Assemblymembers Joan Buchanan (D-Alamo) and Curt Hagman (R-Chino Hills), along with many supporters from around the state, urged Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday during a news conference to sign Assembly Bill 2235 to place a school facilities bond on the Nov. 4 ballot.
"The quality of school facilities makes a difference." said Buchanan, who represents the San Ramon Valley. "Research demonstrates that clean air, natural light, regulated temperatures and quiet, safe learning environments can dramatically boost academic and social outcomes for children. Districts are working to integrate technology into the classroom to prepare our students for the changing workforce."
AB 2235 authorizes a $9 billion general obligation bond that, if approved by voters, will provide $6 billion for the construction and rehabilitation of K-12 schools and $3 billion for higher education facilities.
"We are in huge support of (AB 2235)," said Terry Koehne, San Ramon Valley Unified School District spokesman. "It helps local school districts stretch their dollars."
Koehne said the San Ramon Valley school board hasn't taken an official position on the legislation, but he anticipates board members will debate doing so in the coming weeks.
The current state building program, created in 1998, has helped build over 55,000 new classrooms and modernize 136,000 classrooms.
The program, which is a funding partnership between the state, local school districts and developers, has been "one of the most successful in the history of our state," said Buchanan.
The funds from the last state bond, passed in 2006, has been out of money for two years.
Local voters have passed bonds and developers have started projects that both require the state to "live up to its part of the bargain and place a school bond on the November 2014 ballot," Buchanan said.
"All of these projects rely on the state, local school districts and developers being partners. This partnership is in danger if the Governor does not sign AB 2235 to place a bond on the November ballot," she added.
"It is irresponsible for the state to eliminate the program when schools are working hard to update curriculum and integrate technology and the housing market is beginning to turn around and lead our economic recovery. The Governor must sign AB 2235," said co-author Hagman.
The bill is supported by Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, California Chamber of Commerce, State Building and Construction Trades Council, California School Boards Association, California State Parent Teacher Association, California Building Industry Association, Association of California School Administrators, California Teachers Association, Public Advocates, Coalition for Adequate School Housing, California Federation of Teachers, as well as school districts throughout the state.