PD Editorial: A vote for safe, modern schools

  • 7/14/2006: P1: Sergio Ochoa of Santa Rosa prepares windows for painting Tuesday in a classroom at Valley Vista School. The primer coat will be trimmed off once the painting is done. By the time Petaluma City Schools reopen Aug. 31, $3.3 million will have been spent on modernization at seven of the district's 17 schools.

    PC: 1 of 1--Sergio Ochoa of Santa Rosa prepares the windows in a classroom at Valley Vista School for painting by applying a primer coat that will be trimmed off by cutting once the painting is done. Tuesday July 11, 2006. Press Democrat / Jeff Kan Lee

By practically any measure, California shortchanges its schools. Classes are too large, the school year is too short and demoralizing cutbacks are an annual exercise.

One exception is facilities, a spending category controlled by voters rather than state legislators.

In Sonoma County and around the state, voters routinely authorize bonds to build new schools and maintain existing facilities. In 2010, despite a recession, 58 of 77 school bond measures passed.

On June 5, bond acts will be on the ballot in five local school districts:

; Measure E: $35 million for secondary schools in Healdsburg.

; Measure F: $6 million for the Guerneville School District.

; Measure G: $26 million for Petaluma's Old Adobe Union School District.

; Measure H: $9 million for the Sebastopol Union School District.

; Measure I: $14 million for the Wright School District in Santa Rosa.

Each of the measures authorizes an almost identical list of projects: solar panels and energy-efficient windows, classroom technology, roof repairs, upgrading libraries, labs, playgrounds and multipurpose rooms. Each district will pick specific projects after the election.

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