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Approved bond means new funds for AUSD buildings

By Isabel Sullivan

Alameda voters approved, with a 66% majority, Measure I, the Alameda Unified School District Bond Issue during the Nov. 4 election. The passage of Measure I authorizes the district to increase its debt by $179.5 million through the issuing of bonds. The school district estimates that a property tax of $60 per $100,000 of assessed property value will be required to repay the debt.

According to the ballot question, the School Board will direct funding toward  “renovating neighborhood schools, improving earthquake safety and student security, upgrading science and computer labs, improving heating, cooling, plumbing, and electrical systems, replacing leaky roofs, windows, and doors, installing solar systems, and renovating, constructing, and acquiring classrooms, rites, facilities, and equipment,” without funds for administrator salaries.

On Nov. 18, the Board heard a presentation on the effects of the passage of the measure and “will vote on a list of preliminary projects at a future meeting,” according to an election results press release from the office of the superintendent.

“I’d like to thank the community for their continued support of our public schools,” said Interim Superintendent Sean McPhetridge in the same press release. “As always, I am heartened and encouraged by the level of commitment this community shows for the education of its children.”

Likewise, School Board President Margie Sherratt thanked the Alameda community for its support. “I am excited about the passage of Measure I that will now provide 21st century upgrades to our schools and the additional classroom space needed for potential growth in enrollment,” said Sherratt.

Physics and AP computer science teacher Yong Joo expressed surprise about the passage of the bond measure. The 2011 parcel tax, Measure A, passed by a very slim margin and quite a bit of money earned went to school administrators, prompting a wave of distrust within the district.

Now that Measure I has passed, Joo would like to see money spent on a new field.

“I don’t mind old,” said Joo, who does not support spending money on technology for schools, as it will not improve teaching or student learning experience. “I’m personally a bit of a luddite,” said Joo, his classroom filled with old computers that he restores for his computer science class.

Likewise, senior Amy G. Liu feels that AHS “can forgo technology for necessities,” such as a revamped heating system. “We forget that there are basic necessities,” said Liu.

Psychology and U.S. government and politics teacher Allison Goldberg wants to see the historic building  refurbished, because it is “central to the town.”

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