Low-Income Districts May Not Reap In Construction Money From Prop. 51

Voters approved a $9 million bond that would go towards school repairs and constructions, however, poor school districts may not receive any money as the bond system is a first-come, first-serve basis.

According to CALMatters, the bond will benefit developers as they wrote the legislation and an outdated system will remain that does not prioritize schools that are in need of funds to make repairs.

Poverty-stricken districts will face obstacles to see any money from the bond as the application process is complicated, as opposed to wealthy districts that have the resources to swiftly navigate the application process and have already submitted applications.

Another factor that hinders the ability for needy districts to receive funding, is the way funding is awarded. In order to apply, schools must show proof of matching funds which comes as a disadvantage to low-income districts as they can’t tap into local taxes, as affluent districts can.

Hanford Elementary School District, in the Central Valley, is in dire need of electrical rewiring as it is more than 50 years old, new fire alarms, and more computers. Hanford placed a $24 million bond on the ballot that was approved, yet they will not see as much funds as Campbell Union, in Silicon Valley, as voters passed a $72 million bond, with the state matching policy.

State Senate Education Committee Chairwoman Carol Liu, D-Glendale, opposed the Prop. 51 along with Governor Jerry Brown and expressed her disillusionment that the bond administration and disbursement system was not reformed to better serve school districts and communities that are in greatest needs of funds.

Read more at CALmatters.


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