Porterville voters asked to approve Measure J


Porterville Unified school administrators plus several local government officials were at the Porterville Adult School to hear plans and take a tour where a brand new military institute could be.

This November, Porterville voters will decide if they should pass Measure J -- a 25-year, $90 million bond to build new classrooms, make the school district more tech-friendly and build the Porterville Military Institute.

If Measure J is approved Porterville Unified will renovate this existing building so it can include the military school and the Porterville Adult School.

District administrators were contacted by the governor's office about building the new facility. Superintendent John Snavely says they were approached because the city has a strong cadet program and is very patriotic.

The military school would be modeled after the Oakland Military Institute, which was built while Governor Brown was mayor of Oakland.

Measure J would help renovate a vacant section of the adult school building to house the military institute.

The bond would also build new classrooms so the district wouldn't have to rely on aging portables, build a swimming pool, auditorium, new wireless internet system and acquire new materials to make the district more tech-friendly.

Snavely said, "In Porterville Unified we want to allow to have handheld devices for the students for technologies so they can access our system textbooks and such electronically and be able to do that 24/7."

If passed, residents' taxes would increase $45 per $100 thousand assessed value. While the measure has garnered support, some voters say they're not willing to fork over extra money to pay for the projects.

Jose Elizondo said, "I would probably vote no on Measure J. I think the school district is doing fine we're already taxed enough as it is and I think it's just one of those taxes we can't afford at this time."

The committee against wasteful PUSD spending told Action News it does not support Measure J because it is not specific enough as to how the district can spend the money. Measure J would need 55% approval to pass.

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