December 14, 2017
Every student and teacher deserves a clean, safe, quality classroom. Without these essential resources students are at a disadvantage, and research shows they do not perform as well academically. CASH sponsored, and voters approved, Proposition 51 to provide state matching funds for building and renovating classrooms. There are currently more than $2.8 billion in applications for state matching funds, and the state should be selling bonds at the pace required to meet this need. In my district alone, Clovis Unified School District, we have applied for more than $61 million in state matching Grant funds for new construction and modernization.
Districts all over California are in a similar situation, and it is particularly challenging for those districts who have filed hardship applications. Districts have invested local bonds and other funds in these projects and promised their communities that they would be good stewards of both local and state taxpayer’s dollars. We are working with the Administration and the Legislature to prioritize funding school construction projects through the sale of Proposition 51 bonds. Next year’s budget and spring bond sales are important opportunities for the state to demonstrate its commitment to quality learning environments in schools across the state through their investment in selling state bonds. To help be successful, I am requesting that you contact your Assembly Member and Senator to make sure they know “your number,” the dollars your district currently qualifies for in matching funds and what area of need your teachers, students, and community have for those funds. Speak to them before commencement of the legislative session in January, and keep talking to them until we get results. With the support of our CASH family, I know we will be successful on behalf of our students and teachers.