50 Years and Older – 5
Tustin High School
Tustin Memorial Academy
40 to 49 Years Old -10
30 to 39 Years Old -4
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS ABOUT MEASURE L
TUSTIN UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT’S 2008 SCHOOL
What is Measure L?
Measure L is a local school bond measure
that will authorize $95 million to make
critically needed repairs and upgrades to
Tustin neighborhood schools. If approved by
voters, Measure L will authorize school
facility improvements—especially at two of
our local high schools, Tustin and Foothill
high schools, so local children have safe,
modern school facilities with the technology
needed to prepare for future jobs. All
Measure L funds will stay local to benefit
Tustin neighborhood schools and students.
Why is Measure L
Six years ago local voters approved a bond
measure to rehabilitate 20 of our oldest
schools in Tustin. Since then neighborhood
schools have been repaired and renovated on
time and within budget, leveraging local
funds to access millions of dollars in state
funding to reduce the cost of upgrades to
local taxpayers. But all of our schools
continue to age and need attention. Every
day thousands of Tustin students attend
classes in buildings that are 45 or more
years old. Two of our high schools in
particular—Foothill and Tustin high
schools—remain deteriorated and outdated.
Based on need and the input of parents,
teachers, staff and the community, a
specific plan has been developed to complete
the next level of renovations to the
schools. Measure L reflects this plan.
How will Measure L
funds be used?
Measure L will:
comprehensive facility upgrades at
45-year-old Foothill High School and
52-year-old Tustin High School
• Upgrade educational technology in
classrooms, labs, and school libraries
• Modernize science labs to meet
advanced course requirements for college
and university admission
• Repair deteriorated roofs, plumbing,
lighting, heating, and electrical
• Rehabilitate outdated classrooms and
school facilities for improved
• Improve safety and security on school
How is this measure
different from the District’s last bond,
In 2002, nearly 70% of voters in Tustin
Unified School District passed Measure G, a
school facilities bond measure to
rehabilitate 20 of our oldest neighborhood
schools. Measure G facility projects were
completed on time and within budget,
leveraging local funds to access millions of
dollars in state funding to reduce the cost
of upgrades to local taxpayers. Although
Measure G helped fund critical repairs,
significant upgrades are still needed.
Measure L renovation projects are the most
economical, prudent, responsible way to
address our neighborhood school facility
needs. For detailed written reports on the
use of Measure G funds, contact the Tustin
Unified School District at (714) 730-7305.
Will all TUSD schools
receive attention? Which schools will
benefit from Measure L?
Tustin Unified has newer state-of-the-art
schools in Tustin Ranch and West Irvine,
including Beckman High School and Pioneer
Middle School. These schools have been
funded by local Mello Roos taxes on
residences in those areas, which can cost
homeowners many thousands of dollars a year.
Measure L is to renovate
the older schools in the rest of the
District so that they can provide an equal
educational curriculum in the same manner as
in these newer schools. Thousands of
students attend school every day in
buildings that are 45 or more years old.
Two of our high schools
in particular—Foothill and Tustin high
schools—remain deteriorated and outdated.
They will receive priority attention. Each
will get $32 million in school facilities
improvements. Additional school upgrades are
planned at our local middle and elementary
schools. Approximately $31 million will be
used at Columbus Tustin, Currie, Hewes and
Utt middle schools and the dozen elementary
schools in the older part of the district on
items such as supporting class size
reduction and enabling equity in educational
instruction as site feasibility and funding
allow. ALL Measure L school facility
improvements will provide Tustin children
with safe, modern school facilities,
including the technology needed to prepare
for future jobs.
Is Tustin High being
No, the TUSD Board has determined that
the current Tustin High location will remain
the permanent location of Tustin High
School. Efforts to move Tustin High to a new
location met with significant funding
difficulties. The cost to build a new high
school is much greater than the cost of
modernizing the current Tustin High School
campus. Also, renovating the current campus
can begin right away, whereas building a new
school could not start for several years.
Modernizing the current campus is simply the
most economical, prudent and responsible way
of meeting the needs of Tustin High area
When will work begin
at the schools?
Once Measure L passes, work will accelerate
to make improvements to our schools.
Upgrades will be completed in priority
order, starting with health and safety
Will Measure L improve
Yes, upgrades to existing classrooms and
improved science and computer laboratories
will enhance instruction and the teaching
and learning environment. Improved
electrical service will allow students and
teachers to better access technology.
Without Measure L funds, the money earmarked
for educational programs may have to go
toward facility repairs.
How much will Measure
L cost taxpayers?
The cost to homeowners will be about $24 per
$100,000 of assessed property value.
(Assessed value should not be confused with
market value. The assessed value of property
may be much lower than its market value.)
This property tax payment is deductible on
federal and state income tax returns.
How long will the bond
We expect that students will be using the
new and renovated facilities, such as the
new science centers at Foothill and Tustin
high schools, 50 years and more from now
just as they are using buildings built 50
years ago every single day. Bonds are
generally paid off in 25 years.
