The "Pay-As-You-Go" Plan (PAYGO) would provide essential school renovations and repairs for failing systems, including HVAC, electrical systems, networking and other major needs, at 40 existing schools and would replace two schools and build two schools for areas experiencing excessive overcrowding. The projects would be funded by a temporary in property tax (21¢ per $100 assessed valuation) for up to six years, costing $6.19 a month for the owner of a typical $100,000 home. The plan provides a Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO), fiscally-responsible way to finance school construction projects, similar to how families save up to purchase items and make home repairs.
Education reforms are under way to improve academic achievement. The classrooms and school facilities have a direct impact on learning, and providing the best learning environment possible will help our students to achieve their full potential. In addition to benefitting our students with the basic needs of reliable water, air conditioning and power, the plan would result in local jobs, increased operational and energy efficiencies as 30- to 50-year-old building systems are replaced and improved technology to meet national core standards and prepare students for a technology-driven workforce.
If the ballot question is not supported by the voters, as systems fail at our schools, money for repairs would have to come from the general operating budget, which would require the Clark County School District Board of Trustees to make some tough choices, such as cuts to existing programs, increased class sizes, reductions in bus service, a return to year-round calendars or even school closures.
I-Team: Older Las Vegas Schools in Need of Repairs
School Repair Project
The "Pay-As-You-Go" Plan (PAYGO) would provide essential school renovations and repairs for failing systems, including HVAC, electrical systems, networking and other major needs at 42 existing schools, replace two schools and build two schools for areas experiencing excessive overcrowding. The projects would be funded by a 21¢ increase on property tax for up to six years, costing $6.19 a month for the average homeowner with assessed valuation of $100,000. The plan provides a Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO), fiscally-responsible way to finance school construction projects, similar to how families save up to purchase items and make home repairs
Education reforms are under way to improve academic achievement. The classrooms and school facilities have a direct impact on learning, and providing the best learning environment possible will help our students to achieve their full potential. In addition to benefitting our students with the basic needs of reliable water, air conditioning and power, the plan would result in local jobs, increased operational and energy efficiencies as 30- to 50-year-old building systems are replaced and improved technology to meet national core standards and prepare students for a technology-driven workforce and.
If the ballot question is not supported by the voters, as systems fail at our schools, money for repairs would have to come from the general operating budget, which would require the Clark County School District Board of Trustees to make some tough choices, such as cuts to existing programs, increasing class sizes, school closures, year round calendars, reductions in bus service and even school closures.
Shall Clark County School District be authorized to levy an additional property tax rate of up to 21.2 cents per $100 assessed valuation for capital construction for schools for a period of up to 6 years, commencing on July 1, 2013? The cost for the owner of a new $100,000 home is estimated to be $74.20 per year. If this question is approved by the voters, any property tax levied as authorized by this question will be outside of the caps on a taxpayer's liability for property (ad valorem) taxes established by the legislature in the 2005 session.
A "yes" vote would permit Clark County School District to levy a capital projects tax for up to six (6) years in an amount of not to exceed 21.2 cents per $100 of assessed valuation commencing July 1, 2013. The proceeds of the capital projects tax are to be used only for capital projects for schools, including but not limited to, acquiring sites for schools and acquiring, constructing and equipping school improvements and replacements.
A "no" vote would prevent the District from levying this capital projects tax at this time and accomplishing the capital projects that would be financed with the capital projects tax.
The process leading to Clark County Question 2
Capital improvements regularly go before the Clark County School District Board of Trustees for approval. In addition to ongoing projects, expenditures and updates to the previous program, discussions in public meetings take place to plan for future needs.
In 2008, the Board of Trustees held a public hearing to determine options to extend or replace the 10-year 1998 bond program. Economic conditions at the time led to the decision not to pursue a formal new plan, but instead to maximize the use of the remaining 1998 bond proceeds and to monitor the needs and economy for future planning. Since then, each time the possibility of a new plan was discussed during board meetings, it was delayed due to economic conditions.
In February 2012, the projected needs were reviewed, along with the fund balances and the economic forecasts. The Board of Trustees asked staff to develop options to address the growing number of schools' capital improvement needs.
In a public meeting on April 26, 2012, the Trustees considered two options for capital improvements: bond financing and a "pay-as-you-go" plan that would address needs only as funds become available over time. After lengthy discussion and continuing the meeting on May 2, the Board of Trustees selected the pay-as-you-go plan, which will serve as a "bridge" to meet the most critical needs until other long-term needs can be considered and will allow funds to go directly to school projects without the issuance and related debt of bonds.
The following chart provides many of the steps in leading to the ballot question:
The general election takes place November 6, 2012.
