Local school districts hope voters pass education bond measures

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- As people head to the polls this November, many here in the Central Valley will be deciding on bond measures for their local school districts.

School districts from right here in Fresno, Coalinga and Huron are asking voters to approve multi-million dollar bond measures. In total, there are seven on the ballot here in the Central Valley.

Central Unified is hoping to finally build the district's third high school after their 2008 voter-approved bond ended with the country in recession, no matching funds from the state and many in financial crisis.

"It was almost a perfect storm that occurred and so by doing this reauthorization, Measure C, it allows us to get to those dollars a little quicker without really raising the tax rate that much," Central Unified superintendent Mark Sutton said.

The new high school will be built on Ashlan and Grantland Avenues and accommodate up to 2,500 students. Sutton said the district also hopes to give Tilley Elementary School the building it deserves. The school has been operating solely in portables ever since it opened two years ago.

Central Unified is one of seven local school districts hoping to get a bond approved this November. From Sanger to Fowler, administrators said having Prop 51 on the ballot means their bonds could be worth even more. Of course, that's if both are approved.

"With Measure C passing and Prop 51 passing, that would allow the state matching dollars to come and it would turn our $87 million worth of bonds into about $300 million from the state as well."

"Why not us? Why not our kids" said Eric Cederquist with the Fowler Unified School District. "Our kids deserve first-rate, first-class facilities. Just because we're from a small community, just because we're in a rural area."

Fowler Unified is hoping to add several new projects to improve student opportunities. They include a brand new performing arts center, a pool, a career technical building devoted to an agriculture pathway that's all on Fowler High School's campus.

"With laboratories and with facilities to showcase our animal programs for the fairs and all the showings and projects our kids participate in," Cederquist

All of these school bond measures need 55 percent of the vote to pass.
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