Special Interests Promote School Bond—For Themsleves NOT Education

As expected, the special interests are promoting a $9 billion school bond. Not for education purposes, but to “create jobs and stabilize economy”. Of course the bond is a transfer of funds from families and businesses to the special interests involved.

If this was such a great deal—and needed—I would make a proposal. NONE of the special interest donors behind this canard need to make clear, “If the bond passes we will NOT bid on any project involved.” In other words, this is an investment for the firms, not the education of our children. If this was an honest need, they would agree—no bids if we donate.

““Dave Cogdill, a former Modesto lawmaker who leads the California Building Industry Association, another member of the quality schools group, said the bond would ‘be a stabilizing force in our fragile economic recovery.’ He predicted that 13,000 jobs would be created for every $1 billion spent.”

money surplus budget bank

Builders to gather signatures for $9 billion school bond

Allen Young, Sacramento Business Journal, 1/13/15

A coalition of school builders and construction officials submitted a $9 billion statewide school bond proposal to the state Monday. The move comes just days after the governor proposed only minor fixes to a statewide school construction account that is far in the red.

If supporters successfully gather upwards of 366,000 signatures, the measure will qualify for the November 2016 statewide ballot, said David Walrath, a consultant from the Coalition for Adequate School Housing, a school facilities interest group.

  • “We are looking to expand our coalition. We have every expectation we will qualify,” Walrath said.

The state of California has run out of voter-approved bonds for building new schools, a development that builders worry will lead to an automatic hike in developer fees. When facility coffers run dry, the state is authorized to force developers to pick up the entire cost of building new schools. That change could to raise home prices by up to $10,000 in some areas, according to the California Building Industry Association, a joint partner of the bond effort.

Gov. Jerry Brown has said he wants to get the state out of the school facility funding business. In his 2015-16 budget proposal, the administration proposed higher developer fees — though not to the greatest extent possible — while lowering caps on the amount of debt schools can take on. Brown also wants to prioritize future state construction funding on lower income areas where districts have fewer options to borrow.

According to the California Department of Finance, the current facilities program doesn’t force school district managers to weigh facilities funding with other education costs and priorities. But most school districts can and do pass local school construction measures, Brown has said, and the state has more pressing budget priorities.

“There’s a point where there is finite amount of resources, and considering the debt that the state has taken over last 20 years, we need a new approach,” said H.D Palmer, a spokesman for the Department of Finance, when asked about school construction changes in the budget proposal.

Since 1998, voters have approved approximately $35 billion in statewide construction bonds. The last statewide bond was approved in 2006.

About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.

Comments

  1. I’m sure we have 366,000 illegal aliens in this state ho will gladly sign the petitions in order to get a better education for their children. (You know, the ones who get aid to dependent families!!!)

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