Bond Measure W
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: What is Measure W?
A: Measure W is a ballot initiative, approved by voters in November 2008, which makes available $75 million from property taxes to renovate and improve schools in the Whittier Union High School District. The funds will come from the sale of bonds which will be issued over approximately ten years.
Q: How will Measure W funds be used?
A: Most of the Whittier Union High School District’s permanent buildings and outside facilities were built in the early 1950’s. Measure W will continue the work started by Measure C in 1999 to improve school facilities, meet new program requirements and building standards, and to continue serving student needs in the 21st Century. Examples of work needed include: Build classrooms including vocational, career, technical classrooms and facilities, and science labs Upgrade and improve heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and energy systems Upgrade security lighting, landscaping, irrigation, and playing fields Improve handicapped access to school facilities Improve athletic facilities, including stadiums Furnish and equip school facilities Perform necessary site preparation/restoration in connection with construction, renovation and deferred maintenance Address unforeseen conditions revealed by construction or emergency repairs
Q: How can the District afford to do school repairs and construction with state budget cuts?
A: Due to the state’s ongoing budget crisis, Whittier Union High School District has been forced to cut more than $17 million from the operating budget over the past three years. More reductions in the District budget may be necessary in the next two years. These cuts affect the general operations of the Whittier Union High School District, and are separate from Measure W funds, which by law, are specifically designated for school repair and construction. Measure W funds cannot be used for operations (including administrator and teacher salaries).
Q: What expenses are covered by Measure W?
A: The expenses covered by Measure W are set by law and are strictly limited to school repairs and construction. Included are architectural/engineering/planning costs, furniture/equipment and program/project management.
Q: How was the list of projects decided?
A: The current project list was determined by weighing a combination of the following criteria: safety, regulatory and building code compliance, educational program needs, school site capacity and utilization and condition of existing facilities.
Q: Does the state provide funding for school repairs and construction?
A: For school districts that meet requirements, the state has a waiting list of schools that meet eligibility requirements for construction/repair funds, available in the form of matching funds. The Whittier Union High School District has regularly and successfully sought state facility program funding since the passage of Measure C in 1999. The District will continue to seek approval for eligibility for state facility program funding. Approval of eligibility will position the District to receive funding once a new state school bond measure is approved by California voters.
Q: Which projects will be completed with Measure W funds?
A: A list of proposed projects by school site is available as a link.
Q: Who is providing oversight of Measure W?
A: To ensure that Measure W funds are spent according to law, the Board of Trustees of the Whittier Union High School District has appointed a Citizens' Bond Oversight Committee as required by the regulations of Proposition 39. The committee meets bi-annually. The committee reviews annual financial and performance audits, and then makes a report to the Board of Trustees. The committee is made up of volunteers who represent specific constituencies, such as senior citizens, parents, businesses, or the community-at-large. The Board of Trustees has set the priorities for the District’s facility improvement program. The Board also approves contracts and the expenditure of Measure W funds. In addition, two audits of the Measure W program are required to be performed annually. The fiscal and performance audits for the program year 2009- 2010 are available as a link.