Perris Union High School District considers bond for 2012

The Perris Union High School District teaches over 10,000 students between its eight schools, several which will be overcrowded in the next ...

The Perris Union High School District teaches over 10,000 students between its eight schools, several which will be overcrowded in the next three years.

In an effort to accommodate each and every incoming student, the district is considering placing a $150 million school bond measure on an upcoming ballot next year.

A Bond Measure Feasibility Committee, made up of parents, school officials, community members, principals, and district superintendent Johnathan Greenberg, will prioritize the needs of each school.

The bond’s funds will be earmarked for building new school facilities, campus safety upgrades, and up-to-date technology for classrooms.

During a meeting last week, school officials spoke to the bond committee about the overcrowding on their campuses and the need to upgrade the facilities and technology to help their students succeed.

“It’s tough to maintain student achievement when you’re pushing [a population of] 3,000,” said Brian Morris, principal at Paloma Valley High School. “Then it becomes a management situation.”

Brady McCarron, a substitute teacher who works for the district, said class sizes are increasing and hindering student achievement.

“Teachers are not reaching every student,” said McCarron, who often substitutes classes of up to 40 students. “We’re forgetting students because we put them in classes that are too big, and we ignore them.”

He continued, “If we expect our students to achieve and be productive, we should respect them and provide them with better facilities.”

A couple of proposed facilities include a two-story science, technology, engineering, and math building for Heritage High School, and a math and technology center to replace the portables at Perris High School.

“We want to make sure that we provide first class facilities for teachers,” said Greenberg. “By upgrading our facilities and buildings, we’ll attain the best and brightest teachers.”

To further prevent overcrowding, the district will also be opening two new high schools. The first site, located in Menifee, has already been paid for. The second one is located in the Lakeview/Nuevo area.

The district isn’t sure when they will place this bond, but know that they will eventually have to. With this bond, property owners would pay $30 for every $100,000 of their property’s assessed value.

Greenberg said that despite the state of the economy, this would be an ideal time to improve the district’s schools.

“We can be proactive and go after this bond and ask the community to invest in our schools,” he said. “This is actually the best time to build because labor and material costs are down.”

Another meeting will be held for the Bond Measure Feasibility Committee on Jan. 17 at 6 p.m. at Heritage High School.

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