The Fountain Valley School District Board of Trustees voted Thursday to put a $23.5-million bond on the November ballot to pay for upgraded computers and other technology.
The measure, which the board approved 4 to 1, aims to replace outdated equipment and, in some cases, even fill voids. Supt. Marc Ecker said the district's computers are four to five years old on average and that the technology lab at the district headquarters has no computers left after administrators donated them to schools.
The bond measure, Ecker said, is at least the district's first since he joined the district in 1979, and possibly its first in history.
"This is all about creating 21st-century classrooms," he said.
If the measure passes, residents will pay about $15 a year per $100,000 assessed value of their homes or commercial properties for the next 25 years.
In addition to funding computers, the bond seeks to upgrade and expand wireless systems, telecommunications, Internet and network connections, strengthen electrical service capacity and establish a classroom fund to keep technology up to date.
Sandra Crandall, the only trustee who voted against putting the measure on the ballot, said she supports the district's technology push, but resisted giving the bill to taxpayers. She noted the other tax initiatives on the November ballot and the fact that the Coast Community College District is considering a bond measure as well.
"I think our families and citizens have kind of hit the wall with taxes," Crandall said. "I support the technology plan. I just support a different way of funding it."
Ecker, for his part, said he would spearhead efforts over the coming months to pitch the measure to voters — especially seniors who don't have children in the district.
"I thought it was going to be an easy fall, but I guess not," he said. "I'm going to have to get out there and make a compelling argument to stand up for our kids."