. April 18, 2012 at 05:19 PM
I agree with Mr.Perez and itsmecissy regarding the proposed taxes. Yes the schools need repairs and upgrades but the burden should be shared equally by the entire community. Homeowners should not be the only ones to bear the brunt of the costs. I have a child in school now but was a homeowner for nearly 20 years before requiring the use of a local school. New PVUSD school and Cabrillo College bond proposals should be paid for with a sales tax increase so that everyone pays their fair share and impact on individual families is decreased. Contrary to popular belief, homeowners struggle to make their payments and stay solvent. That $150-250 added to their annual property tax can pay for groceries, car repairs, or a utility bill.
Cynthia April 18, 2012 at 07:14 PM
I agree with all your comments as a homeowner. This financial crisis is tough! In the other hand, as an elementary teacher something must be done. Things have changed drastically with all the cuts education has endured over the past few years. Please keep in mind, we are investing in the future of our community. If one day you do decide to have children, what type of education or school facilities would they deserve?... If we want our WATSONVILLE schools to produce our own professionals, and educated people, then it starts here, at OUR SCHOOLS!!!
David H. Perez April 19, 2012 at 09:52 PM
Cynthia, I don't think any of us disagree with you that education is the best thing we could invest in. But it is unfair to expect just the homeowners to bear the economic burden. Many of us would support a local sales tax increase so that EVERYBODY shares the cost. Unless something like this is considered, I and many local homeowners will vote this down.
A Half Century Resident in the County April 19, 2012 at 11:05 PM
Fixing Schools is a wonderful idea . . So let the individual areas pay for it . . Not just have the Aptos/Corralitos areas pay for fixing the Watsonville schools while ingoring the Aptos area schools. In fact . . seperate the school districts . . allow the Aptos taxpayers to pay for fixing the Aptos schools and the Watsonville area taxpayers to pay for fixing the Watsonville area schools. . . Oh I'm sorry . . that would be racist. . .
BLACK April 30, 2012 at 02:53 AM
I don't understand this,! NO NO NO! Budget yours selfs dumb FUCKS... THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA IS BULL SHIT!!!!! MR Schekman is no good.. i can't afford $586.00 A week for STUPID SHIT!!!!! YOU AND MR GREEN LEAF, ARE NO GOOD.. AS a tax payer no!! PROVE YOUR SELFS,,!!! NOT JUST THE FRIST 60 DAYS to get PAID BY THE STATE..

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