Why Culver City Needs a Bond on the March Ballot to Fix Our Schools’ Infrastructure

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CCUSD had a third-party Facility Condition Assessment done in 2019, which found major problems, including ongoing flood damage in Linwood Howe and la Ballona, exterior and interior architectural and finish work in most facilities requiring immediate attention, HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems reaching end of life, and much more: The district averages for all facilities weighted, five years ago, below a “C” average, and have deteriorated since that time.

Our schools need work, and this has become urgent, and a matter of safety for our children. 

I was part of the CCUSD Bond Feasibility Committee that met twice in the last month to talk about the possibility of putting this bond on the ballot next year.  After extensive discussion, the committee agreed that a Bond must be put on the ballot next year. The only question remaining was: should it be on the ballot in the March, or November elections?

In a final vote by the committee, the majority of members agreed to recommend putting the bond on the ballot in March. 

This is also the sentiment of most residents I have talked to since the meetings started. This will save us millions of dollars that would otherwise be wasted by delaying the approval of a bond due to inflation and other financial concerns. Also, in November, there are many other bonds in ballots around California that will increase competition for architects, constructors, and other needed services. 

Measure K, for example, is up for renewal in November, which is important to our teacher’s union, and this measure will be more difficult to pass with a bond in the same ballot. 

One of the comments that made an impression on me during the meetings was from Dr. Kenya Williams, the principal of our Middle School. She was worried that this necessary bond could be sidetracked—not because the infrastructure improvements are not needed, but just due to political disagreements related to the school board and bond planning details. 

I encourage Culver City residents to prioritize getting this measure passed first and let the political problems and implementation details work themselves out during the eight years of work that will be required to fix our schools in a way that makes our community proud.

There is a master plan for these improvements that the CCUSD is working from.  The plan may not be perfect, but there will be plenty of opportunities for community input throughout the process. Passing the bond is just the beginning, but it is vital that we do get started. 

Many of Culver City’s neighboring communities have passed bonds like this without even a plan in place. At this point, our district is way ahead, so let’s not lose our head start.

I am a mother of three boys in the Culver City school district, so of course their education and safety motivates me—but the quality and reputation of a school system affects all residents of a community. Part of the reason people move to Culver City is because of the quality of our schools,  which helps all residents through real estate valuations, the attraction of large business,  increased revenue in restaurants and small businesses, increased tax revenue, and increased federal funds. 

We proudly live in a great city, nestled in one of the most beautiful areas of the world, and our school system is one of the true foundations of our city’s health. 

Let’s give Culver City the opportunity to make its school system the best it can be.