Campaign 2016: Measure E and Proposition 55
In response to strong public support for repairing aging schools, the Long Beach Unified School District Board of Education on June 23, 2016 approved the placement of a $1.5 billion school repair and safety bond measure on the Nov. 8 ballot. The ballot measure, called Measure E, requires approval by at least 55 percent of voters who cast ballots on election day.
If approved, funds from Measure E would address these key areas:
- REPAIRS: Many campuses here were built 60 to 70 years ago. These outdated buildings need important health and safety repairs. Additional work is needed to meet handicap accessibility and earthquake standards, replace old restrooms and leaky roofs, upgrade fire alarms and security systems, and improve plumbing and electrical wiring to conserve water and energy.
- TECHNOLOGY: Today’s competitive global economy requires students have a good education in technology. It is imperative for students’ future success to upgrade science and computer labs, libraries, and classroom technology, so students can learn the vital skills needed to go to college and compete for good jobs.
- AIR CONDITIONING: Many LBUSD schools lack air conditioning, making classrooms extremely uncomfortable on hot days. When temperatures rise, schools are forced to send students home due to overheated classrooms. Even classrooms with existing air conditioning systems are at or near their end of life with outdated parts. By installing modern energy efficient air conditioning systems, LBUSD will help improve learning by making sure classrooms are always comfortable and ventilated.
- SAFETY: Improving indoor and outdoor recreational areas, including fields, gyms and swimming pools, will allow after-school programs to be expanded. Increasing students’ access to safe, supervised activities, which provide mentoring and counseling, will keep them off the streets and increase graduation rates.
The proposed bond measure is subject to strict accountability requirements, including a public expenditure plan, independent annual audits and review of all spending by an Independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee. No money can be spent on administrator salaries, and all funds must be used locally to improve neighborhood schools.
Prop. 55 protects students and public schools from returning to the days of massive budget cuts, layoffs, larger classes and tuition hikes. During the recession, California was forced to layoff more than 30,000 teachers, increase class sizes, and elimiate programs like music and art. Most of our public schools and colleges are just starting to come back from those cuts, and unless we pass Prop. 55 to maintain the current tax rates on the wealthiest Californians it is estimated that our schools will lose nearly $4 billion a year. California is facing a severe teacher shortage. The state needs to hire more than an estimated 22,000 teachers this year alone and there is still a need to hire school employees like library aides, bus drivers and custodians. Prop. 55 does not raise taxes on anyone; the wealthiest will continue paying the same amount they are now to protect schools and vital services from deep cuts.
More About Proposition 55… Proposition 55, the California Children’s Education and Health Care Protection Act, temporarily extends current income tax rates on the wealthiest Californians for 12 more years – singles earning more than $250,000 and couples earning more than $500,000 a year.
- This measure does not raise taxes on anyone.
- Middle-class families and small businesses will benefit when the temporary quarter-cent sales tax increase expires as planned at the end of this year. Prop. 55 does not extend this sales tax.
- The initiative will generate an estimated $8 billion per year on average.
- The initiative allocates these tax revenues to education and health care.
- The initiative includes tough accountability and transparency requirements.
The broad and diverse coalition supporting the measure includes Association of California School Administrators, California Black Chamber of Commerce, California Children’s Hospital Association, California Federation of Teachers, California Hospital Association, California Medical Association, California School Boards Association, California School Employees Association, California State PTA, California Teachers Association, Children’s Defense Fund – California, Service Employees International Union California State Council and SEIU 1000.
CAN YOU HELP?
You can help by volunteering to phone bank at the TALB office. Phone banks are from 4:30pm - 7:00pm. Dinner is provided. Below are the dates for phone banking :
1. MONDAY, September 19th
2. TUESDAY, September 20th
3. WESDNESDAY, September 21st
4. THURSDAY, September 22nd
5. MONDAY, September 26th
6. WEDNESDAY, September 28th
7. THURSDAY, September 29th
8. MONDAY, October 3rd
9. TUESDAY, October 4th
10. WEDNESDAY, October 5th
11. THURSDAY, October 6th
12. MONDAY, October 10th
13. TUESDAY, October 11th
14. WEDNESDAY, October 12th
15. THURSDAY, October 13th
16. MONDAY, October 17th
17. TUESDAY, October 18th
18. WEDNESDAY, October 19th
19. THURSDAY, October 20th
20. MONDAY, October 24th
21. WEDNESDAY, October 26th
22. THURSDAY, October 27th
23. TUESDAY, November 1st
24. WEDNESDAY, November 2nd
25. THURSDAY, November 3rd
26. MONDAY, November 7th
27. TUESDAY, November 8th