San Juan Unified School District’s $350 million bond measure was winning with a slim majority late Tuesday night.
With 251 out of 274 precincts reporting, 58.3 percent of the voters cast their ballots in favor of Measure N, which will raise $350 million to pay for repairing and renovating aging schools in the nearly 100 year-old district.
“We’re all pleased that the San Juan community has recognized the importance of investing in our schools,” San Juan Unified School District Trustee Larry Miles said earlier in the evening.
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Measure N needs a 55 percent majority approval to pass.
Projects funded by Measure N include:
- Modernizing classrooms and portable buildings
- Improving infrastructure for new technology
- Renovating and constructing outdoor learning facilities
- Installing energy efficient equipment
- Repairing and upgrading safety alarms at schools
Most of the schools in the nearly 100 year-old district are between 40 and 60 years old. On some campuses, including 70 year-old Sylvan Middle School in Citrus Heights, Measure N would also help pay for basic fixes like replacing old rooftops and upgrading water and sewer lines.
Measure N supporters say the bond money will allow the district to take advantage of low interest rates and a competitive bid market for construction projects.
Opponents, however, argued that raising taxes is not a good idea in a struggling economy, where people are losing their jobs and homes.
“We’ll see what happens, but my concern is for the students and what the money is used for,” Measure N opponent Karen Klinger said. “… There should be a grand jury investigation to see why these school districts continually come after the people who own property.
“These are terrible economic times. Families are having a tough time putting food on the table and keeping their homes, and now they have another tax.”
San Juan voters have a history of supporting school bonds, passing two earlier measures in 1998 and 2002.