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Market Watch

AS&U's monthly update on trends, issues and legislation affecting education facilities and business.

CLASS SIZE Colorado looks at class-size reduction Colorado Gov. Bill Owens has proposed $500 million in school spending that would reduce class size, help pay for charter-school construction, establish incentive pay for teachers, buy textbooks and provide aid to low-performing schools.

The funding for schools is available because of a constitutional amendment approved by voters in November. It requires the state to increase school funding by the amount of inflation plus 1 percent for each of the next 10 years. School supporters who pushed for the amendment argued that Colorado had not kept up with inflation and was spending $500 less per student in inflation-adjusted dollars than it was in the 1980s.

Owens' plan would direct $375 million to reduce class sizes over 10 years to a maximum of 17 students in grades K to 3.

FACILITIES Panel to study Cleveland school facilities A commission of Cleveland civic leaders, students and parents will search for ways to address the acute facilities needs in the city's 77,000-student district.

The Cleveland Municipal School District has been plagued by deferred maintenance that has allowed facilities to deteriorate to potentially dangerous degrees. The urgency of addressing the district's aging facilities gained steam after a gymnasium roof at one of the city's high schools collapsed in October. Chief Executive Officer Barbara Byrd-Bennett says it will cost at least $1.8 billion to repair Cleveland's 121 schools.

The commission is expected to make long-term recommendations for restoring Cleveland's schools to good condition.

CONSTRUCTION L.A. colleges seek more than $1 billion The Los Angeles Community College District will ask voters in April to approve a record $1.2 billion bond issue that would pay for extensive renovation and construction on the district's nine campuses.

The projects that would result from the bond proceeds include some new buildings, numerous renovations and additions, health and safety improvements, technology upgrades and additional parking facilities. About 110,000 students are enrolled in the nine community colleges throughout Los Angeles County.

The proposal on the April 10 ballot will need to win 55 percent of the vote for approval. The threshold for approval had been a two-thirds majority, but voters passed a referendum in November that reduced the requirement.

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