Doesn’t using bonds
cost us more money in the long run?
With continued inflation expected in the
costs of many raw materials due to the
growing economies in China, India and
elsewhere, we will spend less on interest
than we would spend in higher costs if we
waited. Bonds will save us money in the long
run, and our students and schools need
improved facilities now.
What about ongoing
Tustin Unified School District’s maintenance
staff works hard to maintain our local
school facilities with limited resources.
Bond money cannot be used for regular
maintenance, but only for lasting
renovations and improvements to our schools.
TUSD fully funds regular maintenance out of
its operating budget each year as provided
by the state budget. However, the types of
repairs and need for renovation that we are
currently facing are far beyond the scope
and means of regular maintenance efforts.
Everyday thousands of Tustin students attend
classes in buildings that are 45 or more
years old. By law, bond-funded school
improvement projects must be enduring
Will businesses share
in the cost of the measures?
Yes, both commercial and residential
property will help pay for Measure L.
administrative costs? Shouldn’t the school
district cut administrative costs before
asking voters to support a bond measure?
Measure L funds will only support schools
within Tustin Unified School District. The
scale and size of the needed upgrades go
beyond the scope of the school district’s
operating budget. Making cuts to
administration or salaries would not provide
adequate resources for needed upgrades – the
ONLY way to fund needed TUSD facility
upgrades is through a local voter-supported
facilities bond measure.
How can we be sure
that Measure L money will be spent properly?
TAXPAYER PROTECTIONS ARE REQUIRED BY LAW.
An independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee
will ensure funds are spent properly. Past
members of the Measure G Citizens’ Oversight
Committee have given Tustin schools very
positive reviews of its management of
Measure G funds. The Citizens’ Oversight
Committee members have included architects,
engineers, taxpayer advocates, accountants,
city treasurer, senior citizens, and
homeowners from all neighborhoods
contributing to Measure G. NO money can be
used for administrators’ salaries. Passage
of Measure L will qualify our neighborhood
schools for state-matching funds, leveraging
local taxpayer dollars further. Measure L
will be deductible on your income taxes.
How well do Tustin Schools use our tax
dollars? By what standard?
TUSD engaged the widely-respected firm
School Services of California, Inc., to
review the financial condition of the Tustin
school district. Here were some of their
• Tustin operates a
“lean administrative model” at both
school and district levels “in all
measures of administrative staffing
• Ten Tustin schools score top rating of
“10” in statewide testing – all others
are above average when compared to
schools with similar populations.
• “The District’s budget is on extremely
firm ground, due to solid fiscal
management and a conservative philosophy
that gathered reserves during good times
to help in tough times.”
• Tustin is one of the few districts
that did not have to consider
elimination of class size reduction in
dealing with this year’s state budget
crisis, due to careful financial
• The quality of education provided by
Tustin schools are among the best in the
state, and many families buy homes in
our neighborhoods so that their children
can go to our high quality schools,
which supports our home property values.
What about other
sources of funding--like the lottery?
By law, lottery funds must go directly into
classroom instruction and cannot be used for
facility repairs, renovation or
construction. Lottery funds, although
minimal, have provided a welcome supplement
to the school district budget, supplementing
the purchase of much needed materials and
equipment. But lottery funds comprise about
2% of the school district’s budget. The
District has made every effort to secure
these and other available funds from state,
local and private sources. Passage of
Measure L will qualify TUSD for
state-matching funds when they become
available, further reducing the cost of
essential school upgrades to local
Doesn’t the STATE
provide funding for facility upgrades?
Very little state funding is available to
support local school upgrades. In order to
access state funding, school districts MUST
generate local matching funds by passing a
bond measure. Passing a local bond measure
is the only way to qualify for additional
state funding. There are no other sources of
funding for major facility upgrades.
I don’t have children
in the schools. How will Measure L benefit
Quality schools contribute to a quality
community. Resale values of homes in our
community are directly affected by the
quality of our neighborhood schools. Good
schools protect property values.
What is a General
A general obligation bond is a financing
mechanism for the funding of capital
projects such as repairing and renovating
local schools (including Tustin Unified
schools), as well as public hospitals,
libraries, police and fire stations, and
other public facilities. A bond is repayable
from taxes and guaranteed only by the credit
and taxing power of the issuer. G.O. Bond
funding has become the accepted way for
public agencies in California to make
What will happen if
Measure L doesn’t pass?
As schools age, the need for improved
facilities and more classroom space will
grow. Delaying repairs and upgrades will
increase future construction costs.
State-matching funds available to
communities that have passed bond measures,
may be exhausted and no longer be available.
Who gets to vote on
All registered voters who reside within the
area served by our older schools are
eligible to vote on Measure L. To pass,
Measure L must receive support from 55% of
the voters who vote in the November 4
Presidential Election. October 20 is the
last day to register to vote in this
What if I have more
For more information, please contact Mark
Eliot by email at
email@example.com or by
phone at (714) 730-7339. For more
information on Measure G, visit