Here's what you need to know to decide how to vote on California's Proposition 51.

Prop 51: Bonds for schools

ICYMI: the 2016 election will be held on Tuesday, November 8, with early voting kicking off at San Francisco’s City Hall on Tuesday, October 11.

In addition to voting for officials at the local, state, and national level, San Franciscans will face a decision on 17 state ballot initiatives and 25 local propositions.

Not sure how to vote on Proposition 51? We hope the brief voter guide below will help you decide!

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What Is Prop 51?

Prop 51 would authorize a total of $9 billion in bonds, which would be used as follows:

  • $3 billion for new construction and $3 billion for modernization of K-12 public school facilities
  • $1 billion for charter schools and vocational education facilities
  • $2 billion for California Community Colleges facilities

Who Supports Prop 51?

Key supporters of Proposition 51 include: Justine Fischer, president of the California State PTA; Ken Hewitt, president of the California Retired Teachers Association; and Larry Galizio, CEO of the Community College League of California.

Supporters argue that Prop 51 is a fiscally responsible way to provide for necessary maintenance and new construction of educational facilities — from elementary and high schools to community colleges.

Proponents also contend that Prop 51 would make higher education more accessible, by improving and expanding the state’s community colleges, which would in turn reduce college debt and improve job prospects for many California residents.

Who Opposes Prop 51?

Key opponents of Prop 51 include: Governor Jerry Brown; and G. Rick Marshall and Wendy M. Lack, Chief Financial Officer and Director (respectively) of the California Taxpayers Action Network.

Opponents argue that California cannot afford Proposition 51, which would cause the state to sink further into debt.

Opponents also argue that local school bonds, which keep control with local jurisdictions, provide greater accountability and efficiency, as opposed to the type of state bonds that would be issued under Prop 51.

In addition, those who oppose Proposition 51 have expressed concern that it does not guarantee an equitable distribution of the bond money, which could result in greater funds being awarded to well-funded school districts that can afford to hire consults to help with their application.

Learn More about Prop 51

To learn more, read the full text of Proposition 51.

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