A has the city of Santa Monica's seal of approval.
The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to support the measure, which will appear on the Nov. 6 ballot in Malibu and Santa Monica. Much of the money is dedicated to improvements at Santa Monica High School, if voters approve the measure.
"It's been almost 40 years since there's been any meaningful building at Santa Monica High School—and about five minutes on the campus, it shows," said councilwoman Gleam Davis.
If approved by voters, the general obligation bond would fund facility and technology upgrades across the . Twenty percent would be earmarked for schools in Malibu, but a big chunk of the money would pay for improvements at Santa Monica High School, according to Board of Education President Ben Allen.
He told the council that with , securing the funding is vital. Before , the Community Redevelopment Agency of Santa Monica was poised to revamp the high school with a new classrooms, a student union and art center.
"We already had about $56 million slated for improvements," Allen said. "There were possible other improvements coming later—all that money is gone."
The general obligation bond would cost Santa Monica and Malibu property owners $185 per year for up to 30 years (and possibly more in Malibu). The money could not be used to fund salaries for teachers or other employees.
In justifying the council's support, Davis pointed to studies that show modern facilities improve student achievement and classroom performance.
Researchers at University of California, Berkeley, recently completed a study of the Los Angeles Unified School District's school building program—financed by $19.5 billion in voter-approved state and local bonds—that was inconclusive on that front.
They found construction of 131 new schools over the last decade has helped alleviate overcrowded campuses, giving elementary students a major academic boost—but not high schoolers.
The endorsement of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified bond was made at the request of Davis and Terry O'Day—the .