By Modesto Bee Editorial Board | October 13, 2016
“…The bond issue would make $3 billion available in state matching grants for new school construction. More important to communities that have seen declines in student populations, it would provide $3 billion for districts to renovate, update and modernize older schools. There’s money for charter schools, community colleges, and technical education programs.
Don’t doubt the need is dire. A Modesto City Schools study put the district’s capital facilities needs at $1 billion. That’s probably vastly overstated, but the need is clear. So is the need for modernization on most campuses.
Too many Valley districts are forced into choosing between making repairs keep students safe and investing in the updates and innovations that will prepare students for 21st-century jobs. By necessity, those choices veer toward safety and away from a better future.
If Proposition 51 passes, 24 school districts in Stanislaus, south San Joaquin, and Tuolumne counties will be eligible to benefit. In Merced and Mariposa counties, another eight districts will be eligible. Combined, it could mean $149 million in new facilities for the Northern San Joaquin Valley.
In Stanislaus County, there are six school bond measures on the ballot this November; all will make a good case for matching funds if Proposition 51 passes.
…Both the California Democratic and Republican parties endorse Proposition 51 along with the California Chamber of Commerce, California Labor Federation, and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom.
We can never be certain our legislature will ever get around to helping us prepare for the students we are certain will be arriving. Vote yes on Proposition 51; California’s 6.2 million students are depending on it.”