PROPOSITION 203: K-12/HIGHER EDUCATION FACILITIES BOND ACT

SUMMARY

Proposition 203 asks voters on March 26 to authorize the sale of $3 billion in General Obligation bonds for the purpose of construction, repair and renovation projects in K-12 schools and in the state's three systems of higher education--which include the 9 campuses of the University of California, the 22 campuses of the California State University, and the 107 California Community Colleges. ($2.025 billion is authorized for K-12, and $975 million for higher education.)

WHY A BOND ACT?

Legislators, business and civic leaders, teachers and especially students acknowledge the need for constructing new classrooms and maintaining and modernizing existing public school facilities. We are educating future leaders in business, industry, and government, as well as doctors, artists and humanitarians. The issue is no longer one of ability to compete in the global economy, but rather one of survival in a rapidly changing environment.

Given the magnitude of the need, the state General Fund is not a viable source of support for capital projects, whether for public education or other public entities.

HOW WILL CSUN BENEFIT?

While Cal State Northridge has no specific projects on the 1996-97 approved list for funding, money from the Bond Act will benefit the campus in two ways:
  1. Funding of Minor Capital Outlay Projects, such as the installation of new Chemistry fume hoods to comply with life safety and environmental regulations, and the upgrading of existing Physics computer labs for high-speed and high-capacity computers for the Physics program.

    In addition, 4 projects which would bring university facilities in compliance with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act would also be funded.

    [We anticipate CSUN's share to be between $250,000-$350,000 for these projects.]

  2. Planning money ($279,000) for telecommunications infrastructure. (This project is part of a large, systemwide program to upgrade and build new conduit and cable lines to keep pace with rapid changes in high technology. The total systemwide request is $12.3 million.)
  3. Funding ($936,000 for preliminary planning and working drawings) to bring needed utilities (water, electrical, sewer & telecommunications) to the border of the permanent site of the CSUN - Ventura campus. [Note: These monies are to be matched with Ventura Cities/ County funds.]

    ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT OF PROPOSITION 203:

    In the absence of alternatives, projects in the pipeline from earlier bond acts will be halted. In addition, projects waiting to enter the pipeline--desperately needed repairs, renovations, and technological upgrades of existing classrooms, libraries, and laboratories will be further delayed, guaranteeing that these facilities will continue to become less useful and less safe.

    The cost per person per year has been estimated at $6.40--or less than the price of a movie ticket. Voters must weigh the consequences of increasing the state's bond indebtedness against the physical decline of its public educational system. Voters approving this Bond Act will be making an investment in the state's future.

    WHO SUPPORTS PROPOSITION 203?

    (A partial list)

    Governor Pete Wilson
    California Association of Realtors
    California Business Roundtable
    California Chamber of Commerce
    California Faculty Association
    California Labor Federation AFL-CIO
    California Manufacturers Association
    California School Boards Association
    California State PTA
    California Taxpayers Association
    California Teachers Association
    Congress of California Seniors
    League of Women Voters
    Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce
    Rainbow Coalition
    Richard Atkinson, President, Univ. of California
    Delaine Eastin, State Superint. of Public Instruction
    David Mertes, Chancellor, Calif. Community Colleges
    Barry Munitz, Chancellor, California State University

    WHAT DOES THE OPPOSITION SAY?

    California's taxpayers shouldn't have to bear the burden of higher education construction, renovation and repair projects. Since students are the primary beneficiaries, they should cover the cost through the fees they pay.

    Economists believe that a prudent debt ceiling should not exceed 5% of the state's General Fund revenues. California's current debt ceiling is at 5.1%. We can't afford Proposition 203, which will raise taxes and government spending.

    WHO OPPOSES PROPOSITION 203?

    The only known opposition at this time is the Libertarian Party.

    2/20/96