Blog: Sharing NEWS & PERSPECTIVES

Stay up to date with the latest news and information on California higher education. Plus, blogs that are unabashedly pro-higher education, offering what you need to know to be a passionate advocate for our colleges and universities.

STATEMENT ON PROPOSITION 13 RESULTS

Bipartisan Network Vows to Continue its Work to Support Public Higher Education

LOS ANGELES – (March 11, 2020) – Following is a statement from the California Coalition for Public Higher Education regarding the March 3 election results for Proposition 13, a proposed statewide $15 billion bond to build and repair schools, from kindergarten through California’s public colleges and universities on the March 3 statewide ballot:

“Based on current totals, it appears that Proposition 13 will not meet the requirements of a majority vote. While we are disappointed about the outcome for this measure, we are committed to continuing to support California’s world-class public colleges and universities that provide our educated workforce and spark the industries that drive our state’s economy. We thank our elected leaders, the voters and the many organizations, college foundations, alumni and students who supported this important measure. We look forward to continuing to work with them to strengthen the state’s public higher education system.”

About the California Coalition for Public Higher Education

The California Coalition for Public Higher Education is a bipartisan, statewide network of leaders, organizations and individuals dedicated to advancing California’s future by restoring investment in the University of California, the California State University system and our community colleges.

Op-Ed: Vote ‘YES’ On Proposition 13: How YOU can play a role in shaping the future

On February 28, 2020, UC Riverside’s The Orion published an op-ed from Trevor Guthrie, Associated Student president.  Titled “Vote ‘YES’ On Proposition 13: How YOU can play a role in shaping the future,” here’s an excerpt:

As a fourth-year student at Chico State, I know that our campus can use a few upgrades. In my first year, I still recall my initial surprise at the state of affairs of Chico’s facilities and infrastructure. My major was housed in one of the campus’ oldest buildings, giving me a unique perspective into the issue of meeting educations’ modern demands with outdated tools. In Langdon Hall, it is nearly impossible to climb the stairs without bumping into busy classmates running to class. In Butte Hall, classrooms no longer meet the demands of class sizes. Desks are crammed together, making it difficult to navigate the classroom if you come in right before class begins, or excuse yourself to use the restroom without tripping over and stepping on your classmates’ belongings. Elevators are crammed and limited which certainly poses accessibility issues for students.

These facilities are outdated, to say the least.

These infrastructure issues are not ours alone. Like all of California’s public universities—both two-year and four-year — Chico State is in dire need of funds to renovate aging classrooms, residence halls and facilities.

The op-ed continues:

For students like me, issues like dilapidated classrooms threaten not only our education but our safety. In order to ensure that California public students receive the education they deserve,  we must work to address these challenges. The California State University is the largest source of skilled workforce in California with over 100,000 graduates each year. It is imperative that the state facilities foster a healthy learning environment to prepare us to eventually be the leaders of California’s massive economy.

That’s why I am joining the bipartisan California Coalition for Public Higher Education, the ​Cal State Student Association​, teachers, doctors, nurses, firefighters and military veterans in supporting​ ​Proposition 13​. This proposition will provide $15 billion in critically needed funding to protect the health and safety of students in California’s public institutions of primary and higher education.

Read the complete op-ed on The Orion website.

Paid for by Yes on Proposition 13 – California Coalition for Public Higher Education.  Committee major funding from: Southern California Partnership for Jobs (nonprofit 501(c)(6)), UC Berkeley Foundation, and UC Santa Barbara Foundation.

Op-Ed: Vote YES on Prop 13 to Make City College Safer and More Accessible

On February 28, 2020, City College of San Francisco’s The Guardsman published an op-ed from Marjorie Blen, senior fellow at Students Making a Change.  Titled “Vote YES on Prop 13 to Make City College Safer and More Accessible,” here’s an excerpt:

The condition of public education in this state needs to be addressed. Even here at City College, our facilities struggle to keep up with the demands of modern education.

From unusable desks to broken pipes, it’s hard not to see that our campus is buckling under the strain of serving so many students for so many years without large-scale repair.

As we all know, City College of San Francisco is one of the largest community colleges in California, yet it fails to provide adequate buildings for their students. The science building has small classrooms where all students are crammed in there along with poor air circulation and old windows that can’t be opened. Pipes are directly above our heads in the classrooms from the above bathrooms, so we can hear every time someone flushes. The bathroom itself has out of service toilets, missing tiles, and door stalls that do not work properly.

Like all of California’s public colleges—both two-year and four-year—City College of San Francisco is in dire need of funds to renovate aging classrooms, dorms, and facilities.

The op-ed concludes:

As the strongest state-wide school bond measure in California history, Prop. 13 represents a reinvestment in a public higher education system that was once the envy of the world. A yes vote on Prop. 13 is a vote for the future of California.

