A $15 Million School Bond Will Go Before Voters Next Month

It stands alone, potentially profiting off a number that accompanied a historic property tax measure from 1978.

We’re talking about Prop 13, the only measure appearing on California’s March primary ballot. The $15 million bond measure would be used to upgrade California’s aging K-12 schools, community colleges, and public universities.

“Most school districts struggle just to keep up with basic, basic maintenance and repairs,” said State Superintendent Tony Thurmond (Capital Public Radio). “They need help from our state to be able to handle some of these larger needs that will be able to keep our kids safe and help schools deal with lead and mold and seismic needs.”

The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association has said the bond is too expensive (the Legislative Analyst’s Office predicts it will cost $26 billion over 35 years with annual debt obligations of $740 million). Howard Jarvis President Jon Coupal argues the state should be using its surplus to pay for modernization of classrooms.

Local districts would also have to match funds through their own local bonds. Unlike the original Prop 13, the bond measure could eventually lead to tax increases for property owners by raising the amount school districts are allowed to borrow.

Opponents of the school bond measure hope taxpayers won’t be confused by the original Prop 13 that capped property taxes in California. Howard Jarvis has long supported retiring the number for ballot measure designations.


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