Californians approve statewide $9 billion bond for school construction

Californians approve statewide $9 billion bond for school construction

Ballot initiative Proposition 51 garnered about 54 percent of the vote

California voters have approved a $9 billion bond for school construction projects across the state.

The Los Angeles Times reports that approval of the Proposition 51 initiative will enable the state to help provide funding to local schools and community colleges for construction, renovation and repairs of education facilities.

The Associated Press reports that as of 8 a.m. Pacific Standard Time, 99 percent of the votes had been counted, and support for the proposition had garnered about 54 percent of the vote—4,647,461 to 3,964,193.

The proposal calls for the $9 billion to be allocated this way: $3 billion for new school construction; $3 billion to modernize existing school facilities; $2 billion for construction and renovation of community college facilities; $500 million to provide facilities for charter schools; and $500 million to provide facilities for career technical education programs.

Advocates of the referendum asserted that state needed to replenish school facilities funds that had been depleted. School construction needs billions of dollars every year, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office.

Critics of the measure, including California Gov. Jerry Brown, had argued that Proposition 51 unfairly prioritized larger more, affluent areas because the state handed out the money on a first-come, first-served basis to districts that already had matching funds..

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