Californians in November will weigh billions of dollars’ worth of ballot measures for low-income housing, children’s hospitals and more. But one of the biggest asks will be mostly invisible to most voters—100 or more local proposals to sell bonds for school construction projects that, if passed, could total more than $12 billion in local borrowing in coming years. The requests are fewer than in the 2016 general election, when more than 180 school bond measures were on local ballots, but still a hefty reflection of the ongoing need to repair and renovate aging public schools in CA.
About 90 school districts across the state have construction bond measures on the Nov. 6 ballot, asking local voters to approve borrowing for projects from security upgrades in the wake of the Parkland, Florida, mass shooting to air conditioning to the removal of lead from school drinking water. Another 13 districts are asking voters for harder-to-pass parcel taxes, which require a two-thirds majority for approval, and which total about $43 million.