Today, the Yes on Proposition 51 campaign announced that San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer has endorsed the state school facilities bond on the November ballot. Prop 51 will provide $9 billion in 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 like asbestos or lead pipes, and build new schools where needed.
“Prop 51 gives every school district equal access to state funding grants to help create quality learning environments for every student. Passing Prop 51 means that San Diego will get its share of state funds for our children’s educational needs – whether it’s fixing older schools to make them safer for today’s kids, replacing temporary portable classrooms, or building new schools to help relieve overcrowding. San Diego County has millions in backlogged school facility project grant funds that have been approved by the state. Our students deserve the funds that have been promised,” said Mayor Faulconer.
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Many schools and community colleges are outdated and need repairs to meet basic health and safety standards and upgrade facilities to meet modern student education needs– including science labs, improved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.