Endorsement: Vote yes on Measure LA to invest in community colleges
California voters will be asked to decide on a school board measure on Friday that would build college campuses in every district in the state.
Measure LA would help fund both the construction and the operation of the schools. While the state needs to cover the cost of new campuses, the schools have to cover all of the operating costs. In fact, the state funds most of the operating costs of the schools but is also paying the interest on the student loans associated to the new education facilities.
When you think about the schools that are already operating in California, there are only four that offer undergraduate degrees at the bachelor’s level: the University of California, the California State University at Long Beach, the California State University at Fresno, and the California State University at Sacramento.
Measure LA would build two other new campuses for the University of California, the California State University at Los Angeles and the California State University at Sacramento. There is currently a $250 million bond measure being considered to build two campuses at the California State University at Los Angeles. If Measure LA passes, the state would be forced to contribute the remaining $150 million.
The third measure would build a new California State University at Fresno campus. Two campus plans that have been submitted are $210 million and $250 million projects.
Finally, there is a proposal from the University of California, Merced that would build the Merced Branch campus at $100 million.
When California voters are asked to vote on the various capital investment projects this fall, it is clear that the Legislature is not going to allow the system to fully fund the schools. There are two options that are available to voters.
First, they can approve a new bond and ask for the school districts to cover the costs. This is not a good option.
The next option is to approve a new school district and ask voters to approve an additional tax to help pay for the school district. If the voters approve an additional tax, the district can spend the money