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A new school construction bond preserves the American Dream for Californias

The American Dream is unique for each one of us, but without a doubt, it includes a safe school for our children and a home of our own. Yet both these fundamental components for thriving California families and economic prosperity are once again at risk.

On September 1, California “runs out” of funds to update old schools and construct new schools. Previous school bond funds—approved by the state’s voters—have been depleted due to an enormous list of needs for safe, clean, modern facilities for our children in the nation’s most populous state.

Some California leaders have crafted a new measure to put before voters—AB 2235—a proposed $4.5 billion school bond that would reauthorize previous expired school construction laws, requiring state funds be matched with local funds—so everyone has “skin” in the game to make our schools the best they can be. This law has a good past track record of success keeping school facilities up to standard, building new schools to meet capacity and updating with new technological advances. Excellent schools contribute in significant ways to excellent education and, ultimately, well-employed children prepared to serve and compete in a global economy.

It is clear that our children will benefit from this new school bond, but so will new home buyers. Without a new bond, current law requires new homebuyers pay enormous fees, equating to thousands of dollars per home, to cover school construction and modernization costs which should rightly be borne by all of us, not just new home buyers.

Adding more fees to new home construction increases the price and keeps affordable ownership outside the reach of more and more families. Further, the higher the costs levied on new homes, the fewer the homes built. Supply and demand principles are axiomatic: the more constrained the supply, the higher the price, the fewer the buyers. And with a construction industry just now recovering after the Great Recession, it is important to remember how important their success is to everyone’s economic prosperity.

Finally, school construction and modernization creates thousands of jobs, contributing to the state’s economic recovery. For every $1 billion spent in new school construction, 13,000 jobs are created, $83 million in state and local revenue is generated, and $1.1 billion in additional economic benefits are gained, according to one study.

To recap: a new school bond makes sense. Children benefit, home buyers benefit, new jobs are created, new revenue is derived and the overall economy benefits. Tell your legislator to support, and ask Governor Brown to sign, bi-partisan AB 2235. Put the school bond measure to California voters—and help preserve the American Dream.

Originally published August 13, 2014, on Fox & Hounds


Posted on August 13, 2014


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