Read the complete op-ed on The Guardman website.

Paid for by Yes on Proposition 13 – California Coalition for Public Higher Education.  Committee major funding from: Southern California Partnership for Jobs (nonprofit 501(c)(6)), UC Berkeley Foundation, and UC Santa Barbara Foundation.

Letter to the Editor: Approving Prop. 13 will revive the American Dream

On February 26, 2020, San Joaquin Delta College’s The Collegian published a letter to the editor from Colm Fitzgerald, a second year political science student at Delta College and a member of the California Community College Board of Governors, titled, “Approving Prop. 13 will revive the American Dream.” Here’s an excerpt:

The American dream, a promise of a better life achieved through hard work and grit, has become obscured. And yet, the California Community College system ranks among the best examples of that dream alive and well. It represents a place where the top 100% of people are accepted, all with different paths – but with the same hope that spurs us all to better lives for ourselves and family. Investing in this system, and more broadly in all forms of education, will help to preserve that holy American promise.

In March of 2020, California voters will decide whether or not to do so. Proposition 13 authorizes a $15 billion bond to reinvest in our systems of education. The California Community Colleges would receive a necessary $2 billion to address, among many other issues, the aforementioned infrastructure problems. The UC and CSU systems would also receive $2 billion each to address similar problems.  The remaining $9 billion will be invested into K-12 institutions across the state.

The letter concludes:

A yes vote on Proposition 13 boils down to this: our systems of education will receive the resources to finally renew California’s worldwide hegemony in public education. As a result, pursuing a better life through our systems of education will remain an honest promise. A promise that will illuminate paths for millions of Californians, present and future, to a better life.

But again, the wellness of that promise depends on your advocacy and support on March 3. Grab your ballots, go to the polls, and vote YES on Prop. 13. Join me and millions of Californians in the fight to restore the promise of the American Dream.

Read the complete letter on The Collegian website.

Paid for by Yes on Proposition 13 – California Coalition for Public Higher Education.  Committee major funding from: Southern California Partnership for Jobs (nonprofit 501(c)(6)), UC Berkeley Foundation, and UC Santa Barbara Foundation.

Op-Ed: Highlanders must support California Proposition 13 on March 3rd for critical seismic infrastructure investment at UC Riverside

On February 25, 2020, UC Riverside’s The Highlander published an op-ed from Vincent Rasso, a third year Political Science and Public Policy undergraduate at UC Riverside, director for government relations at the Associated Students of UCR, and a system-wide representative for the UC Student Association.  Titled “Highlanders must support California Proposition 13 on March 3rd for critical seismic infrastructure investment at UC Riverside,” here’s an excerpt:

For the future of higher education in California, I affirm strong support for the bipartisan California Coalition for Public Higher Education: teachers, doctors, nurses, firefighters and many more who are supporting a school improvement bond on the March 3rd California Primary ballot: Prop. 13. This massively important measure will provide $15 billion in critically needed funding aimed at protecting students, from pre-kindergarten through college, by supporting infrastructure on our campuses that ensures our health and safety in school.

The bond measure, officially titled the California Public Preschool, Kindergarten-12 and College Health and Safety Bond, might host the same ballot-designated number as the 1978 tax measure that largely defunded public schools in communities across the state, but this measure stands to reflect the complete opposite – the strongest school bond in California’s history. Campuses at the UC, CSU, and community colleges stand to gain $6 billion in facilities reinvestment, with an additional $9 billion that will fund critical health and safety improvements for California’s pre-K-12 schools.

For Highlanders who are casting their votes on March 3rd, voting YES ON PROP 13 is a critical step that we must take by highlighting the concerns we face on our campuses regarding deferred maintenance and student safety. It is more important than ever for our voices to reflect the needs of California’s students and families, from kindergarten programs to University education.

Read the complete op-ed on The Highlander website.

Paid for by Yes on Proposition 13 – California Coalition for Public Higher Education.  Committee major funding from: Southern California Partnership for Jobs (nonprofit 501(c)(6)), UC Berkeley Foundation, and UC Santa Barbara Foundation.

Letter to the editor: Vote yes on Prop 13 and make Sac State safer

On February 25, 2020, Sacramento State’s The State Hornet published a letter to the editor from Noah Marty, a Sacramento State political science major and vice president of university affairs for Sac State’s Associated Students, Inc., titled, “Vote yes on Prop 13 and make Sac State safer.” Here’s an excerpt:

This would allow our buildings to keep pace with the technology that is needed to properly train the future workers that our universities produce for the state. It has been shown time and time again that the investments made in our higher education system have some of the best long-term returns of any money that the state can spend, and Proposition 13 gives voters a chance to show that they support properly funding our higher education system.

