Providing for Our Children - Proposition 51

Posted: October, 27, 2016 | Categories: Lifestyle

At McCaffrey Homes, family is always on our minds, and we know that many of you have children at home.  So we’d like to call your attention to an important measure on the upcoming November ballot.  Proposition 51 would provide local communities with critically-needed funding to fix old schools, repair and upgrade classrooms, and help train veterans for new jobs. 

The proposed $9 billion bond has been endorsed by both the California Democratic and Republican parties and hundreds of respected organizations and educators.  It would provide $6 billion for new construction and modernization projects for K-12 schools, $2 billion for community college improvements, and $1 billion for career technical education and charter school facilities. 

It’s been nearly a decade since the state last authorized a school bond, and those funds have been depleted.  There’s now a $2 billion and growing backlog of K-12 school projects awaiting funding.  Due to this lack of money, many school districts are taking dollars away from academic programming and spending them on critically needed building maintenance, according to a recent study done by UC Berkeley’s Center for Cities and Schools. This alarming trend will only continue if Proposition 51 is not passed. 

Proposition 51 would fund:

  • Safety repairs.  Many schools need money to meet basic health and safety standards, including fire safety systems, alarms, smoke detectors, removing asbestos and lead paint and pipes, and retrofitting for earthquake safety.
  • Technology improvements.  School technology would be upgraded to 21st century standards to ensure all children have access to a quality education. This includes upgrading classroom technology, science labs, libraries, and career technical education program facilities. 
  • New buildings and schools. Additional classrooms and new schools would be built where needed to address California’s problem of overcrowded schools.  One-third of our state’s students attend an overcrowded school, and California has more students per class than every state except Utah.
  • Vocational Education Programs.  High school and community college career education centers would be upgraded and equipped with the latest resources and training materials so students and veterans can learn the career skills they need to secure well-paying jobs.
  • Community colleges.  Nearly $500 million in community college projects are currently awaiting state funding.  This bond would allow community colleges to be expanded and improved to make affordable education accessible to more California residents and veterans.  
  • Job Growth.  13,000 new jobs are created for every billion dollars invested in new school construction and modernization.

Two-thirds of our K-12 schools are more than 25 years old and many are over 50 years old.  Without Proposition 51, these critical projects may not move forward.  It’s essential to keep our children out of rundown, outdated schools and provide them with the resources they need.

With Proposition 51, we can enable our schools to provide the highest level of learning possible for California’s 6.2 million students to compete in today’s global economy.  We have a responsibility for today’s children, which represent tomorrow’s future.  Public schools are the cornerstones of our neighborhoods and the pillars of our community – let’s give them the attention they deserve.