No public school district in California has the necessary resources to meet the demand for repairing aging facilities. Periodically the state asks voters to approve bond measures to raise funds to aid districts meet these demands. This year Proposition 13, not to be confused with the other Proposition 13, is on our March 3 ballot asking voters to approve a statewide bond. This Proposition 13 would authorize the sale of $15 billion dollars in bonds. Nine billion would go to K-12 districts, and $2 billion each to community colleges, California State University and University of California each of which are bulging with students.
The last school bond measure, Proposition 51, passed in 2016. Applications for funding were approved on a first come, first served basis. Unfortunately, this system favored large districts with the staff to quickly file applications for funds. No districts in Siskiyou County, indeed few in northern California, have these same staff levels. Since funds were handed out on a first come, first served basis, smaller districts missed out on the bulk of the funds.
This years’ bond measure was written to avoid the first come, first served problem. Proposition 13 would make funding smaller, low-income districts a priority. It creates a sliding scale for fund-matching, so that disadvantaged schools would receive a higher percentage of state money. It also sets aside some money for small school districts so they wouldn’t get shut out by larger districts that get their applications in earlier.
California schools are underfunded when compared to other states. Our students deserve the best facilities available so they can prepare themselves for their future. Please vote yes on Proposition 13. Our students are the best investment we can make.