No need to double take. It's not the same Measure E the district passed in 2012. This Measure E will be a new
Trustees are floating the bond measure in an effort to upgrade all of the technology in the district. That could mean new computers beyond the 10,000 Google Chromebooks they purchased last month. It could also mean increasing the overall bandwidth -- or as Superintendent
It could mean shifting the district from physical servers to storing all of its data into the cloud.
"We'll be going away from text books and using more e-books," Lowder said, noting that new "Tech books" could be a huge advantage to students. Tech books could allow an eighth-grade student who isn't reading at middle school level to read a science lesson at a fourth-grade level.
"We need technology to help us be smarter and interact with kids," he said.
The question is, will voters support the district borrowing
Measure E would tack on another
What property owners and taxpayers should know, however, is how much they are currently paying toward Stockton Unified bonds and how much debt the district is paying toward bonds voters have already approved.
"I think one question is to find out if some of this technology can be paid for out of the bond authority they already have," Renison said.
Renison offered the property tax bill for a 1,400 square foot, three bedroom, two bath rental home he owns on
Measures C (2005) and Q (2008) are a combined
Lowder said the technology bonds are a different type of investment for tax payers for a couple of reasons. He said the district cannot buy technology upgrades with Measures C, Q or E.
Past construction bonds have been sold and paid off over a 25 to 30 year period, meaning big interest payments over that span. The law does not allow school districts to spend that kind of bond money on technology upgrades because it is bad business to pay interest for 30 years on computers that would be obsolete after five.
With technology bonds, Stockton Unified would sell bonds on a much shorter term loan -- like an amortized mortgage -- and pay it all back over three to five years.
"This way, we pay much less in interest. We would be able to spend
Chief Business Officer
Renison said taxpayers should carefully consider the options.
"I believe many district voters will be hesitant to burden themselves with even higher taxes, especially on the heels of the city's Measure A sales tax increase," Renison said.
Lowder said that
"We need to level the playing field," Lowder said. "Take an area like
District officials also worry that schools will have a hard time taking new Common Core Standards tests that require computers and internet access.
The 2014 Measure E will need a 55 percent majority vote to pass in November.
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