The Clark County Election Departments oversees voter registration for the county. For more voter information, visit here. Important election dates include:
A map shows the location of the schools included in the 2012 capital improvement plan and the types of projects proposed for each school. Map of proposed projects
The classroom has a direct impact on the learning process and student achievement.
The U.S. Department of Education provides highlights from studies about the physical school building conditions. From the studies, facilities appear to be a precondition to provide support for student learning.
While teachers and the curriculum matter the most, researchers have found a 5 to 17 percentile points difference in student achievement between students in schools with poor building conditions and those in buildings in excellent condition, even with socioeconomic status considered. The ways that facility conditions can have influence learning include:
One report1 concluded that "the tacit message of the physical indignities in many urban schools is not lost on the students. It bespeaks neglect, and students' conduct seems simply an extension of the physical environment that surrounds them," and another study2 reported that "the depressed physical environment of many schools...is believed to reflect society's lack of priority for these children and their education."
A survey3 of students in grades six through 12 revealed how they felt about the conditions of their schools, including:
A school environment with sufficient heating, air, plumbing, electrical and roofing supports the educational reform under way at CCSD.
1Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. An Imperiled Generation: Saving Urban Schools. Princeton, New Jersey: Author. ED 293940.
2Poplin, Mary, and Joseph Weeres (1992). Voices from the Inside: A Report on Schooling from Inside the Classroom. Part One: Naming the Problem. The Institute for Education in Transformation at the Claremont Graduate School.
3Edwards, Nicole (2006), School Facilities and Student Achievement: Student Perspectives on the Connection Between the Urban learning Environment and Student Motivation and Performance. Author. Columbus, Ohio.
CCSD has a proven track record of successful, fiscally-responsible capital improvement programs.
Oversight for capital improvement projects have included:
The district's building program has become a national model of success, and CCSD takes seriously the fiscal stewardship of taxpayer dollars. Ongoing audits meet with approval, and honors bestowed by other organizations indicate the quality and rigor of the district's business practices.
The Council of Great City Schools recognized the Clark County School District as a 2011 Top Performing School District in the management of its Asset Protection and Safety and Security Operations.
The Government Finance Officer's Association presented the Clark County School District with the "Distinguished Budget Presentation Award" for the district's annual budget for the fiscal year 2011-2012. In order to receive this award, the district must publish a budget document that meets program criteria as a policy document, as an operations guide, as a fiscal plan, and as a communications device.
The Association of School Business Officials also presented the District with the "Meritorious Budget Award" for 2011-2012 for excellence in the preparation and issuance of its school system budget. The award is given by ASBO International to recognize school business management professionals who present budgets that are easily understood and document school practices that tie budgets to school system goals and objectives.
The district's more than 37,000 employees are taxpayers, too. They teach, transport students, serve meals, patrol the campuses and support the learning process in many other ways, and they contribute to the local economy and the sales, property and other taxes of the state.
For more information, visit the CCSD website for the Budget Department and previous building programs.
How "Pay-As-You-Go" Plan (PAYGO) plan projects are determined
When the Board of School Trustees approved moving forward on the ballot initiative, staff developed a list of schools with the most critical needs that could be addressed by an estimated $669 million in the proposed plan. The list identifies the types of needs, such as replacing the HVAC (heating, venting and air conditioning), repairing plumbing and updating security systems, but it does not provide equipment details and cost estimates in order to retain the integrity of the bid process.
To determine priorities once funds become available, a list will be developed using the facility condition index, or FCI, a benchmark to compare estimated costs of repairs and renovations to the replacement value. Since the FCI changes over time depending upon the specifics of a site, construction, equipment, rates of decline, estimated costs and other factors, it must be considered when funds are available and a project will move forward.
With the proposed "pay as you go" plan, funds would not come in all at once but over its six-year span, and nothing would come to the district until July 2013, when the greatest needs would be identified.
New or replacement schools, although likely not addressed at first, will be determined in public meetings, and replacement schools follow the process and prioritization steps outlined in CCSD Regulation 7112.
Major Modernization: Multiple systems are addressed. Typically performed when a school reaches 20 years of life or subsequent 20 year intervals. May include air conditioning, plumbing, fire sprinkler, classroom upgrades, electrical service, fire alarm, security systems, clock/intercom, LAN and roofing.
Replace HVAC System: Typically involves replacing heating/cooling generation and air handlers. Ductwork is usually tested to determine if sections need to be replaced.
Electrical System Upgrade: This project replaces a typical 30 year system. Namely the main power panel and any subpanels. Branch circuitry and outlets are normally addressed in classroom upgrade and low voltage system projects.
