With educational funds from the state and federal government decreased, and a large payment looming on the $25 million loan the district has, the Ramona school board is looking to put a $66 million school bond on the ballot for November. It’s no secret that the district needs money, and the school bond is the quickest way to achieve this.
There are pros and cons on the passing of a school bond. The biggest positive is that 100 percent of the funds will be locally controlled to support our school’s needs of which there are many. One of the biggest negatives would be, is the school district just digging a deeper financial hole to recover from by having school bond funds to pay for projects and improvements while ignoring the recurring deficit budget problems?
Make no mistake, this requires a buy-in from the entire community and financial support from the property owners to the tune of $60 per $100,000 of assessed value (as determined by the county), in the form of an additional property tax which will change each year according to property values; or on average of another $120 to $360 a year (with some owners paying less and others paying more).
So the question is, “At what price does Ramona pay for its public education?” The repairing and modernizing of our schools is imperative and needs to happen; our children should have a safe and updated environment in which to learn. But to fully support a school bond, we need to have a clear vision and a solid plan for the future with agreement from all sides to provide for a financially stable school district and not one that will continually rely on bonds and bailouts to survive. It looks like you’ll have your opportunity to decide come November.
Jeff Mitchell, Publisher