Kern County Gives High Marks to Proposition 39
Proposition 39 (K-12) receives a solid “A” in Kern County as the program enters its junior year helping schools become greener. Proposition 39 is a California voter approved initiative which closed a tax loophole that had rewarded businesses for moving jobs out of the state. These tax dollars are now being reallocated to invest in our children by providing an environment where students can be ready to learn.
“Proposition 39 is having a huge impact on increasing the energy efficiency in California’s schools,” said Scott Fieber, energy conservation supervisor for the Kern County Superintendent of Schools (KCSOS). “We have completed all of our year-one projects and are seeing reduced energy usage as a result.”
KCSOS provides support to the more than 47 school districts in the county, which serves almost 180,000 K-12 students. The educational office applied to the California Energy Commission requesting Proposition 39 (K-12) funding for $128,647 to install energy saving upgrades at five of its more than 50 school and support sites.
Year-one funds were used to replace 25-year-old heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment and convert hundreds of 1950’s-era lighting fixtures to energy efficient ones. The educational office has already applied for its year two funding, requesting $119,315 for seven sites.
To make its funding go even further, KCSOS used the California Conservation Corps’ Fresno Center to conduct audits required by the Proposition 39 program to assess energy needs and the educational office uses its maintenance and operations staff and graduates of its Youth Build program for at-risk youth to install smaller scale projects.