New Gymnasium: Previous gyms built at rural high schools were based on a middle school model. Due to the actual participation of the local community in the rural school athletic programs, additional gymnasium and physical fitness space is necessary to provide equity for these schools versus an urban high school.
Fix Our Schools: CCSD's Ballot Initiative
Information on ballot question provided during show on Vegas PBS.
Superintendent Jones announces two replacement schools for proposed capital plan.
Associate Superintendent Joyce Haldeman explains the PAYGO Plan.
An overview of the proposed capital plan that is Question 2 on the ballot is provided in a presentation by CCSD's Community & Government Relations Associate Superintendent Joyce Haldeman.
Jeff Weiler presents to the Board
C CCSD Chief Financial Officer Jeff Weiler presented information on April 26 about capital improvement plan options. The Board of School Trustees voted to pursue the Pay-As-You-Go option that will be limited 6 years, without the issuance of bonds and without long-term debt.
Nevada First Ladies address the Board
At the April 26, 2012, special board meeting, former Nevada First Ladies Sandy Miller and Dawn Gibbons announced the formation of the School Improvement Committee to support the District's capital improvement ballot initiative. A registered PAC, the School Improvement Committee will raise funds and conduct a promotional campaign to support the levy to provide much-needed relief for schools' aging building systems, such as heating, air conditioning, plumbing and electrical. Two other former Nevada First Ladies, Dema Guinn and Bonnie Miller, also participate in the PAC.
Dema Gunn addresses the Board
Former Nevada First Lady Dema Guinn reflected on the importance of education and the role her late husband, Governor Kenny Guinn filled at CCSD. Her personal insights reflect the importance of equity in the schools to provide all students similar learning environments.
Passage of Question 2 would provide funding for the most critical of repairs and systems at a number of schools. School facilities have a direct impact on the teaching and learning process, and the projects will provide much-needed relief for failing roofs, plumbing, heating, air conditioning, electrical systems and security. Unless additional funding is provided, when repairs are needed, monies would be taken from the classroom operating budget, which could result in cuts to existing programs, increased class sizes or even school closings.
Improvements to the learning environment would provide the basic needs of reliable water, air conditioning, and power. When 30- to 50 year-old systems are replaced, the new systems will increase efficiencies, saving energy and operation costs.
The projects support improved technology in the classroom. Today's students will enter a high-tech workforce. Jobs from automotive to medicine rely on computers, yet some older classrooms have only one electrical outlet and cannot support computers or other electronic teaching tools.
Overcrowding will be addressed. The intense population growth that more than doubled the number of students in the past 20 years has slowed down, and now the focus shifts to essential repairs and equity in our schools. However, certain areas are growing, and this program will address overcrowding with the construction of two new schools where needed most.
When a major business considers moving to Clark County, the quality of education is often a factor. Safe and functioning schools play a vital role in building a strong community, helping to stimulate economic development and attracting new jobs as companies seek an educated workforce.
In addition to benefiting our students, the plan will result in local jobs, putting people to work and putting money back into our community.
This "pay as you go" approach provides for projects as funds are collected, for up to six years. Funds go directly and solely to school improvements, without the issuance of bonds or incurring debt. These funds cannot be used to pay for teacher salaries or operating expenses.
The PAYGO plan focuses on just the most critical school needs within the county's 357 schools that serve more than 308,000 students and cover more than 33 million square feet. While the average home may have one or two air conditioning units, CCSD has more than 6,000 heating, venting and air conditioning units; 25 HVAC systems are in dire need and are included in the plan.
The 21-cent increase in property tax would cost the average owner of a $100,000 home approximately $6.19 per month. That means, for the cost of about one fast-food 'combo' meal a month or two specialty coffees, property owners can make a difference for our children.
Funding is necessary for these critical needs. The 1998 ten-year bond program, with good management, successfully provided for capital improvements for the past 14 years. However, the capacity for new bonds is not estimated until 2018. In light of the economic downturn, the school board did not pursue a new program in 2008. With economic recovery emerging, the time for a capital improvement program is now, since PAYGO funds will not begin supporting school improvements until the fall of 2013.
No. The current debt obligation from the 1998 program will begin to expire in 2018. At that time, the tax rate would begin to decline.
Capital improvement plans, or CIP, for the school district addresses the major needs of school buildings. The proposed plan takes a "pay-as-you-go" approach to fund vital needs as funds accumulate, without loans or long-term debt. Capital assets, a common term in business, represent long-term property and equipment that can add value, with the expense depreciated over the life of the asset. At CCSD, these include the large systems, such as plumbing, heating, air conditioning, electrical and security that support the buildings and wear out over time.
