In nearly 180 school districts around California, voters will decide whether to approve local bonds to fund new classrooms and renovations.
They’re hoping to get matching funds from a statewide school bond also on the November ballot.
Proposition 51 would raise $9 billion to build and modernize classrooms.
Nancy Chaires Espinoza is a school board member in Elk Grove Unified, south of Sacramento. She says districts that pass their own school bonds have a better shot at winning state bond funds, too.
She also says, “It’s much harder to persuade your voters to pay for 100 percent of the cost of a local project than it is to say look, if you meet us halfway, we’ll be able to draw down a local match.”
Bond critics question whether the current system is the most efficient way to pay for school construction. But backers argue schools need billions of dollars in upgrades. Most local bonds require 55 percent of the vote to pass.