Almost a decade has passed since California last authorized a statewide school bond to build new schools and modernize existing schools. There is currently a backlog of over $2 billion in K-12 projects awaiting state funding and an equivalent backlog in funding for high-priority community college projects.
Yesterday, the California Secretary of State announced that a school bond initiative measure sponsored by Californians for Quality Schools – a coalition of building industry and school district organizations — had received sufficient signatures to qualify for the November 2016 ballot. If passed, the measure would authorize $9 billion in bond funding to build new schools, upgrade existing facilities and invest in community colleges and job training programs.
Under the measure, $3 billion would be allocated for new K-12 construction; $3 billion for K-12 modernization; $2 billion for community colleges (to be administered by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office); $500 million for charter schools; and $500 million for career technical education;
The full text of the initiative can be found here.
Past statewide school bond measures have a strong track record of success, with 14 out of 15 ballot initiatives passing since 1982. Recent polling sponsored by Californians for Quality Schools has indicated that 63% of likely voters would support the measure.