In Nevada and a short list of other states, the major needs are not included in the daily operating budget, known as the General Fund. The cost of staying at a hotel covers both expenses and profit for the company - everything from salaries, supplies, energy costs, room cleaning, maintenance both big and small, system repairs and replacements. The school district's General Fund covers teachers, salaries, supplies, energy costs, cleaning and minor maintenance, but it does not provide for major or capital expenses such as the plumbing, heating, air conditioning, electrical and security systems in the 2012 plan.
A bond program allows an entity to issue certificates to raise money, and the levy goes to pay for the issuance of bonds and related debt, which is interest to the buyers of the bonds. The proposed Pay-As-You-Go capital improvement plan is shorter term, smaller plan, and the levy goes directly to the school projects without the issuance of bonds and payment of debt.
The capacity for new bonds is not estimated until 2018. The 1998, ten-year bond program was successful, but a new bond program was not pursued in 2008, due to the early stages of the economic downturn. The Board of School Trustees reviewed the situation regularly and selected the "pay-as-you-go" option this year. There are indicators that the economy is improving, and no funds exist for the capital projects identified in the 2012 plan.
Yes. In 1985 and 1996, the voters approved similar "pay-as-you-go" plans. The 1985 program provided $60 million for school needs, and the 1996 program provided $642 in school projects.
In Nevada, each county addresses support for schools' capital needs. Going before the voters allows the community to have a voice in an initiative that will have a direct impact on the community and its future leaders.
If the ballot question is not supported by the voters, as systems fail at our schools, the money to repair and replace will have to come from the operating budget, which will require cutting existing programs, or increasing class sizes.
The School Improvement Committee is a group of community volunteers who support County Question 2. Formed by four former Nevada first ladies - Sandy Miller, Bonnie Bryan, Dema Guinn and Dawn Gibbons - and funded by donations, the committee prepares ads and other support for the capital improvement plan.
Each need merits individual consideration. Education is fundamental to the health of the local community and a vibrant economy, and students hold our collective future and the potential to meet each need.
Better schools build better communities and benefit the entire community. The schools, located in our neighborhoods throughout the county, literally represent community assets.
In addition to providing much-needed relief for failing roofs, electrical, HVAC, alarms, plumbing and other practical systems, the capital improvement plan will provide:
Facilities support student achievement. Various studies confirm the role of buildings as a precondition for learning, and researchers have found a 5 to 17 percentile points difference in student achievement between students in schools with poor building conditions and those in buildings in excellent condition, with socioeconomic status factored in the studies.
CCSD is committed to improving student achievement and implemented measures have put the district on path to boost test scores and graduation rates. While teachers and curriculum are vital aspects, a school environment with sufficient heating, air, plumbing, electrical and roofing supports the educational reform under way at CCSD.
Decisions related to schools' capital projects are made in public meetings and are guided by established regulations, policies and procedures. To determine priorities once funds become available, a list will be developed using the facility condition index, or FCI, a benchmark to compare estimated costs of repairs and renovations to the replacement value. Identified projects go to bid in a formal process.
CCSD has a proven track record of successful, fiscally-responsible capital improvement programs, and the district's building program has become a national model of success.
In Nevada and a short list of other states, the capital needs are not included in the daily operating budget. To use operating funds, or if the ballot question is not supported by the voters, the money to repair and replace systems that fail at our schools will take away from the classroom, requiring cutting existing programs or increasing class sizes. Nevada's basic per pupil funding is the leanest and last in the nation, yet education is good value for preparing students to become working, contributing members of the community.
With current reports on economic recovery taking shape, the lead time for a capital improvement plan is now, since funds will not begin supporting the school improvements until the fall of 2013.
With the proposed Pay-As-You-Go Plan, funds would not come in all at once but will be received and spent over its six-year span. If adopted, the initiative would take effect beginning in July 2013, and nothing would come to the district until October 2013, when the greatest needs would be identified and projects would begin.
Retaining the rate of the 1998 bond program, which was for 10 years and ended in 2008, would also require a ballot initiative to go before the voters, and the capacity for more bonds is not estimated until 2018. The current proposal is a distinct plan for a smaller, shorter term "bridge" to address the most critical needs until long-term needs can be addressed.
No. The election resolution limits the funds and states that the proceeds "are to be used only for the capital projects for schools, including but not limited to, acquiring sites for schools and acquiring, constructing, and equipping school improvements and replacements."
The District cannot use these funds for any other purpose other than for what goes before the voters, unless the Nevada Legislature changes the law or directs otherwise.
