By Allison Jarrell

The Capistrano Unified School District Board of Trustees gave staff direction Wednesday night to move forward with preparing a June 8 presentation on the specifics of placing an $889 million general obligation bond on the November 2016 general election ballot. The bond would be used to fund more than $800 million in deferred maintenance of district facilities.

Beginning in mid-October 2015, a Community Committee on School Classrooms and Campus Facilities began holding meetings on topics including facilities funding and ultimately recommended the district board “pursue additional funds from all possible resources for its school facilities,” “transition to a district-wide funding model over time,” and “pursue a district-wide general obligation bond to further raise additional funds.”

According to a phone survey conducted by Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates from April 28 to May 10, of the 1,171 Capo Unified voters surveyed, 62 percent of respondents would definitely or probably vote “yes” or lean toward voting “yes” in favor of an $889 million bond measure to fund repairs and upgrades to district facilities. After learning more about the measure, that percentage increased modestly to 64 percent. About 29 percent of residents polled would definitely or probably vote “no” or lean toward voting “no.”

After reviewing the survey’s findings, the board directed staff during a May 18 special workshop to bring further information and a timeline for facilities funding options to the May 25 meeting.

On Wednesday, a breakdown of cities polled was also presented to the board. After learning about the measure, 66 percent of voters polled in San Juan Capistrano said they would definitely or probably vote in favor of a bond. In San Clemente, 56 percent said yes, and in Dana Point, 65 percent said yes.

Wednesday’s agenda item was for discussion only, so no formal vote was taken. The board directed staff to prepare a June 8 bond presentation with the goal of voting on the bond measure on June 22. Since the deadline for placing a bond measure on the November ballot is Aug. 12, the last opportunity for the board to vote on the measure would be its regularly scheduled meeting on July 20.

Two-thirds of the board—five trustees—must approve the measure for it to be placed on the ballot.

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