Inglewood school board puts bond measure on November ballot

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INGLEWOOD — The Inglewood Unified School District will ask voters to approve a $240 million bond measure on the Nov. 3 ballot.

The bond measure will raise funds to renovate the district’s aging schools.

District leaders said the goal is two-fold. They want to provide a 21st century education for young people in Inglewood and they believe modern facilities will reverse the declining enrollment that has plagued the district for nearly 20 years.

“Our facilities are in urgent need of repairs,” said Erika F. Torres, the administrator appointed by the Los Angeles County Office of Education last November to run the district. “This is a health and safety issue. This is a social justice issue.”

Torres said that many of the district’s schools were built in the 1920s and 1930s and are in urgent need of basic health and safety repairs. 

“I am fully in support of the bond measure,” said school board member Margaret Turner-Evans. “We need to update the buildings and bring them into the 21st century.”

School board President D’Artagnan Scorza said the need is urgent and that families have been asking for the improvements. Scorza said he has heard concerns but ultimately believes a lot of homeowners understand that an investment in schools will increase their property values. 

“No one would be fighting over improving schools in a more affluent community,” Scorza said.

District leaders are currently spending more than $30 million to renovate Morningside High School. Those improvements are tentatively expected to be completed by next March.

Inglewood High would be on the district’s list of schools in need of renovations, if voters approve the bond measure.

Meanwhile, district leaders believe they’ve done their due diligence, surveying more than 600 residents, to gauge community support.

The final resolution to ask for the bond measure was approved Aug. 3.

“Now the real work begins,” said Dionne Young Faulk, vice president of the school board.

Board members and community supporters are committed to campaigning for the bond measure. They believe it will be a great opportunity to share the district’s vision with the community.

“I think it’s going to give us an opportunity to let people know what the district is doing,” Scorza said. “We’re going to use this as an opportunity to set the record straight.”

The bond measure will not cost the district $240 million, which will be provided by people investing in the bonds. The district will have to pay interest

However, they realize educating residents about why they should vote for a tax increase during a global coronavirus pandemic will take continued work.

“Now the real work begins,” shared Dr. Dionne Young Faulk, Vice President of the Inglewood Unified School Board.

Board members and community supporters are committed to campaigning for the bond measure. They believe it will be a great opportunity to share IUSD’s vision with the community.

“I think it’s going to give us an opportunity to let people know what the district is doing,” Scorza said. “We’re going to use this as an opportunity to set the record straight.”

Under state law, school districts can issue school construction bonds and levy property taxes to pay for them, as long as the voters in the district approve.

By John W. Davis

Contributing Writer