The bond measure also includes strong taxpayer accountability measures that strictly limit administrative costs and mandate independent performance audits of any project it funds. Public hearings will be conducted to ensure public input, and campuses that receive the funds will be required to develop five-year plans to create more affordable student housing.

As a member of student government for three years now, I’ve been through two full cycles of the budgeting process and am entering into my third. I’ve been at the forefront of each effort to secure as much funding as possible, and I know how difficult it is to even reach the baseline level of funding that we need to simply maintain the status quo.

California voters now have an opportunity to give our system, and every other public education institution in this great state, a lifeline to support student safety and the modernization of our campuses.

Read the complete letter on The State Hornet website.

Paid for by Yes on Proposition 13 – California Coalition for Public Higher Education.  Committee major funding from: Southern California Partnership for Jobs (nonprofit 501(c)(6)), UC Berkeley Foundation, and UC Santa Barbara Foundation.

From The New York Times: What to Know About Proposition 13

On February 26, 2020, The New York Times published, “What to Know About Proposition 13.” Here’s an excerpt:

It is important to know that this is not, nor does it have any real bearing on, that Proposition 13 — the landmark 1978 initiative that cut property taxes, transformed the state’s finances and has since become a “third rail” in California politics.

In fact, for supporters of this Proposition 13, the one on next week’s ballot, it’s a sort of unfortunate accident of fate that they have the same name.

The proposition that’s on ballots this time is actually a $15 billion bond for public schools — from K-12 all the way through four-year universities — to improve decaying buildings or to construct desperately needed new ones.

Read the complete article on the The New York Times website.

 

Paid for by Yes on Proposition 13 – California Coalition for Public Higher Education.  Committee major funding from: UC Berkeley Foundation, Southern California Partnership for Jobs (nonprofit 501(c)(6)), and UC Santa Barbara Foundation.

New op-ed from our co-chairs: “March 3: Voters will decide on $15 billion for schools”

On Feb. 25, 2020, Capitol Weekly published an op-ed from Dick Ackerman and Mel Levine, co-chairs of the California Coalition for Public Higher Education, titled, “March 3: Voters will decide on $15 billion for schools.” Here’s an excerpt:

Proposition 13 is the strongest statewide school bond measure in California history, providing $15 billion to make educational facilities safe for students. It places a priority on fixing fire, earthquake and other life safety issues.

It just happens to have the same number as the tax-cutting measure because of the way the Secretary of State assigns numbers to ballot measures: The numbers are reset to the number 1 one every 10 years, and that leads to the number 13 appearing on the ballot again.

Adding to the potential confusion is another measure, headed for the November ballot that proposes to change the tax-cutting measure. But that is not what voters will be determining on the March 3 ballot.

Instead, the Proposition 13 on the March 3 ballot is a measure that won nearly unanimous support in the state Legislature and has continued to draw bipartisan support, including from our organization of California public higher education system alumni. The proposition also has the support of a broad-based coalition of business organizations, teachers, doctors, nurses, firefighters and military veterans.

Proposition 13 would provide $6 billion to California’s public higher education system, divided equally among the Community Colleges, University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) systems. It would be the first bond measure since 2006 to provide significant money for higher education infrastructure.

Proposition 13 would make another $9 billion available to repair dilapidated classrooms, remove mold and asbestos, replace unsafe drinking water systems, repair broken toilets and make the many other repairs needed to ensure the state’s pre-K-12 schools are safe.

 

Read the complete op-ed on the Capitol Weekly website.

New Poll: Slim Majority Supports School Facilities Bond

On February 20, 2020, The Public Policy Institute of California published a new poll, “Californians and Their Government.” Here’s an excerpt:

A slight majority of likely voters (51%) support a March ballot measure for a $15 billion bond to construct and modernize public education facilities.

Read the report on the PPIC website.

Paid for by Yes on Proposition 13 – California Coalition for Public Higher Education.  Committee major funding from: UC Berkeley Foundation, Southern California Partnership for Jobs (nonprofit 501(c)(6)), and UC Santa Barbara Foundation.

Prop 13 on the Ballot in California – Just Not the Prop 13 Everyone’s Worried About

On February 19, 2020, Planetizen published, “Prop 13 on the Ballot in California—Just Not the Prop 13 Everyone’s Worried About.” Here’s an excerpt:

A case of mistaken identity has embroiled California in election controversy, as claims of bias and misinformation swirl around Prop 13 (2020), Prop 13 (1978).

Read the complete editorial on the Planetizen website.

Paid for by Yes on Proposition 13 – California Coalition for Public Higher Education.  Committee major funding from: UC Berkeley Foundation, Southern California Partnership for Jobs (nonprofit 501(c)(6)), and UC Santa Barbara Foundation.