2020 Bond Measure "A"

A Message from Superintendent O’Farrell

Why a Bond? Why now?

Clovis Unified faces a unique set of circumstances that prompted a citizen’s recommendation for a $335 million bond measure to be placed on the ballot this November. Because of the way election cycles and tax rates work, November 2020 is the last chance our community has to weigh in on whether or not they want the district to be maintained and kept up-to-date like they are now, address safety and health needs to meet the challenges of 2020, and to have space for our students now and in the years to come.
"Room for the Future - Circle of young children around a heart
Clovis Unified is facing a capacity emergency. With growing enrollment across our District and schools at their limits.  Measure A would provide space to allow Clovis and Fresno cities to continue to grow without over-crowding our schools.
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Health and Safety Upgrades - Medical Career student teaches construction student about safety
Providing a safe and healthy environment for students to learn in, remains a non-negotiable for Clovis Unified. Measure A would provide for much needed upgrades and modernizations to keep kids secure and healthy on campus.
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No Tax Rate Increases - Clovis Facility Surrounded by Homes
Measure A will make room for growth in our schools and add important updates without increasing the current tax rate for residents. Funds raised are locally controlled, create local jobs, and are monitored by a citizens’ oversight committee made up of local residents.
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Project List (Click to Expand)

Project
Description
Terry Bradley Educational Center
Reason:  Overcrowding
Scope:  7-12 campus to assist with overcrowding and future home growth in the current Clovis East Area
Health
Reason: Indoor Air Quality and Health
Scope:  
  1. Upgrade HVAC systems on all CUSD campuses 
  2. Plastic Shields for public food service areas
Safety
Reason:  Campus Security
Scope:  One touch lockdown systems to provide immediate response capacity if a  threat is identified.
Modernizations
Will require additional contribution from developer fee fund
Dry Creek
Reason:  Overcrowding/modernization
Scope:  Addition of classroom wing with 6 classrooms.  Modernization of Administration Building 
Reyburn Casework
Reason:  Modernization
Scope:  Replace broken and aging casework in offices
Clovis West Pool
Reason:  Modernization
Scope: Replace old plumbing, pool deck, and starting blocks, and create shade for health and safety
Mercedes Edwards Theatre (MET)
Reason:  Overcrowding/Overuse
Scope:  Provide additional storage for productions and Career Technical Education program at the MET to relieve overcrowding by Clark Intermediate
Clark Intermediate
Reason:  Overcrowding/modernization
Scope:  Provide additional classrooms and modernize current industrial arts building home to Career Technical Education classes
Clovis East Fire Panel
Reason:  Safety
Scope:  Increase panel capacity to avoid unsafe conditions
Sierra Outdoor School Gym
Reason:  Modernization
Scope:  Fix old and out-dated gymnasium space to reflect current educational standards
Cole Elementary 
Reason:  Overcrowding
Scope: Add classroom wing to campus
Clovis West High School
Reason:  Overcrowding
Scope:  Add classroom wing to campus
Temperance-Kutner Elementary
Reason:  Overcrowding 
Scope:  Add classrooms to campus
Energy Management System (EMS)– Multiple Sites
Reason:  Modernization
Scope: Increase efficiency and effectiveness with updates  to EMS systems at multiple sites

Frequently Asked Questions (Click to Expand)

What facilities improvements are needed to support local schools and student learning?
To ensure our students continue to have access to high quality learning environments, our schools need basic repairs and upgrades. Today, more than half of our schools are 25 years or older, with the majority of those built 40 or more years ago. Our Facilities Audit & Master Plan has identified needed repairs and maintenance to meet health and safety standards and ensure all students have equal access to high-quality facilities.

How does CUSD plan to address these facility challenges?
In order to keep up with enrollment growth, complete identified health upgrades, keep schools safe, and facilities up-to-date, a committee of citizens found a need for, and the Clovis Unified School District Governing Board is placing, a $335 million bond measure on the November 2020 ballot. Bond funds are the primary way that we can keep schools up-to-date and well-maintained, and build and modernize facilities.

What is funded by a measure?
Health and safety projects at every school are on the project list, along with a new high school and intermediate school, and modernization projects at 10 sites to address growth, and/or old or broken and outdated facilities. Also included on the project list are energy efficiency updates and repairs to the energy management systems at multiple schools. You can see a complete project list on our website at cusd.com.

How much does the bond measure cost?
Bonds issued would be repaid annually by local property levies, which are not expected to increase from today’s rate. Currently, CUSD property tax levels are lower than they have been for decades and are lower than other area schools. This measure could generate $335 million to improve our schools. Assessed value is determined by the County Assessor and is often much closer to the original price of the home than to today’s market value.

What’s on the Ballot?
We’ve heard that the language on your November ballot can be confusing, even though it meets the requirements of recent legislation (AB195). If Clovis Unified says the current tax rate will stay the same, why does the ballot language refer to a new tax?

