McFarland Unified School District leaders urge support for bond measure

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MCFARLAND, Calif. (KGET) – Leaders with the McFarland Unified School District are turning to the voters, asking for approval of a multi-million dollar bond measure.

If passed, the $30 million bond would help pay for improvement projects throughout the district, including repairs for leaky roofs, broken gutters, and condemned buildings deemed seismically unsafe, according to district leaders.

“The ceiling tiles are stained from the water leaks,” said Mayela Bujanda-Medina, principal at Kern Avenue Elementary School “The water has dripped so much, it’s even eating up the tile, and so it’s disintegrating,” she continued.

District leaders said they need money to make the repairs, which is why the district is behind measure B, a $30 million bond that would be paid for through an annual property tax of 55 dollars per $100,000 of assessed property value, or $5 to $6 per month.

“This will be a support not just to the students, but to the community,” said McFarland Unified School District Superintendent Aaron Resendez. He noted the bond also would go towards building a brand-new multi-purpose room at McFarland High School.

The new facility would serve as a cafeteria, auditorium, and gymnasium rolled into one. The buildings on campus today, he said, are are too small for the growing student population.

“Right now we have about 1,000 students at McFarland High School, and our cafeteria seats about 200,” he said. “On days when it’s raining, or it’s 100 degrees outside, many of our students are outside in the elements, and this is something that you won’t visit at any other comprehensive high school in the Central Valley that has these problems.”

Resendez said the new gym and auditorium would ensure no one would be turned away at future sporting events or graduation ceremonies.

“If we do not pass [this] bond, decades could could pass by. And we will never have an opportunity to address these issues. These are things our kids deserve. These are are not big asks. These are to address needs, not wants,” Resendez said.

“The kids right now — future engineers, reporters, doctors, and lawyers — are sitting in 2nd, 3rd, 4th grade classrooms right now, we want to give them what they need so that they can be successful in school and into the future,” he concluded.

Measure B needs 55% to pass. If it does, the bond would be paid back over 25 years.

*There is no known formal opposition to this measure, and the Kern Tax Payers Association supports the bill.

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