Nothing is more priceless to an American voter than the knowledge of the ordinances that they are choosing from during this voting season. PCC’s Board of Trustees recently voted on Wednesday, Oct. 19 to endorse two propositions on this year’s ballot that have the potential to either improve or diminish the education process here on campus.
Known as Props 51 and 55, these measures have the public support of the Board due to the large amounts of money that PCC and other community colleges would receive with their passing.
The passing of Prop 51, called ‘The Kindergarten’ through Community College Public Education Facilities Bond Act of 2016, would grant $9 billion in state bonds to the improvement and renovation of California’s public education system, $2 billion of which would go to community colleges.
According to the PCC Board of Trustees agenda for Oct. 19, 2016, around $60 million of the money allotted to the Pasadena Community College School System would go specifically to the reconstruction of PCC’s U building.
“With the passage of Proposition 51, the U building will be completely redone, and all those programs that are currently held in the village and at the Foothill campus will come back to campus,” PCC Superintendent Dr. Rajeen Vurdien said in an interview.
The money received through Prop 51 would also help pay for the school’s 21 projects already approved by California’s Board of Governors that the state has been unable to pay for, as well as possibly create around 13,000 jobs throughout the state for each billion dollars in bonds.
The proposition is supported by both the Republican and Democratic parties of California, but a prominent opposer is California’s very own Governor Brown.
“I am against the developers’ $9-billion bond. It’s a blunderbuss effort that promotes sprawl and squanders money that would be far better spent in low-income communities,” Brown told the LA Times.
Despite oppositions such as this, Prop 51 has generated over $11 million in donor contributions and has gained the support of PCC’s own administration.
The second proposition of importance that the Board will vote to endorse is Prop 55, called the ‘Tax Extension.’ This would fund education and healthcare initiative, increasing investment into K-14 districts. This proposition is set to extend the Education Protection Account that was set into motion by Prop 30 in 2012.
The Education Protection Account’s revenue is generated through the increased taxation of the top two percent of earners. If passed, Prop 55 will extend the taxation for another 12 years, so instead of Prop 30 ending in 2018 it will continue until 2030.
Prop 30, which would become Prop 55, has become crucial by providing much needed extra funding to community colleges, such as PCC, as well as providing low-cost healthcare to its lower income students.
According to the Board’s agenda, the passing of Prop 55 would also prevent severe statewide budget cuts to community college districts such as Pasadena’s, amounting to as much as $210 million every year.
The Board of Trustees voted to formally endorse both Props 51 and 55 in the hopes of gaining public support for the future improvement of Pasadena City College.