Voters have approved $35 billion in statewide bonds since 1998 to maintain and improve school buildings. Now, that fund is empty, says Jeff Vincent of Cal’s Center for Cities and Schools.
"We did the study to look at if the state does not come up with more money to assist districts, can districts go it alone?" says Vincent. "The answer to that is easily half of them don’t appear that they can, or at least they haven’t been."
The report finds wealthy school districts with higher property values both typically received a disproportionate share of state bond money and raised more local funds to upgrade buildings.
Poorer districts fell behind, and paid more out of their general budgets for maintenance--money that could otherwise go toward programs.
A $9 billion dollar school bond initiative has qualified for next November’s ballot.