By Jason KUROSU
On April 5, Measure S, the much discussed obligation bond, passed with a whopping 69.5% of the vote. In this period of economic uncertainty, Measure S has seemed like the only beacon of hope for public education funding in the state. For this reason, support for the measure was always high leading up to the municipal elections on April 5, but there was still some contention over the purpose of the measure.
Measure S is a continuation of Measure K, a successful measure which upgraded many building projects throughout the district. Measure S focuses on similar projects, with an emphasis on technology.
“I think the first and most widely felt impact will be upgrading our technology infrastructure,” said Mary Boger, GUSD school member and member of the Yes 4 S campaign. “That will benefit every school.”
The current economic crisis did bring into question whether the focus of the measure was in the right place. With teacher layoffs and increasing class sizes, should this, a source of funding in a time of budget cuts, be dedicated to technology?
Either way, Measure S passed and the immense cuts that have been expected for months don’t seem to be going away. What happens now with Measure S?
“Next steps will [be] setting up the oversight committee and prioritizing our projects,” said Boger.
“The GUSD Board of Trustees will be forming the oversight committee,” said Harry Hull, a real estate broker who was involved with the Yes 4 S campaign. “The law spells out who must be on this type of committee, so the board will be working on filling those spots.”
As for specific projects, Hull said, “The GUSD Board is also working on the project list. Nothing has been finalized at this point, but it will be coming into focus in the next few weeks.”
By then, the economic landscape could be different and Measure S’s role might heed less scrutiny. Parents, educators and residents will be watching for the project list either way.