Props. 55, 56, 57, 58

    Proposition 55 was placed on the ballot by the Legislature and is also known as the University Public Education Facilities Bond Act of 2004. It is a $12.3-million bond issue that will provide funding for the renovation and construction of education facilities to repair aging schools and relieve overcrowded classrooms. The bond’s funds will be concentrated where the needs are the greatest, and will fund upgrading and building classrooms from kindergarten to higher levels of education, such as the California Community Colleges, the California State University and the University of California. It will provide matching funds to many districts that, without the approval of Proposition 55, would be unable to repair or construct new schools.

    Opponents of Proposition 55 point to California’s $73 million debt, and claim that it is a bond the state cannot afford. Opponents also say that the funds are unfairly concentrated in Los Angeles (the school district that will receive over one-quarter of the funds) since only 12 percent of the state’s students are enrolled there. Additionally, they claim that it is unfair to require school districts to match 40 percent of the funds. While budgetary claims are compelling, California’s students need this bond to increase the quality of their education.

    Proposition 55 invests in the education of California’s students, from kindergarten to higher education, approximately 6.2 million pupils. It will modernize schools currently in disrepair and build facilities for critically overcrowded schools, and goes to where the problems are great; Los Angeles schools are in need of such funds. With current enrollment numbers, California needs to construct 22,000 new classrooms to deal with overcrowding. Over the last ten years, both K-12 and higher education have received local and state general obligation bonds approved by voters, and Proposition 55 is a necessary next step on that path to fund schools. It provides matching funds that will allow communities to initiate larger projects like school construction. It will also create many new jobs as the construction of new schools gets underway. Even with the financial problems California faces, schools need to be modernized and built.

    Regardless of budget woes, schoolchildren are in classrooms everyday and voters cannot afford to let the quality of their education decrease any further.

    Vote yes on Proposition 55.

    Yes

    http://www.yeson55.com

    No

    http://www.protecttaxpayers.com

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