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Central Unified May Ask Voters: How Does a $109 Million Bond Measure Sound?
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By Nancy Price, Multimedia Journalist
Published 2 months ago on
February 27, 2024

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The Central Unified School Board will consider conducting a survey on voter opinions on a potential November bond measure.

The new bond measure could total $109.2 million, about $11 million less than Measure D, which voters approved in 2020.

The district would need to obtain another debt limit waiver from the state if voters approve the bond.


The Central Unified School Board on Tuesday evening will consider authorizing a voter opinion survey to put a $109.2 million bond measure on November’s ballot.

The district would not say Monday whether the revenues would go toward finishing Justin Garza High School or building other new schools.

“It is too early to speak about projects that a future bond measure would cover,” district spokeswoman Maria Cortez said in an email.

According to the report to trustees from the district’s consulting firm, Dale Scott & Company, a new bond measure could be structured to retain the current tax rate.

District Would Need New Debt Limit Waiver

But if voters approved a new bond measure, the district would need a new debt limit waiver from the state because the bonds would be in excess of 2.5% of the district’s assessed valuation. The district received such a waiver after voters approved a $120 million bond measure, Measure D, in 2020.

School districts sell bonds to pay for capital projects such as new schools, and the bonds are repaid with property tax revenues.

Conducting a voter opinion survey is an early step in the process of whether to put a new bond measure on the ballot. According to the timeline in the consultant’s report, the board would receive the survey results in April or May, finalize a project list and bond amount in June, and decide in June whether to place a bond measure on the November ballot.

Although most local government tax measures require a two-thirds majority to pass, a change in 2000 to the state Constitution as a result of Proposition 39 allows bond measures put on the ballot by K-12 school districts, community college districts, and county offices of education to pass with a 55% majority.

Citizens’ initiatives, such as Fresno County’s Measure E sales tax to benefit Fresno State, require only a simple majority to pass.

According to the Dale Scott & Company report, Central Unified has a good track record with bond measures, with voter approval of five out of seven since 1992. The failed bond measures in June 2008 and March 2020 were followed later in those same years with voter approval on the November ballots.

The public portion of the School Board meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. and will be held in room 4 of the district office at 5652 W. Gettysburg Ave. in west Fresno.

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Nancy Price,
Multimedia Journalist
Nancy Price is a multimedia journalist for GV Wire. A longtime reporter and editor who has worked for newspapers in California, Florida, Alaska, Illinois and Kansas, Nancy joined GV Wire in July 2019. She previously worked as an assistant metro editor for 13 years at The Fresno Bee. Nancy earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Her hobbies include singing with the Fresno Master Chorale and volunteering with Fresno Filmworks. You can reach Nancy at 559-492-4087 or Send an Email

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