Voters Reject Largest School Facility Bond in State History
Californians appear to have rejected a $15 billion school bond measure that was championed by Governor Gavin Newsom, Superintendent of Schools Tony Thurmond, and the state’s teachers unions. Results show Prop 13 failing 44.14% to 55.86%.
The measure to fund upgrades and modernization of school facilities needed a simple majority to pass. But voters may have balked at the price tag. The LAO said it would have cost the state $26 billion over 35 years, making it the largest school facilities bond in state history. The measure would have also increased the amount of money school districts could borrow through local bonds.
Although most school districts supported Prop 13, the state’s largest—L.A. Unified—took a neutral position.
Proponents of the measure point to the number 13, believing voters may have confused it with the 1978 measure that capped property taxes. When the Public Policy Institute of California surveyed voters in 2018, it found that 65% Californians still view the 1978 initiative favorably. Some advocates wonder if voters feared a repeal of the cap.
This is the first time in over two decades that voters have rejected a state bond for education facilities, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.