By Jason Islas
August 30, 2012 -- The Santa Monica City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to support a bond measure that would provide the school district with $385 million dollars for new construction and repairs.
Measure ES, which the School Board voted 6 to 1 earlier this month to put on the November 6 ballot, would cost homeowners an average of $185 a year and would help the district move forward with planned construction despite the loss of Redevelopment Agency money.
“We already had $56 million slated for improvements at Santa Monica High School and possible other improvements coming later,” Ben Allen, president of the School Board told Council Tuesday. “All that money is basically gone.
“A big, big chunk of this bond will go towards improvements at Santa Monica High School,” Allen said.
Mayor Pro Tem Gleam Davis said, “The quality of the facilities in a school actually do affect in a positive manner.”
SMMUSD already has good students and good teachers, she said, “what we need to do is create a fantastic environment for them to teach and study in.”
This bond would “repair crumbling buildings some of which are a hundred years old,” Davis said.
At its meeting August 1, the School Board opted for a bond measure instead of parcel tax after political analysis showed that a bond was more popular with the Santa Monica voting public.
A parcel tax can be used for administrative costs and salaries and requires two-thirds of the vote, but a bond measure can only be used for capital improvements and only needs 55 percent of the vote.
The last bond measure -- Measure BB -- was approved by Santa Monica and Malibu voters in 2006 for $268 million.