Measure Q would pump millions in Fresno Schools

FRESNO, California

Almost half of all the classrooms at Burroughs Elementary in Southeast Fresno are portables. The rooms are spread out throughout the campus, not only taking up green space, but according to Principal Carlos Castillo, using up valuable instruction time.

"When we have to transition students for assemblies or for class, or for deployment or moving back and forth for lunch to recess -- there is a lot of wasted time there," said Castillo.

Replacing the hundreds of portable classrooms with permanent buildings throughout Fresno Unified ... is one of the goals of Measure "Q", a $280-Million bond measure on the November ballot.

FUSD Superintendent, Michael Hansen said, "Every single school would see the benefit of Measure Q and that in turn would impact every single school community in the district."

Among the benefits are improved facilities and classroom technology. The measure would also fund job training programs and upgrade campus security.

The bonds would be paid for by taxpayers at a rate of about $50 for every 100,000 in property value. Superintendent Hansen calls it a good deal.

Hansen adds, "This is the one time I can look the community in the eye and say that we can definitively get better schools, better school facilities and by extension better communities and that we will just be extending the current tax rate, not increasing it."

If approved, Measure Q would essentially replace a leasing tax, approved in 1977, that will expire early next year. But the district is also currently collecting monies from two other bond measures. Chris Mathys of the Valley Taxpayers Coalition says Fresno residents deserve a break.

Mathys explained, "There are good bond measures in place that collect a lot of money -- lets manage what were collecting and use that first, and once those bonds expire we can look for more money."

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