I support Measure S because it is the best way our community can maintain and upgrade public school facilities to the level of safety and functionality our children deserve. Our high-quality schools are one reason people move to Burbank, and investing in our schools will preserve property values while preparing our young people for successful futures.
Burbank's schools were modernized with the funds from the 1997 bond, but there are always repairs that need to be made to any facility (as with a family home). Some schools were modernized 15 years ago and have significant maintenance needs. Plumbing and electrical systems, roofs and heating systems require upkeep as the years go by. Asphalt on many campuses is unsafe and in urgent need of repair. The technology infrastructure needs to be upgraded and WiFi should be installed so that our schools can keep up with modern educational advances.
Ongoing facility demands require money, and without a source of funding like Measure S provides, the money for repairs and improvements will have to come from the General Fund — which is already significantly underfunded by the state. Over the past five years, BUSD has absorbed more than $87 million in budget cuts.
Out of 46 local Unified School District tax rates, Burbank ranks 41st in the amount our community has invested in its schools (in terms of property taxes). But ours is a community that cares deeply for its schools. Just look at the time and financial commitments of PTA parents, booster associations and our business community partnerships, as well as the dedication of teachers and staff, and you can see what makes Burbank's schools among the best in California.
Please vote YES on S on March 5.