Proposition 47 Passes; GCC to Receive $9 Million

El Vaquero Staff Writer

California voters approved Proposition 47, the Kindergarten-University Public Education Act of 2002 Tuesday. The $13 billion dollar bond issue will be used for school improvements and construction around the state, providing GCC more than $9 million in funds, which will give much needed help to the nursing program and expand the aviation program.

The bond, which passed with over 58 percent of the votes, means a lot to the college and universities throughout the state. GCC will use its funds for a new 39,000-square-foot building where construction is set to start in spring 2004. The building will house facilities, aviation and a new allied health center.

This building was originally supposed to be funded through Measure G, passed by Glendale voters in March. When asked why Prop. 47 money would be used instead of Measure G, GCC Vice President of Adminsitrative Services Larry Serot said, “The center was originally supposed to be funded with measure G money, but when we had the chance for money with Proposition 47, we jumped right on it.”
If completed on time the building will open in the fall of 2006.

“The money that was supposed to be used for that building will not go to waste,” Serot said. “We will now use that money to make the school environmentally safe, which currently is lacking.”

The bond issue will also give public schools across the state money to improve the overall educational experience of students. All public schools and institutions of higher education will receive bond money. At the K-12 level this money will be used to lower class size by adding thousands of need classrooms across the state.

With the strict accountability that goes along with this tax measure, all the money that schools receive must be accounted for. The bond had great support throughout the state and the community. It was endorsed by a wide variety of groups including the California Parent Teacher Association, the California Teachers Association, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), the California Tax Payers Association, the GCC Board of Trustees, the GCC Associated Student Government, the GCC Faculty Guild, the California School Employees Association and many other organizations.

The other major education measure on the ballot was Proposition 49, which was supported heavily by actor Arnold Schwarzenegger. The measure, which passed with 56 percent of the votes, will give schools statewide money to provide expanded after school programs.

In Los Angeles, both secession measures, F and H, were defeated by a wide margin. If the measure would have passed it would have given the residents of the San Fernando Valley (Measure F) and Hollywood (Measure H) the opportunity to branch out into their own cities.

As returns were showing that the measures would not pass, city of Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn told a cheering crowd in Universal City, “I want to tell people out there, no matter which way they voted, tomorrow is the first day of all of our lives and we are going to build a great city together.”