Assemblywoman Catharine Baker (R-San Ramon) has announced her endorsement of the Public Education Facilities Bond Initiative. This initiative will allow the sale of $9 billion in bonds to fund the construction and modernization of facilities in California K-12 schools and community colleges.
"Before the school bond initiative was first announced, I sat down with many local school board members, school administrators, city officials, and parents of school-age children from throughout our District, and the need for modernization and construction of facilities in our local schools couldn’t have been more clear," said Assemblywoman Baker. "As an early supporter of this bond, I believe it is critical that we reaffirm our commitment to fulfilling the needs of our public schools. Our state must ensure that schools are provided adequate funding to give students the high-quality resources and facilities necessary to excel in the classroom."
Nearly a decade has passed since the last statewide school bond was authorized in California. As a result, many schools throughout the state have been unable to make necessary upgrades to out-of-date classrooms and other facilities, and many growing neighborhoods have been unable to accommodate the influx of rising student bodies without the construction of new facilities. Historically, school facilities have been a shared cost. But California is backtracking and leaving local governments, who are already doing so much to support our schools, with no way to modernize existing facilities or build new ones.
Baker added, "The need for a school facilities bond is nowhere greater than within this Assembly District. In the last decade, the City of Dublin has experienced extraordinary residential growth, closely doubling the student population district wide, yet the current facilities cannot accommodate this demand. Despite strong local support for two general obligation bond measures to fund the construction of school facilities, without matching funds from the state, these projects are likely unable to move forward."
Throughout California, over the course of the past 10 years, there has amassed a $2 billion buildup of unfulfilled funding requests for k-12 school district facilities projects, and nearly $2 billion in community college facilities projects awaiting funding support from the state. Making these improvements requires that the state match funds raised by local school districts.
The Public Education Facilities Bond Initiative of 2016 will provide essential funding in the following areas: $3 billion for the construction of new school facilities, $500 million for providing school facilities for charter schools, $3 billion for the modernization of school facilities, $500 million for providing facilities for career technical education programs, and $2 billion for acquiring, constructing, renovating and equipping community college facilities.