Put simply, Measure A doesn’t raise the current tax rate, it extends the rate to maintain our community’s existing investment in their schools. If passed, Measure A would allow for the sale of future bonds, which would replace bonds that are soon to be paid off.  In the past, our community has told us that a consistent tax rate is important to them. In response Clovis Unified has structured its bond sales and repayments to maintain, but not raise, your tax rate.

Here’s what the ballot language says:  
With no estimated increase to current tax rates, all funds staying local, and no money for administrators’ salaries, shall Clovis Unified School District’s measure to maintain neighborhood schools, upgrade security/ health measures and avoid overcrowding by: building, modernizing, and repairing school and career/ vocational facilities be adopted, authorizing $335 million in bonds at legal interest rates, levying 6¢ per $100 assessed value, raising $27.3 million annually to repay bonds through maturity, with required independent audits and citizens’ oversight?

How do we know funds from the measure will be spent wisely?
Measure A generates local dollars for local projects, and are monitored by an independent citizen oversight and annual third-party audits. No funds could be used for employees’ salaries or taken away by the state. Clovis Unified has a strong fiscal track record, and a history of positive reviews and audits by Citizen Oversight Committees who closely watch bond spending.

Would every school benefit from a measure?
Every school in the district would benefit from a measure, just as every school has with the passage of previous measures.

How will the community be impacted with a bond measure?
The passage of a bond measure will mean improved school facilities at all school locations as well as the potential to create jobs in the region to help the local economy. Strong local schools have been proven to lead to stronger property values and increasing our community’s desirability to potential residents and employers.  Facilities built in Clovis Unified and funded from previous bond measures have been credited by local tourism organizations with boosting the local economy by increasing the number of events and visitors to our community.

I heard we passed a bond measure in the past, why do we need another one?
We are out of money and out of space in our current facility program. Out of space in many high growth areas where schools are at or over capacity, and out of money because prior bond funds have all been spent to keep our schools in the condition they are in today.

Health and safety updates are needed to respond to needs of 2020, like hospital grade ventilation systems at all schools and one-touch lockdown equipment to boost the security of our campuses. Measure A isn’t expected to increase the existing tax rate, but it would build new schools and buildings to keep up with current and future growth, help avoid widespread boundary changes, add safety and health features to all campuses, and keep schools maintained and up-to-date like they are today.

Were 2012 Measure A funds spent properly?
A Citizens Oversight Committee keeps the public informed about how Measure A funds are used and confirmed that Measure A funds were spent properly through annual reports to the Clovis Unified Governing Board and the public. You can more information from the committee at https://www.cusd.com/2012MeasureABond.aspx.

What kind of track record does CUSD have with funds from past bond measures?
Clovis Unified has been a careful steward of past bond dollars as exemplified by the following:
  • Voters approved a $298 million bond measure in June 2012. Measure A included $330 million worth of projects to be funded out of bond funds, developer fees, state bond funding, and available carryover from the 2004 Bond Measure.
  • All projects from the 2012 measure were completed in 2018 including a solar production system that included solar parking lot and play area shade structures that were constructed on 19 school sites around the district. This project is saving the district more than $2.5 million per year in operational costs.
  • In 2012, Measure A did not increase the tax rate over its existing 2012 rate. Today, Clovis Unified’s tax rate is lower than other school districts in the area.
  • Since 1986 CUSD has been able to leverage $751.2 million in local bond funds to complete $1.3 billion in new construction, repairs, maintenance and improvements to our schools.
  • Additionally, the District’s careful financial management is evident in a credit rating among the highest of any California public school district and 21 consecutive Meritorious Budget Awards for transparency in budgeting.

I don’t have kids in school, how would this benefit me?
We know our local schools are among the best in California, making our community a desirable place to live. This helps keep our property values high and our neighborhoods strong.  Good quality schools reflect on an entire community.

Who will be able to vote on a bond measure?
All registered voters in the Clovis Unified School District would be eligible to vote on a bond measure.

What level of support would this measure need to pass?
In order to pass, a measure would need to be supported by 55% of those who vote.

How can I learn more about the bond measure and our schools?
The District values questions, comments and feedback from parents and community members. To learn more about the District’s facility needs, please contact Mr. Denver Stairs at 559-327-9260 or online at cusd.com.

How can I register to vote or learn more about voting?
To learn more about voting, contact the Fresno County Elections Department at or call 559-600-5956.

What’s this I hear about a ballot measure that would fundamentally change the 1978 Prop 13 that controlled property tax rates in California?
What is on the November ballot does not have an impact on residential property taxes.  Instead, the Schools and Communities First Initiative, as it is being called, would modify the manner in which assessed value of commercial and industrial property (not residential) is determined.





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