There is no debt service related to the Pay-As-You-Go capital improvement plan. Debt service, or interest owed to purchasers of bonds from the 1998 program, will continue to be covered by the mandatory reserves specific to that purpose.
Local jobs will result from the projects on the CIP list, putting the money back into our community and putting people to work, who in turn purchase goods and services.
Education also plays a vital role to build a strong community and to attract businesses and jobs as companies seek an educated workforce.
The list of projects can be found at here. Detailed equipment lists and cost estimates are not provided in order to get the best price and retain the integrity of the project bid process.
The 2012 capital improvement plan will not cover the more substantial long-term needs identified by the schools, the facility condition index, the formal technology plan or other previous sources.
The proposed plan is a bridge to cover only the most critical needs. A chart presented at the Board of School Trustees meeting on April 26, 2012, shows the distinction between the projects funded by the 1998 program, the proposed plan/bridge projects and the remaining unfunded needs.
While specific circumstances can change, schools are regularly monitored through site observations and evaluated using the facility condition index, or FCI, a national benchmark to compare estimated costs of repairs and renovations to the replacement value. The FCI changes over time depending upon the specifics of the site, construction, equipment, rates of decline, estimated costs and other factors, so each need will be considered when funds are available and a project will move forward.
Growth more than doubled the number of students in the past 20 years, and although slowed in recent years, the current school year welcomed more than 311,300 students, the highest student population ever at the District and more than 3,000 students over last year's enrollment. Growth in some neighborhoods during the past few years has resulted in overcrowded schools. Five elementary schools currently serve more than 1,000 students on campuses designed for 725 children. While the proposed plan focuses on essential repairs and equity in our schools, the plan will address overcrowding where needed most.
Those projects would be determined when funds become available, although they likely will not be addressed at first. Enrollment and overcrowding of schools at that time will influence the areas of need for new schools.
When possible, additional classrooms will be added to schools to reduce the use of portables. However, the focus of this capital improvement plan is to provide essential school renovations and repairs for failing systems, including HVAC, electrical systems, outdated technology and other major needs, with the exception of replacement school projects. Shifts in population within neighborhoods influence the need for or elimination of portable classroom space.
Facility condition index, or FCI, is a widely-used, national benchmark to compare estimated costs of repairs and renovations to the replacement value. The FCI provides an assessment tool for monitoring capital assets, or the property, buildings and equipment of organizations. Like other agencies, the school district utilizes the FCI to prioritize needs.
Only 5% of the technology needs at the 357 schools would be addressed in the 2012 plan, and networking and teaching equipment are capital assets rather than daily supplies. Today's students will enter a high-tech workforce, making some technology essential to education. In addition, technology has expanded the methods and scope of learning in classrooms. Technology is also part of the common core standards implemented in 45 states, including Nevada, and state assessments are moving to an online-only format.
Education has changed, just as medicine, energy, automotive, technology and many other aspects of our daily lives have changed. Today's students don't just learn differently, they learn different information: a broader, faster, dynamic wealth of knowledge ushered in by the information age and emerging technologies in a global society. Students today still learn reading, writing and arithmetic, and they learn much more, including problem solving and reasoning skills needed at work and home. Just as most of us can appreciate the advancements in medicine, education today is advancing for the benefit of the entire community. People can get involved and experience today's education sea change through a number of school district programs and opportunities; listed here.
The saying "a rising tide lifts all boats" applies to community endeavors such as the CIP. Everyone benefits when students succeed and enter the workforce ready to contribute to the community. The increased jobs, improved energy and operational efficiencies and better schools build a stronger, better Southern Nevada.
Regular maintenance has helped prolong the life and effectiveness of the building systems, such as heating, air conditioning and plumbing. However, due to age and use, systems wear out, and eventually repairs are no longer successful or become more expensive than replacements, which offer energy and operational efficiencies. Adding to the challenges of maintenance and ongoing repairs are the budget cuts made due to state funding reductions. The district, like many families, was forced to make tough decisions, cutting 12% and then another 20% reduction across the board to non-instructional areas, including maintenance and custodial. That means fewer people are covering more square feet in the schools with fewer supplies and materials.
The election resolution specifically limits Question 2 to six years. Any extension or different plan would require voter approval.
Decisions related to schools' capital projects are made in public meetings, guided by established policies and procedures, and reported in public documents.
CCSD has a proven track record of successful, fiscally-responsible capital improvement programs, and the district's building program has become a national model of success. To determine priorities once funds become available, a list will be developed using the facility condition index, or FCI, a benchmark to compare estimated costs of repairs and renovations to the replacement value. Identified projects go to bid in a formal process.