Measure L

Rio School District is looking to make classroom and school facility improvements and is placing a school improvement measure on the November ballot before the voters in the community. Measure L would help improve the quality of education with funding that cannot be taken by the state; make safety and security improvements; replace or renovate deterioring plumbing and inadequate electrical systems; upgrade outdated classrooms, restrooms and school facilities.

Since its beginnings as a one-room schoolhouse in 1885, the Rio School District has been the center of the community for all the families it has served. Today, the thriving District continues its tradition of caring for each student. The District strives to provide world-class education to its more than 5,000 students through five elementary schools, two K-8 school academy, and two middle schools.

The District is in the process of of implementing a long term master plan and has grown by more than 100 students annually each year. Today, the scope of improvements needed at the Rio School District is far more than the current funding sources available. The funding which the District receives from the state is intended to be used for the day-to-day business of educating children and not for major upgrades, renovations, and modernization projects or new classrooms and facilities.

Measure L FAQ’S

What is Measure L?

Measure L is a $59.2 million general obligation (G.O.) bond program.  The measure is intended to address the needs of the student population through new construction, modernization and renovation projects at the District’s elementary and middle schools.

Why did the District place Measure L on the ballot?

Our schools have been well maintained over the years with major construction and renovation projects recently.  Since 2014, the District built a new school to reduce overcrowding and addressed the most critical renovation and modernization projects facing the district including:  upgrades to inadequate electrical systems; providing new heating and air conditioning systems; installing new portable classrooms; making health and safety improvements and handicapped accessibility upgrades; and modernizing classrooms, kitchens, multipurpose rooms, and campus grounds. (for more detail on the completed projects, visit the District’s webpage Click Here.

Our work is not done though.  Today, the average age of our oldest schools is nearly 60 years old.  Rio Plaza Elementary, the oldest, was first built in 1954. Measure L will allow the District to “finish the job” and complete the next round of classroom and facility projects.

How did the District come up with the project list for Measure L?

Over the last couple of years with input from staff, teachers, parents, and community leaders, the District has prepared a School Facilities Needs Analysis.  The Needs Analysis identifies the major repairs and upgrades that need to be made.

Specific projects identified include:

  • Making security and safety improvements
  • Providing heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems to classrooms that are currently lacking
  • Improving student access to computers and modern technology
  • Renovating or constructing school libraries
  • Constructing new classrooms to accommodate growth

What is a G.O. bond?

G.O. bonds fund projects such as the renovation of classrooms and school facilities, as well as construction of new schools and classrooms.  Similar to a home loan, G.O. bonds are typically repaid over 30 years. The loan repayment comes from a tax on all taxable property – residential, commercial, agricultural and industrial – located within the District’s boundaries.

Why can’t the District meet its facilities needs with its current budget?

Today, the scope of improvements needed at the Rio Elementary School District is far more than the current funding sources available.  The per-pupil funding which the District receives from the state is intended to be used for the day-to-day business of educating children and not for major upgrades, renovations, and modernization projects or new classrooms and facilities.

What will the passage of Measure L mean for our students and the community?

Measure L will provide our students with a better learning environment by making repairs and upgrades to existing classrooms and school facilities; many of which are also used by and available to the community such as the libraries and playing fields.

What will happen if Measure L does not pass?

If Measure L does not pass, our classrooms and school facilities will continue to be overcrowded and with time will continue to deteriorate.  In addition, funds that would otherwise go to classroom instruction will be needed to make critical improvements at each school. Postponing these upgrades until later will potentially cost more.

What will Measure L cost?

The tax rate per property owner is estimated to be $27 per $100,000 of assessed valuation per year, or less than $2.50 per month. (Do not confuse assessed valuation with market value.  Assessed valuations are the value placed on property by the County and are almost always lower than market values). Check your property tax statement for your current assessed valuation.

How can I be sure that Measure L funds will be spent on improving our local schools?

By law, all bond funds have to be spent locally and cannot be taken by the state.  In addition, a local independent citizens’ oversight committee will be established to ensure that bond funds are properly spent.  Also by law, there must be annual audits of expenditures and no bond money can be used for teacher or administrative salaries.

MEASURE L

The bond measure is subject to strict accountability requirements, including a public expenditure plan, independent annual audits and review of all spending by an Independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee. No money can be spent on administrator salaries, and all funds must be used locally to improve Rio Schools.