Frequently Asked Questions

How much business does VUSD do locally?
Tulare County-based businesses earned $19.6 million in construction work in the past five years. In the last five years, about 15 percent of the budget was awarded to Visalia-based companies, and over 54 percent was awarded to businesses in Tulare County, for a total of nearly 70 percent. If local is defined as Central Valley, the percentage jumps to nearly 100 percent.

How much business does VUSD do locally?

What is Measure E?
It is a “general obligation bond measure” that was on the Nov. 6, 2012 ballot. Voters approved the extension of the current school bond property tax rate, without raising the rate. 

How will Measure E revenue be used?
To fund a wide variety of upgrades and improvements and new classrooms/portables. A new middle school is needed now to reduce overcrowding, at a cost of about $35 million.

Why doesn’t the state pay for our schools?
California provides matching funds for new construction and modernization, but VUSD has to have its match before the state will share the cost. Our kids deserve to learn and compete in quality facilities and these schools need maintenance, accessibility, safety upgrades and new technology.

How much will this bond cost me?
It is an extension of the current school property tax. It will generate $60.1 million to be repaid over 30 years. Homeowners will continue to pay about $30 per year per $100,000 of assessed value.

Can the money be used for salaries?
No. Measure E funds can only be used for technology, facilities improvements and new construction. No money can be used for salaries and the state cannot take the funds.

Who will monitor use of the money?
A Citizens' Oversight Committee has been created and VUSD is required to conduct an independent performance audit and an independent financial audit every year.

Why doesn’t the District plan for these repairs in the budget?
VUSD does have a deferred maintenance schedule to try to keep up with regular repairs on four high schools, four middle schools and 25 elementary schools. But over 40% of Visalia’s schools are 50 years old (or older), so there is not enough money in the regular budget to keep up.

Has the District cut expenses to try to save money?
Yes. VUSD has reduced its budget by $22 million in the last four years to adjust to reductions in state funding.  However, during this time the number of students has increased. Teachers have done their part to help by freezing their salaries in two separate years and they are contributing nearly 80 percent more in out-of-pocket health care costs. Bonds are a required piece of California's facilities funding model for schools.