Torrance, CA – Assembly Bill 247, which will place the Kindergarten through Community College Public Education Facilities Bond Act on the 2024 statewide election ballot, passed the Assembly Education and Higher Education Committees in a 10-0 vote today. This measure, jointly authored by Assemblymembers Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance), Lori Wilson (D-Suisun City), and Mike Fong (D-Alhambra), if approved by voters, will provide over $10 billion in state matching funds for K-12 and California Community College Districts throughout the state. The funds will go for new school construction as well as modernization.
"California needs a statewide school facilities bond to invest in our children to meet 21st century educational needs," said Assemblymember Muratsuchi, Chair of the Assembly Education Committee. "According to the California Department of Education, 30 percent of the state's K-12 classrooms are over 50 years old and 10 percent are over 70 years old. Californians face critical school facility needs, including transitional kindergarten and early childhood education, natural disaster response, universal high-speed internet access, lead abatement, and extreme heat and other climate change adaptation."
"Without bond or budget investments into our school facilities, the costs associated with school construction and maintenance are typically passed onto new developments and new home purchases. This can further exasperate the cost of housing in an already expensive market," said Assemblymember Lori D. Wilson (D-Suisun City). "Thus, I am incredibly excited to join this effort along with Assemblymember Muratsuchi and Assemblymember Mike Fong to ensure there is adequate funding to meet California's educational needs."
"As a former trustee of the Los Angeles Community College District and the Chair of the Assembly Higher Education Committee, I am proud to join the Chair of the Assembly Education Committee, Assemblymember Muratsuchi, and Assemblymember Lori Wilson in authoring AB 247 to put a Transitional kindergarten (TK)-14 school facilities bond on the 2024 ballot. Safe, adequate and upgraded facilities are important for student learning, whether in an elementary school or community college lecture hall. This bond will provide much needed funds for our schools, including funds to address the impact of climate change on our facilities, technology upgrades and career technical education facilities that are vital for our future workforce," said Assemblymember Mike Fong (D-Alhambra), Chair of the Assembly Higher Education Committee.
Researchers estimate over $100 billion in K-12 new construction and modernization facilities needs while Community Colleges have a projected $42 billion need over ten years. School facilities are funded by a combination of public and private funds. The state contributes to the housing of students through state bonds.
Since 1998, voters have approved $54 billion in state bonds for K-12 and California's higher education institutions. The last successful state school facilities bond, Proposition 51, was approved by voters in the November 2016 election, and provided $7 billion for K-12 and $2 billion for Community Colleges facilities.
Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi represents California's 66th Assembly District, which includes El Segundo, Gardena, Hermosa Beach, Lomita, Los Angeles, Manhattan Beach, Palos Verdes Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes, Redondo Beach, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, San Pedro and Torrance. Muratsuchi is Chair of the Assembly Education Committee, Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Aerospace, and a member of the Committees on Budget, Budget Subcommittee on Education, Military and Veterans Affairs, Natural Resources, Utilities and Energy and the Joint Legislative Committee on Climate Change Policies.