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Editor's Focus: Spending Initiatives Ahead

Jan. 1, 2015
Schools and universities are taking advantage of improving conditions—focusing efforts to secure the needed support and funding to address growing infrastructure and operations needs.

The new year kicked off with a bang, as 2014 ended on a positive note with a steadily improving economy, job-market growth, significantly lower energy and gas prices, and the stock market at all-time highs.

Schools and universities are taking advantage of improving conditions—focusing efforts to secure the needed support and funding to address growing infrastructure and operations needs.

During the month of November, approximately 200 individual elections resulted in nearly $22 billion in bond issues passed for future education capital-expenditure projects, according to American School & University’s Education Bond Alert. The astounding amount will be used to address a variety of school and college infrastructure needs, including new construction, renovation and repair, technology improvements, and more.

Two states accounted for the majority of the successful bond issues: California ($10.5 billion) and Texas ($4.95 billion). Among the largest bond issues passed by voters in November:

  • New York State: $2 billion for its Smart Schools Bond Act, which will go toward technology improvements and facilities upgrades.
  • Broward County, FL, $800 million to renovate and/or replace facilities throughout the district, as well as technology upgrades.
  • Katy ISD, TX, $748 million for a football stadium, six new schools, technology improvements and campus renovations.
  • North Orange County Community College, CA, $574 million to upgrade nursing, science, technology, engineering, math and technical job-training facilities.
  • Lone Star College, TX, $485 million for three advance technology centers; and new academic, health science and student services buildings.
  • Fort Bend ISD, TX, $484 million for various construction; safety/security; transportation, and technology upgrades, as well as land purchase and bond support.
  • Garland ISD, TX, $455.5 million for school renovations, technology improvements and athletics.
  • Santa Clara USD, CA, $419 million for new K-8 and high schools, and infrastructure repairs to existing sites.
  • Santa Rosa Junior College, CA, $410 million for new construction, building modernization and technology upgrades.
  • Moreno Valley USD, CA, $398 million to upgrade classrooms.

The upcoming spending initiatives by many schools and colleges will go a long way in addressing much-needed facilities and infrastructure issues, and November’s bond-issue success proves the importance communities place on education.

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