November Ballot Filled with School Bond Measures

In less than three months, voters in Southern California will be asked to approve numerous bond measures that school districts need in order to revitalize campuses.

According to KPCC, Orange County has already finalized its list and 10 districts are seeking much needed funding. Meanwhile in Los Angeles, there are currently 28 bonds but the list has yet to be finalized and won’t be until the end of next week.

Many of these school measures will help to refurbish school buildings, construct new facilities, improve security systems, and equip all classrooms with air conditioning. The latter of which is becoming more and more pertinent as California continues to see record high temperatures.

Long Beach Unified is seeking $1.5 billion, one of the largest school bonds in the county, however it also the third largest district in the state by enrollment.

Chris Eftychiou, spokesman for Long Beach Unified, said that state funding has “run dry “ and  if the bond measures pass it could cost taxpayers a minimum of $3 billion in interest.

Prop 51, will also be on the ballot that would potentially allow the state to match the districts funds for school improvements and the construction of new buildings.

Kevin Dayton, research analyst at the California Policy Center, explained that the reason there are so many school bond initiatives on the ballot this year is due to the passage of Prop 39, which decreased the amount of votes needed for these initiatives to pass. Currently bond measures only need a 55 percent pass rate in order to be approve. Previously, a two-thirds rate, or about 67 percent was needed. The passing rate now is approximately 90 percent, bringing high hopes to districts in dire need of funding.

Some school districts have been taking voters in their district on tours of their campuses to highlight the poor conditions that students are learning in.

Read more at The Southern California Public Radio.