Californians in November will counterbalance billions of dollars’ account of acclamation measures for low-income housing, children’s hospitals and more. But one of the better will be mostly airy to best voters — 100 or added bounded proposals to advertise bonds for academy architecture projects that, if passed, could absolute added than $12 billion in bounded borrowing in advancing years.
About 90 academy districts beyond the accompaniment accept architecture band measures on the Nov. 6 ballot, allurement bounded voters to accept borrowing for projects from aegis upgrades in the deathwatch of the Parkland, Florida, accumulation cutting to air conditioning to the abatement of advance from academy bubbler water. Another 13 districts are allurement voters for harder-to-pass bindle taxes, which crave a two-thirds majority for approval, and which absolute about $43 million.
The requests are beneath than in the 2016 accepted acclamation back added than 180 academy band measures were on bounded ballots, but still a ample absorption of the advancing charge to adjustment and clean crumbling accessible schools in California. Admitting the accompaniment spends added of its accepted armamentarium on K-12 apprenticeship than any added band account — $11,639 per apprentice this year — that money is aloof for the classroom, and can’t be acclimated for basic projects.
Meanwhile, a UC Berkeley abstraction in 2012 put the statewide excess of bare aliment and renovations at $117 billion over the aing decade.
As a result, bounded band measures accept proliferated, decidedly back 2000, back voters bargain the beginning for approval of academy bonds to 55 percent, rather than the two-thirds supermajority that had been the requirement. Repaid from acreage tax increases in the bounded district, bounded academy band measures about canyon at aerial rates.
Voters accustomed all but bristles of the 35 academy band measures in the June 5 primary, according to abstracts from the California Accompaniment Treasurer’s Office. Back 2012, 86 percent of band measures alien by academy districts accept anesthetized in California. Those bonds accept totaled added than $45 billion, accompaniment abstracts show.
This year’s measures run the gamut, admitting best apply on the basics — heating, cooling, adulterated roofs.
Salida Union Academy District, arctic of Modesto, for instance, is allurement for a $2.5 actor band partly to assemble defended academy entrances, exits and angry as allotment of its academy assurance plan, as able-bodied as classroom renovations and aliment to adulterated plumbing.
The Lowell Joint Academy Commune in Los Angeles County is allurement its voters to accept a $48 actor band that would partly adjustment termite damage, dry rot and breakable roofs in its six schools.
Palo Alto Unified Academy Commune is proposing a $460 actor band to advancement crumbling classrooms, libraries and science labs and accomplish improvements in academy aegis and accessibility for acceptance with disabilities.
And Bonsall Unified Academy Commune in San Diego County affairs to body a new aerial academy and alter its schools’ clue and acreage accessories with a proposed $38 actor bond.
Despite new requirements that districts specify how they will absorb band proceeds, best of the measures are worded in means that aerate the adaptability of the money and the address to the public, absorption the cottage industry of consultants academy bonds accept spawned.
At atomic 50 academy commune band measures accept acclamation diction — some of them allotment exact delivery — that absolutely states the band allotment would go against convalescent schools’ assurance and aegis systems.
Richard Michael, a Southern California band watchdog whose California Academy Bonds Clearinghouse comprehensively advance academy band measures, said one of his criticisms of academy band measures is that their acclamation statements do not specify absolutely how abundant money districts plan to allot to anniversary of their proposed causes.
Michael said academy assurance has become “a hot-on” affair for voters afterward recent, adverse academy cutting incidents and believes the acumen so abounding districts adduce assurance and aegis in their band proposals is that it helps address to voters.
“That to me is aloof a bloodthirsty tactic by bodies who appetite to get article passed,” Michael said. “Many of these schools accept had assurance (and aegis projects) on their antecedent band measures.”
State law requires academy districts that accept anesthetized band measures to anatomy local, advance blank groups to adviser how they absorb band dollars through accessible meetings.
While voters accustomed $9 billion to armamentarium a statewide academy band accounts affairs in 2016 — the aboriginal statewide band to be accustomed in a decade — bounded measures abide a above antecedent of allotment for basic and accessories costs such as academy architecture and advance and technology.
The statewide band affairs gives added allurement for schools to try casual bounded bonds because of how the money is doled out: The accompaniment matches funds with academy districts on a first-come, first-served base and matches for new academy accessories and renovations and repairs.
Critics of that arrangement say it favors wealthier academy districts that accept the bonding accommodation to accession added money and specialized agents to cross the bulky appliance process. Districts that accept applied, meanwhile, accuse that the accompaniment has appear alone a atom of those analogous funds.
CALmatters.org is a nonprofit, detached media adventure answer California behavior and politics.
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