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Measure M to provide funding for repairs, classroom upgrades in Goleta school district if approved by voters

Supporters hope voters will give Measure M an 'A' to fund school improvements
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Tracy Lehr / KEYT

GOLETA, Calif. - Elementary schools in the Goleta Unified School District are quiet without children playing on the playgrounds.

School board members who support Measure M said that makes it easier to see the wear and tear.

Board member and parent Luz Reyes-Martin said the money would repair roofs, plumbing and more that regularly need emergency fixes.

Measure M would raise $80 million for repairs at all elementary schools in the district that includes Goleta, Isla Vista and Santa Barbara.

Goleta City Council member James Kyriaco said, "What is so great about this initiative is it is bringing together people who are traditionally skeptical of tax increases or more bonds, more resources, generally it is good for property values."

Lanny Ebenstein runs the Santa Barbara County Taxpayers Association and gives the plan an "A" for promising to upgrade classrooms.

"It's going to improve STEAM classrooms, which are science, technology, engineering, art, and math, and that is something that students in this 21st century economy need more than ever," said Ebenstein.

The newly combined Chamber of Commerce is on board, too.

Chamber CEO Kristen Miller said, "In this pandemic we have been pretty cautious about anything that involves a tax increase, and so this was somewhat unique, that we said yes to this, really, because we know the district has been working toward this for many years."

It's been 24 years since a bond measure like this one has been on the ballot.

Residents would pick up the tab by paying a little more than $19 dollars on every $100,000 in assessed property value.

Supporters said that would amount to about $200 on the average hgome in the area.

Some voters said they are still on the fence about Measure M, others said the pandemic is enough to deal with.

One critic bought a home near his parents across from his elementary school."

Alex Pineda said, "I think that measure would just not be good during this time in the economy, but I think the schools are well funded
as they are, so I would be against it."

His neighbor Bernice Williams agreed.

"I'm against Measure M. I don't want to pay additional taxes. I think the schools are in great shape right now, so I don't see a need for additional taxes, " said Williams.

The bond measure needs more than a simple majority, it needs 55 percent of the vote to pass on Nov. 3.

Tracy Lehr will have more on the measure tonight on NewsChannel 3.

Article Topic Follows: Local Politics

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Tracy Lehr

Tracy Lehr is a reporter and the weekend anchor for News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Tracy, click here


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