The Carpinteria and Montecito school districts have each placed bond measures on this November’s ballot, hoping at least 55 percent of voters will approve the new taxes. In Carpinteria, Measure U is a $90 million facilities bond that would pay for building renovations and repairs. If it passes, property owners who live in the district would pay $47 for every $100,000 of the assessed value of their properties each year for the bond’s lifespan. Assistant Superintendent Cindy Abbott said the bond pays for improvements in line with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), replacements for 68 portable classrooms, and technology upgrades.
The area chapters of the Republican and Democratic parties have both endorsed the measure, along with 1st District Supervisor Salud Carbajal, Assemblymember Das Williams, and Carpinteria city councilmembers Fred Shaw and Gregg Carty. One person submitted arguments against Measure U, contending that bond issues do not improve education and do not retain quality teachers, but Abbott said she did not believe there was any organized opposition.
Meanwhile, the Montecito Union School District is asking approximately 5,000 residents to approve a $27 million bond measure known as Measure Q. “I think that the thing that is critical is that this is not a project that is all about fluff,” said Superintendent Tammy Murphy, adding 71 percent of the money would be used for deferred maintenance or basic infrastructure upgrades. No one submitted an argument against the measure.
Seventeen years ago was the last time a bond measure passed in the Montecito district, which serves 462 students in grades kindergarten-6th. “It’s not like we keep going to the taxpayers,” Murphy added. “We’ve been very prudent.” If the measure passes, residents will pay $12 per $100,000 of their properties’ assessed value. Residents in the district are currently paying $0.67 per $100,000.