FOR YEARS, THE Antioch school district has been divided between new and old. Residents of the new subdivisions in the city have enjoyed modern schools that were largely funded by taxes on homes in those areas. Now, school officials are proposing to update the older facilities and are asking residents in those areas to tax themselves to foot the bill.
We think that's a fair plan and, consequently, we encourage voters to approve Measure C on the June 3 ballot.
The ballot measure, which requires approval of 55 percent of voters, would authorize the school district to issue $61.6 million in bonds to raise money to refurbish the 14 oldest schools in the district. To pay off the bonds over 30 years, the district will tax homeowners who are not already paying Mello-Roos fees for schools in the city's newer subdivisions.
School officials estimate that 16,369 of the district's roughly 28,000 homes will be affected. The annual tax will be about $28 per $100,000 of assessed valuation, which works out to $112 a year on a $400,000 home. That seems reasonable if the district spends the money wisely as planned for renovation and modernization.
Among the planned projects: Replacing aging roofs, aging plumbing and old heating and air conditioning units; upgrading restrooms and electrical systems; renovating and expanding libraries; and refurbishing classrooms.
The district will also be seeking state funds to supplement the bond money. We hope the entire plan comes together and students across the city can then enjoy clean, well-appointed classrooms.