About 20 Measure Y supporters held an Election Eve rally Monday at the intersection of Margarita and Winchester roads in Temecula. Others supporters staged at Rancho Cal and Ynez, and on Temecula Parkway at Pechanga Parkway.
The groups, many of them educators and parents, said that if Measure Y doesn’t pass, Temecula schools could lose their top status in the county.
"It is important because there is just no funding from the state to maintain our facilities if we want to continue to have the great schools that we have," said Jeannie Hardy, a Chaparral High School parent. "We need to continue to maintain them and keep them current with technology and infrastructure. We can't do that without money, so Yes on Y. It will only continue to keep our home values high and our communities strong, and encourage more people to come to our great city.”
Gil Compton, principal of Chaparral High School, said Sacramento budget slashes have been devastating to local schools, and he argues the investment required with Measure Y is worth it.
“Kids first,” he said.
Measure Y asks Temecula voters to decide whether to approve $165 million in bonds to be issued by the Temecula Valley Unified School District in order to make improvements and upgrades across its schools.
Currently, the TVUSD holds the distinction of being a top-rated school district in Riverside County. _The district has 31 campuses serving just over 30,000 students._
According to the TVUSD, funds from Measure Y would be used to:
- Upgrade classrooms, science labs, computer systems, and technology infrastructure to keep pace with advancing technology;
- Renovate, update and modernize facilities and equipment to provide new and expanded career technical programs and advanced courses in math, science, and technology so local children are prepared for college and good-paying jobs;
- Improve energy efficiency, and reinvest the savings in programs such as arts and music;
- Repair and replace roofs, floors, walkways, lighting, electrical and plumbing systems; and
- Add classrooms, labs, and other facilities to meet student needs and reduce overcrowding.
If Measure Y passes, the district will be authorized to sell the bonds and levy taxes against property owners within the district to pay the principal and interest on the bonds. The district has stated the average property homeowner will pay about $28 a year, however the amount can rise. (Click here to read a tax rate statement on Measure Y.)
Fifty-five percent of qualified voters who cast a ballot must vote "yes" on Measure Y in order for it to pass.
“It is one less latte a month, so I think we can all handle that,” Compton said of the cost of Measure Y to residents. “The kids deserve it."
Compton argues Measure Y is a cash infusion that will plug a funding hole left by Sacramento.
"The cuts have been unprecedented. Twenty percent cut for five years -- you can't really run a business or industry that way,” he said.
Compton said all money spent on the campaign has been the result of donations raised by the Measure Y citizens' committee.