How are Manteca Unified School District (MUSD) schools doing?
MUSD schools have provided a high-quality education to local students for decades. We are committed to providing quality educational facilities and enriching academic programs that prepare local students for college and careers. MUSD strives to ensure that every student works to achieve grade level standards, feels safe and is supported to realize individual success.
How is COVID-19 affecting the 2020-2021 school year?
In accordance with Governor Newsom’s guidelines for reopening schools for the 2020-2021 school year, and due to San Joaquin County being on the “watch list”, MUSD will begin the school year in distance learning for all students. The reopening plan will remain fluid and flexible when San Joaquin moves off the “watch list” and revised rules and regulations are presented by the San Joaquin County Public Health Department. MUSD has developed three Return to School options for families based on the most current health conditions in San Joaquin County. Visit www.mantecausd.net/returntoschool for more info.
In order to re-open in-person learning the state has released framework for K-12 schools to re-open. A full plan of requirements can be found at: https://files.covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-schools.pdf
What facilities challenges have been identified at MUSD schools?
The District has engaged in a comprehensive facilities master planning process to identify the most urgent and high-priority school facilities improvement needs at our schools. Many of our schools are over 50 years old and need basic health and safety improvements to ensure students have safe and modern schools and classrooms. Some MUSD schools have outdated classrooms and labs, leaky roofs, deteriorating plumbing and gas lines, faulty electrical systems and bathrooms in disrepair.
Additionally, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, upgrades are needed to protect student and teacher health and safety, including upgrades to classrooms to allow for social distancing and safe in-person learning, adding new handwashing and sanitizing stations, replacing drinking fountains with bottle filler stations for safe drinking water, among other needed requirements recommended by the state and local health departments.
How is the District planning to address these issues?
To provide dedicated local funding to upgrade and repair schools to address the most urgent needs, the MUSD Board of Trustees has placed Measure A, a $260 million local funding measure on the upcoming November ballot.
The needs identified in the Facilities Master Plans are far beyond what can be funded from the District’s budget without dramatically reducing funding for teachers and classroom instructional programs. MUSD cannot rely on the State of California to provide funding for school facility improvements.
Specifically, how would funds from a local school improvement bond measure be used?
If approved by 55% of voters, funds from a school improvement measure could:
- Upgrade classrooms and school facilities for safe in-person learning so students and teachers can return to school
- Add new handwashing and sanitizing stations and replace drinking fountains with bottle filler stations for safe drinking water
- Improve student safety and campus security, including upgrading emergency communications systems and repairing or replacing deteriorating roofs, plumbing, sewer and electrical systems where needed
- Upgrade inefficient heating and classroom ventilation systems for better air circulation
- Update job training facilities and equipment to prepare graduates for good jobs and to be able to compete in a challenging job market
- Improve access to classrooms and school facilities for students and staff with disabilities
How do I know funds from a measure would be used responsibly?
A school improvement measure would require strict accountability provisions, including:
- Independent citizen oversight and annual audits to ensure funds are spent as authorized
- No money used for administrator salaries or pensions
- All funds must stay local in MUSD schools, no funds can be taken by the State
- Help MUSD qualify for state-matching funds that would otherwise go to other school districts
How were the facilities needs at MUSD schools identified?
The District has engaged experts, community members, teachers and staff in a comprehensive facilities master planning process over the past couple years to conduct facilities needs assessments at each school site and identify specific projects needed along with associated costs.
Additionally, repairs and upgrades will need to be made in order to comply with COVID-19 related requirements.
How much would this bond measure cost?
If approved, Measure A is projected to cost property owners no more than $45 per $100,000 of assessed value (not market value) per year as long as bonds are outstanding.
Since the assessed values of new homes have increased in the MUSD area, the District expects based on current bond market conditions that it can issue bonds that result in a lower tax rate than previous bond measures, helping to reduce cost to taxpayers
Is there any other way to update our schools?
MUSD has very few options when it comes to making critical upgrades to our local schools. The State has been an unreliable partner, so we can’t rely on them to complete the repairs and upgrades our schools need to continue providing a safe, high-quality education.
What about Measure G?
Local voters approved Measure G in 2014 so the District could address significant repairs and upgrades needed to local schools. Thanks to Measure G, MUSD has already improved schools and completed multiple projects as promised. It was always known that Measure G funds would not fully cover the extensive repairs and upgrades that are needed at local schools. Measure G was the first funding phase of planned facility improvements and a potential new measure would complete the next phase. Due to increased property values in the District and the District’s ability to capture low interest rates in the bond market, Measure G bond cost property owners less than original projections approved by voters in 2014.
Didn’t we just have a bond measure on the ballot for our schools?
Yes, Measure R on the March ballot fell just 4% short of the passage threshold. Since then, the COVID-19 pandemic has only increased the urgency for making our schools safe for students to resume in-person learning. Plus, decreased construction costs and interest rates allow MUSD to upgrade our schools at a lower cost if we act quickly. Passage of a bond measure would create local jobs and economic stimulus to help with the COVID-19 economic recovery. These are the reasons the MUSD Board voted to place a new bond measure on the November ballot for voters to consider.
I don’t have any kids in schools. How does local education funding affect me?
Great schools support strong, safe communities. Whether or not you have school-age children, protecting high-quality schools means protecting our quality of life and protecting our home values.
Would I be able to vote on the potential measure?
All registered voters living in the Manteca Unified School District would be eligible to vote on the potential measure.
What level of support would this measure need to pass?
This measure would need to be supported by 55% of those who vote on the measure in order for it to pass.
How can I find out more?
Please visit www.mantecausd.net or contact Victoria Brunn, Director of Community Outreach in the Superintendent’s Office, at email@example.com with questions or comments.