PBVUSD turning to voters for $90 million through Measure H
11:09 AM, Sep 26, 2018
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - The Panama-Buena Vista Union School District is asking voters to approve a $90 million bond, Measure H, that is said to fund safety improvements and new schools if passed.
If approved, the measure would need to pass by 55% and would cost property owners $30 for every $100,000 in assessed value per year, for 10 years.
Superintendent Kevin Silberberg said over the last nine years the district has grown by over 1,800 students, which has forced 40% of the districts students to be in portable classrooms. At Panama Elementary, 60% of students are in portables.
"Those are good temporary solutions, but for long term it's not acceptable," he said.
Silberberg said the district is expected to continue to grow about 2% every year for the next 15 years.
"With the state of California not funding new construction, this is our only option," he said.
In addition to projects at all 24 of the districts schools, the bond would fund three new schools.
The district says there are currently 235 students who have to be bussed away from their home schools in order to maintain class sizes.
"We have to work very hard to relocate kids to different classrooms at different schools at great expense so we can keep them at those numbers. It's not good for kids to have to leave their neighborhood school and get on a bus because that school has so many kids it can't handle it anymore," said Silberberg.
Kindergarten teacher Rebecca Alvarez says she sees the impact on students at Panama.
"Emotionally it’s devastating for them. Especially at this age," she said. "Then you pull them out and put them not just in a new class with a new teacher, but a whole new school. We still have kids crying at this point of the year.”