The Yes on Proposition 51 campaign today announced that former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has endorsed the measure and will be barnstorming California to promote the need for this state school facilities bond.
“Our children deserve a learning environment free from asbestos, lead paint, and classrooms with properly working air conditioners, heating units and functioning ventilation systems,” Villaraigosa said. “With an over $2 billion backlog of crucial repairs and upgrades, our children can’t wait any more. Schools need to be up to basic health and safety standards.”
He said that polls show voters heavily supportive of the measure once they are made aware of its provisions.
“The goal from now until November 8 is to communicate to voters, especially those in the Latino community, about the value, need and broad bipartisan support for this measure,” he said. “I appreciate the opportunity to offer my assistance in promoting this truly critical school bond to California voters.”
Prop 51 will provide $9 billion in matching state grant funds to help local districts bring school facilities up to basic and health safety standards, and complete such major renovations to aging school buildings as seismic retrofits and the removal of hazardous material like asbestos or lead pipes. It also authorizes the construction of new schools where needed to relieve overcrowding.
“Education is the first rung on any ladder to success and we cannot allow our children to face the added obstacle of trying to learn in conditions that are not safe or up-to-date. Proposition 51 levels the playing field for our school districts that serve our communities, by providing our kids with clean, modern classrooms and facilities,” added Villaraigosa.
Many schools and community colleges are outdated and need repairs to meet basic health and safety standards and upgrade facilities to meet student education needs– including science labs, improved school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.
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.