Quarterly Message from the Chair – July 2017

July 21, 2017

Sell Proposition 51 Bonds Now – California’s Students Can’t Wait 

Since its establishment in 1980, CASH’s primary mission has been to ensure that all of California’s students have access to schools that are clean, safe, and healthy, with classrooms that are integral to teaching and learning. We believe that quality learning facilities have a significant impact on student learning and success. This is why we have sponsored every California statewide school bond since 1982. This is also why CASH fought so hard for the passage of Proposition 51. Now we are fighting to ensure that Proposition 51 resources build local community schools – sooner rather than later.

On November 8, 2016, more than 7,500,000 California voters approved Proposition 51 with the expectation that their communities would receive funds quickly to build and renovate their local schools. Unfortunately, the state is delaying the sale of Proposition 51 bonds, forcing students and teachers to wait even longer to complete much-needed local school projects. CASH is committed to fighting for the $9 billion in state school bonds to be sold quickly. Proposition 51 bond funds will have a significant impact on the teaching and learning environment for millions of students. Our children cannot wait any longer for a better teaching and learning environment.

The Administration conditioned the sale of Proposition 51 bonds on an Upfront Grant Agreement and shifting School Facility Project (SFP) project audits to the local level. Those conditions have been met. The Governor made no other conditions for bond sales and there is no reason for the Department of Finance to wait. CASH will continue to fight for school district projects to be funded quickly and without any new apportionment conditions. In addition, CASH is also pushing for all applications to be processed no later than July 1, 2018, based on the laws in effect on January 1, 2015, as stated in the Proposition 51 ballot language.

CASH opposes the Administration’s action to require a new enrollment projection at the time New Construction applications are processed. This action changes the rules mid-stream, causes some districts who have followed the rules to be harmed, and creates ongoing uncertainty for school district planning. This is why CASH has asked the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) to reject this illegal underground regulation and stop the harm to school districts.

Our kids and teachers can’t wait – sell Proposition 51 bonds now.

~Don Ulrich, Ed.D., CASH Chair