School board president, members, attend Measure S kickoff.
By Jason KUROSU
“Public education is at a very important crossroads,” announced GUSD Board President Greg Krikorian as he addressed a gathering of parents, educators and residents on Jan. 19 at the Phoenician Restaurant in Glendale.
“It’s not a laughing matter when we’re talking about possibly closing schools,” Krikorian added, referring to the recent closures of Burbank and Loma Alta Elementary, two schools within the Pasadena Unified School District. “We’re [California] funded 47th or 48th out of 50 states. We can’t leave it up to Sacramento to take care of our facilities.”
Krikorian was speaking before the crowd on behalf of the “Yes 4 S” campaign for a new bond measure, similar to that of Measure K, which was passed back in 1997 and helped to finance construction at several school sites. Measure S, if voted in with a 55% approval at an April 5 election, would allow for similar funding to school facilities across the district.
Among those in attendance were GUSD superintendent Dick Sheehan, former superintendent Michael Escalante and co-chairs of the School Facilities Bond Committee, which put together the “Yes 4 S” campaign, Harry Hull, a broker and Glendale resident and Mary Boger, a GUSD board member. All took their turns at the microphone addressing the crowd concerning the state of education and praising Measure S.
“It’s a cause you should be behind,” said Hull. “If you own a business here, you should be behind it. If you own a home here, you should be behind it. If you have a child in our schools, you should be behind it.”
Speaking to the specifics of the measure, Hull noted that “Measure S is fiscally conservative, in that the tax rate will not fluctuate, which is unusual in a bond measure.” Hull was referring to the property tax rates that help fund the measure, which Hull estimated to be about “$46 per $100,000.” The rates will not increase during the measure’s tenure, but rather remain an extension of the property tax rate set by Measure K.
While the state of education has been a hot topic due to the recently proposed budget by Governor Jerry Brown, which includes a plethora of cuts to state services, Hull insists that the budget had no effect on the push for Measure S.
“We would have done this anyway,” said Hull.
As Hull spoke to the crowd about the benefits of the measure, he added that, “I have five reasons to support Measure S.” Then he went on to list the names of his five grandchildren.