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A closer look at Measure H

This is a classroom at Santa Maria High School that’s up to today’s modern technology standards. Each student has a tablet that syncs to what the teacher is projecting on the screen and the white boards are moveable to allow for storage behind them.

Not all of the facilities on this campus look like this however – walk into the campus’s portables and you’ll see why many students are advocating for Measure H, a bond that would renovate the entire campus.

“I had my language class in a portable and it was really small and really crowded,” says Maria Nade Leon, a Senior at Santa Maria High School.

“I had a language class as well in the new building and it was an amazing experience there was so much room – it was accessible, I could see all the screens, the TV’s around me,” Yailin Orozco, a Senior at Santa Maria High tells us.

If you head over to Righetti, similar renovations would be taking place.. With money going to things like the library and improving science labs

“We have very outdated classrooms, facilities, technology and all of those things need to be updated in order to serve our students,” explains Melissa Johnson, Art Teach at Righetti High School.

Voting yes on this measure would increase property taxes, adding up to $30.00 per $100,000 of assessed home valuation; this has lead some voters to go in another direction.

“I think there’s a lot of restructuring that can be done with the way that taxes are spent on education,” says Carrie Zleisy, a Santa Maria resident voting no on Measure H.

Some people against Measure H are also concerned with where the money will be spent but Jeff Hearn, former superintendent of the Joint Union High School District argues this money would be heavily watched by a oversight committee that would ensure the money goes where the district is telling voters it will.

“[The committee doesn’t] say when they’re going to be built nor how they look but [ they are there] just to ensure there is accountability between the money, what they said they would build and in actuality of what they actually built,” Hearn explains.

The district is still looking for people to sign up for that committee, they say they have forms available in their district office. If passed on November 8th, the schools would begin construction in early 2017 with all projects expected to be completed by 2024.

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