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Schools Superintendent Explains About Proposed Bond Measure

Letter from Monrovia Schools Superintendent Ryan Smith. 

Dear Monrovia Unified School District Community:

I hope you are enjoying the last days of summer!  We are excited to welcome our students back to our schools on Wednesday, August 17, and I know this will be a fantastic school year.  As you may have heard, the Board of Education has been exploring the idea of placing a school facilities improvement measure on the November ballot, having reviewed informational presentations on the subject at meetings on July 20 and July 27.  I would like to take this opportunity to provide you with some background information.

In 2019, the Board of Education hired an architecture firm to analyze the condition of our schools and facilities, some of which are nearly 100 years old.  The report identified several “priority projects” that must be addressed.  These projects include improving upon critical infrastructure like roofs and HVAC units, interiors and exteriors of buildings and classrooms, as well as other areas such as field spaces, parking lots, and walkways.  The report also highlighted additional modernization projects beyond these priorities that would cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

The Board of Education is also interested in addressing a number of other areas meant to improve our schools and the quality of education that our students receive.  With the safety of our students being of paramount importance, it is crucial that we maintain the level of safety and security that is called for in today’s world.  It is also vital that our classrooms and facilities ensure that we continue providing students with a learning experience that will prepare them for college and their careers.  A strong education in science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics is more important now than ever.  We also want to ensure that all of our facilities are fully accessible to everyone as we improve upon them.

For these reasons, the Board of Education is considering placing a facilities improvement measure on the November ballot.  The measure being considered would seek voter approval for the issuance of $75 million in general obligation bonds, based on a projected tax rate of 3 cents per $100 ($30 per $100,000) of a property’s assessed valuation, not the market value of the property.  To the median homeowner in our community, this would cost approximately $130 to $135 per year for as long as bonds are outstanding.

The Board of Education will discuss this at its next regular meeting on Wednesday, August 10, at 6:30 pm.  The meeting is open to the public, and there will be an opportunity for those attending to comment.  The meeting will be available to view at the Board’s YouTube channel for those who cannot attend but wish to watch it live or on demand.


Ryan D. Smith, Ed.D.



  1. Would someone remind me the last time we voted on school bonds? Thank you.

    1. Somewhere around 2010 or 11. If I recall it was for something like $30 million for science labs, athletic field and a few other things.

  2. After reading the comments I was curious and looked at my property tax bill from last year. We still are paying $350 a year to MUSD for the last bond that doesn’t end for several years from now. As a senior that has not had a child in the Monrovia schools for over 25 years why are we paying the bill? Other cities, like Arcadia, have exemptions for seniors. Everyone needs to pull out their most recent LACO tax bill and take a look at all the assessments we are paying for. Enough is enough! I have to run my household on a budget, why can’t government do the same?

  3. There should be a projection of few students coming objectively from the census. This would necessitate transition to lower budgets since most of the ongoing funds come from the state on the basis of daily attendance. It may be possible to restore the attendance figures by opening admissions to adjacent cities where public education isn't adequate. It appears that A/C has already been updated, so that is a red herring just mentioned to make it sound important, when the children are already chilled just fine. I didn't see anything in the list that sounded remotely important. The only needs that are apparent are better aquatic facilities. The current pool is very dangerously designed with 1950's innovations that have been abandoned and are an embarrassment now.