Today, the Yes on Proposition 51 campaign announced that the California School Employees Association has endorsed the state school facilities bond on the November ballot. Prop 51 will provide new bonding authority to help districts bring school facilities up to basic and health safety standards, complete major renovations to aging facilities like seismic retrofits and the removal of hazardous material and build new schools where needed. The California School Employees Association is the largest classified school employees union in the United States, representing more than 230,000 school support staff throughout California who members perform a wide range of essential work in public schools and community colleges.
“Representing more than 230,000 school support staff throughout the state, the California School Employees Association and our members know firsthand that too many school districts cannot afford to build new schools to accommodate enrollment growth or complete major renovations to older schools without state funds. That is why it is vital to pass Proposition 51 so that districts can continue to pair local dollars with state grant funds to meet facilities needs,” said Ben Valdepeña, Association President. “A number of California counties are anticipating enrollment growth and one third of all schools are more than 50 years old. We need to pass Proposition 51 to ensure school districts are getting the resources promised to create safe, clean and updated environments for students and staff.”
To date, Prop 51 has received the endorsements of Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, the California Taxpayers Association, the California Chamber of Commerce and 18 local chambers of commerce, elected officials from both sides of the aisle, both the California Democratic and Republican state parties, and more than 170 school districts. The full list of endorsements can be found here.
Because the last statewide school facilities bond was passed by California voters in 2006, there currently is a backlog of almost $2 billion in K-12 project applications and almost $500 million in priority community college projects. There is a pressing need to act now. With estimates projecting that K-14 schools will need $20 billion over the next decade to complete renovations and build new schools where there is growth, Prop 51 will provide $9 billion in matching state grant funds to help school districts meet future needs.
Many schools and community colleges are outdated and need repairs to meet basic health and safety standards and upgrade facilities to meet modern student education needs– including science labs, improved school technology, and facilities that support career technical education programs in both community colleges and K-12 schools. Prop 51 will help make sure local schools are updated and safe for students.
For more information on Proposition 51, visit www.YesOn51.com.