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League of Women Voters – PROPOSITION 47

These PROS & CONS are researched and developed by the League of Women Voters of California Education. They are an unbiased presentation of the measures on the Nov. 5, 2002 California Primary Election ballot.

The League does not judge the merits of the arguments or guarantee their validity. Arguments come from many sources and are not limited to those found in the state ballot pamphlet.

League of Women Voters of California is a nonpartisan organization committed to informed and active citizen participation in government. All citizens, men and women, of voting age are welcome to join. The League has two roles: citizen education and advocacy. Our election services are carried out by the League of Women Voters of California Education Fund and exclude all advocacy.



EDUCATION FACILITIES: KINDERGARTEN-UNIVERSITY PUBLIC

EDUCATION FACILITIES BOND ACT OF 2002




Legislative Bond Act

THE QUESTION

Should the state sell thirteen billion fifty million dollars ($13,050,000,000) in general obligation bonds for construction and renovation of K-12 school facilities and higher-education facilities?

THE SITUATION

The last voter approved bond measure for school facilities was approved in November 1998 for $9.2 billion. The Office of School Public Construction reported in July 2002 that the current backlog of projects requesting state funds totaled $6.5 billion. The Office of Public School Construction data shows the need for 46,000 new classrooms or 1,175 new schools, in the next five years to relieve overcrowding and accommodate new enrollment.

THE PROPOSAL

This measure allows the state to issue $13.05 billion of general obligation bonds for construction and renovation of K-12 school facilities ($11.4 billion) and higher education facilities ($1.65 billion). At the K-12 education level, proposition 47 would provide:

— $6.35 billion for new construction with local districts paying 50% of costs. ($100 million would be reserved for new construction of charter school facilities)

— $3.3 billion for rehabilitation of older schools with local districts paying 40% of costs

— $1.7 billion for districts with school sites that are critically overcrowded

— $50 million for joint-use projects such as facilities constructed for use by both a K-12 school district and a local library.

At the public higher-education level, $1.65 billion would be allocated to construct new buildings and related infrastructure, alter existing buildings, and purchase equipment for use in these buildings. The Governor and the Legislature would select the specific projects to be funded by the bond monies.

FISCAL EFFECT

Costs are estimated to be $26.2 billion over 30 years with average payment for principal and interest being $873 million a year.

A YES VOTE would mean that the $13.05 billion in general obligation bonds would be made available for construction and renovation of K-12 school facilities and higher education facilities.

A NO VOTE would mean that the $13.05 billion in general obligation bonds would not be made available for construction and renovation of K-12 school facilities and higher education facilities.

SUPPORTERS SAY

— Proposition 47 ensures the critically overcrowded districts get their fair share of the funds.

— Gives our students access to the right technology today to be prepared for the work force and society of tomorrow.

— Provisions are in place for audits of how the money is spent, and funds can only be spent on building or renovating schools-no bureaucracy overhead.

OPPONENTS SAY

— California has tens of billions of dollars in outstanding bonds, and our credit rating is the third lowest in the country. We need to be extremely careful whenever we consider more debt.

— Legislation allows schools to set aside funds in 2004 and not start building until 2011.

— Proposition 47 favors Los Angeles Unified over every other district. They could receive 24 percent of the funds even though they account for only 12percent of the students.

For more information:

Supporters: Yes on 47 for Accountability and Better Schools, (650) 340-0470, http://www.yesprop47.com

Opponents: People’s Advocate (916) 482-6175, http://www.peoplesadvocate.org

League of women voters


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