We Need This School Bond!

The last successful Statewide School Bond on the ballot, Proposition 51, was the first citizen approved bond measure. The last bond to be approved by the Legislature and the Governor was Proposition 1D in 2006.

Although California is currently weathering a fiscal downturn in State revenues, this bond will have limited impact on the State General Fund and can help stimulate the many local economies. Debit service on bonds for schools amounts to approximately 1% of the general fund expenses and a new bond, while worthy of a discussion about its fiscal provisions, will have limited impact on the general fund.

Voters have proven to support measures for a bond measure when the measure is simple to understand and guaranteed to support local schools. We learned from the failure of Proposition 13 in 2020 that a Statewide measure with many changes and complex provisions serves to confuse voters. This time around most K-12 advocates, including our colleagues with the CASH organization, support AB 247 (Muratsuchi) as a simple school bond that provides funds for an existing School Facility Program. Alternatively, SB 28 (Glazer) would include all the provisions in the failed Proposition 13 measure. Discussions are underway in the Legislature and the Governor’s office regarding the need for school facility funding and the importance of a school bond to serve as matching money to local bonds.

The polling for school bond remains strong in the 60% range. Our industry needs to continue to push and make the importance of a Statewide Bond Measure known by contacting our legislators.

Construction contractors, their sub-contractors, architects and engineers, and school district representatives can help. Please consider contacting your local legislators to tell them how important the bond is for the communities you represent.

We need this bond. Without a dedicated revenue stream such as sales tax or a general fund appropriation for facilities, Statewide School Bonds are a critical component of the “three-legged stool” which includes state bond funds in addition to local bonds and local developer fees.