California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today announced his endorsement of The Kindergarten Through Community College Public Education Facilities Bond Act of 2016, an initiative that will invest $9 billion in upgrading decaying classrooms, providing critical technological upgrades to school campuses, and helping build new, modern school facilities for California students.
“California’s students depend upon safe, modernized school campuses that are equipped with the tools necessary to help them prepare for and succeed in our twenty-first century economy,” said Superintendent Torlakson. “School districts work hard to raise the local funds to build and upgrade classrooms, and the bond will make sure the state is able to provide the matching funds needed to complete district projects.”
For more than 15 years, the state’s facilities funding program has built and modernized classrooms and school campuses for more than 4 million children. The school facilities bond, if passed, will continue the successful partnership where school districts raise local dollars and then apply for matching state funds.
With the state’s new construction and modernization bonding authority committed, the state faces a $2 billion backlog of local k-12 projects that have applied for matching state funds under the existing rules and regulations. Further, there is a projected school construction need of more than $20 billion over the next ten years. The initiative will ensure that school districts will be able to continue to partner with the state to maximize local taxpayer dollars to repair, upgrade, and build neighborhood schools.
In January of 2015, Californians for Quality Schools filed ballot language with the California Attorney General’s Office to place a $9 billion statewide school facilities bond on the November 2016 ballot. The last statewide school facilities bond was passed by California voters in 2006.
In September of 2015, California’s Secretary of State determined that the Californians for Quality Schools’ schools facilities bond initiative secured the necessary signatures to qualify for and be placed on the 2016 November general election ballot.