Atkins, Senate Leaders Praise Signing of $15 Billion Education Construction Bond

SACRAMENTO, Oct. 7, 2019 – Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego), Senator Steve Glazer (D-Contra Costa), Senate Select Committee on Student Success, Senator Connie Leyva (D-Chino), Chair of the Senate Education Committee, and Senator Richard Roth (D-Riverside) today applauded the Governor signing Assembly Bill 48, which the Legislature passed to place a $15 billion bond on the March 2020 ballot to fund new classrooms, labs, and libraries for California’s K-12 public schools and universities.

“These are funds that our schools desperately need to ensure our children are learning in safe, up-to-date classrooms, and there is no better investment for our state resources than our students,” said Atkins, who served as a principal co-author on the bill. “This is money that will fund critical health and safety improvements, such as removing mold and asbestos from classrooms and lead from school drinking water, fund emergency relief for schools struck by disasters, and modernize career and vocational training facilities, including those for veterans returning from duty. And it comes complete with transparency, by providing annual independent audits and public hearings so taxpayers can see how the money is being spent. Thank you to all my Senate colleagues for passing this bill, and especially Senators Glazer and Leyva, for their leadership on this legislation.”

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The $15 billion in funding includes $9 billion for preschool to K-12, $2 billion for community colleges, $2 billion for the California State University, and $2 billion for the University of California. The legislation also creates a priority system so that districts with the most urgent needs, such as mold or seismic hazards, jump to the front of the line.

“Now that AB 48 has been signed by the Governor, I’m proud that it will provide $15 billion in much-needed funding for constructing and modernizing public preschool, K-12, and higher education facilities here in California, as well as improve the existing state School Facilities Program,” said Senator Connie Leyva, AB 48 co-author and Chair of the Senate Education Committee. “As a member of the State Allocation Board, I know how effective this program already is at helping ensure that California students are educated in clean, safe, and modernized classrooms.  AB 48 will help all districts—particularly those that are small or low-wealth—benefit from the program moving forward.  I am also excited that AB 48 places a new focus on public preschool access, the remediation of lead in water, and assistance for districts impacted by natural disasters.”

Sen. Steve Glazer, who chairs the Senate Select Committee on Student Success said: “Our education system is our most important responsibility and gives each student the opportunity to thrive. These bond funds will shore up deteriorating classrooms and provide seismic and other safety fixes at schools and universities in every part of California.”

“AB 48 represents a shift in the way we invest in our schools by recognizing the need of individual campuses. This critical investment is sorely needed not just to renovate classrooms and update aging infrastructure, but also to address the mental and physical health of our vulnerable students. AB 48 is the right investment at the right time and, as chair of the Senate Budget Subcommittee on Education, I was honored to stand with Governor Newson in signing it,” said Sen. Roth.

Toni G. Atkins is President pro Tempore of the California Senate. Having previously served as Speaker of the California Assembly, she began her tenure in the Senate in 2016. As Senator for District 39, she represents the cities of San Diego, Coronado, Del Mar and Solana Beach. Website of President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins: www.senate.ca.gov/Atkins