California’s secretary of state has qualified 17 propositions for the November ballot. There is one measure that should not get lost in the mix: Proposition 51, authorizing bonds for school facilities.
This measure will provide much-needed educational facilities at Merced College. The college sorely needs funding from Prop. 51 to support at least two major projects: an agriculture/industrial technology complex, and renovation/expansion of the vocational complex. Existing facilities are over 40 years old and need replacement.
This is the state’s first education bond since 2006. The 2009-10 fiscal collapse and governor’s anti-debt stance have stopped previous proposals. At last, we can set things right. I understand resistance to indebtedness. But bond debt is the only method for funding school facilities. Prop. 39 provided some funding, but it is for energy-saving upgrades, and cannot be used for construction.
Voters generously supported bonds for facilities in 2002, and that money was put to good use – a library, classroom complex, child-development center, and the new Los Banos campus. Now it is time for long-awaited improvements to finish that work, and the only practical way is with passage of the statewide bond.
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I will mark “Yes” on Proposition 51. I hope others do the same.
Ron Taylor, Merced