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July 12, 2024

School officials meet with community to discuss measures

SOUTH COUNTY — The Nov. 6 General Election is rapidly approaching, and South Monterey County Joint Union High School District recently spoke to the community about its funding plans for ballot Measures Q and R if passed by voters next month.

“Measure Q and Measure R is an extension of the previous bonds, so all of the money raised will not result in anybody’s taxes being raised,” said Superintendent Brian Walker at the Oct. 10 meeting. “They will essentially stay the same for another 20 years.”

According to Walker, the extension of the bond will raise $40 million that can only be used for school facilities. The funds would be split in half between Greenfield High School and King City High School.

One of the main upgrades Greenfield High would be looking at is an additional classroom building to replace the portable classrooms on the south end of the school. Other upgrades include campus safety and a parking lane drop off.

In King City, the top tier improvements include campus safety, maintenance to the two agricultural buildings and a Broadway parking entry and lot extension.

All of these projects would come from a “Yes” vote on the ballot.

Opponents of Measure Q and R, Lawrence Samuels and Jane Heider, say they are against the measures because the high costs would be appropriate but only if performance and student scoring were outstanding.

Samuels and Heider cite a San Jose Mercury News report rating the Golden State below mediocre among the bottom 50 states and Washington, D.C.

The rebuttal also speaks about schools getting less than half the proceeds from the 30-year bond.

“In fact, most the taxpayer’s money goes directly to the bond company, bondholders, not teachers, students or school,” said Samuels, chair of the Libertarian Party of Monterey County.

Ultimately, it comes down to voters: Do students need upgraded school facilities that will ensure their safety, protect local property values and train students for careers after high school in agriculture, public safety or engineering?

Ballots for the Nov. 6 Statewide General Election have been sent out for local voters to make that decision.