By Alex Dodd and Haneen Zain
Measure R would authorize the issuance of bonds in the amount of $274,100,000 to repair and upgrade classrooms at Cabrillo College through a one-time purchasing tax on property in Benito, Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties.
Measure T would renew a $110 annual parcel tax voters in the Santa Cruz High School District currently pay. The school district said Santa Cruz High School receives $3.7 million in annual school funding toward science, technology, engineering, visual and performing arts, counseling, library and athletic programs.
Measure W would amend the Santa Cruz city Charter to allow more flexibility in the contracting process for major construction projects. Currently, Santa Cruz uses the “design-bid-build” method in which one company is used for the design process, and a separate company is used for construction.
The measure proposes a “best-value” method, which would allow one company to be in charge of both the design and construction process. Measure W would allow the city to use either the “‘design-bid-build” or “best value” method.
Measure X would ensure that Santa Cruz City Schools transition to a trustees area voting in which voters within each designated district would elect a trustee to the Santa Cruz School District board of trustees.
The measure comes in the wake of a 2018 letter sent by the California Voting Rights Act demanding the Santa Cruz School District transition to district elections.
Measure U would create a $208 parcel tax to continue funding for core programs and services in Santa Cruz elementary and middle schools. The tax, which would be paid equally by all property owners, would raise $3.2 million annually.
The money raised would stay local, helping schools retain qualified teachers and maintain small class sizes. The tax combines and replaces severals already passed parcel taxes.
Proposition 13 would issue $15 billion in state bonds to schools from pre-K through college. $9 billion would be allocated to public schools primarily for education projects and the remaining $6 billion to public universities.
The proposition also mandates the most funding go to districts in low-income areas, changing the payout structure from its previous first come, first serve model.