December 16, 2009 4:21 PM
NATASHA LINDSTROM Staff Writer

SACRAMENTO • State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell is championing a new $10 billion state school construction bond, even as California hasn’t been able to sell more than $50 billion in bonds voters already approved.

O’Connell testified Tuesday before the Senate Select Committee on School Facilities, where he stressed the urgency of a bond that would modernize schools, curb classroom overcrowding and put people back to work.
California needs $9.7 billion to improve school facilities and another $200 million for career technical education construction projects, according to O’Connell.

“It’s not a tax, it’s a commitment to the state general fund,” O’Connell said. “I would argue that if you want to have a growing, expanding economy and less unemployment, you want to have a bond measure for our schools.”

The vehicle for the school facilities bond is Assembly Bill 220, by Assemblywoman Julia Brownley, D-Santa Monica, which aims to place a major school construction bond on the next statewide ballot.
To read the full story, see Thursday’s Daily Press. To subscribe to the Daily Press in print or online, call (760) 241-7755 or click here.

Natasha Lindstrom may be reached at (760) 951-6232 or at nlindstrom@VVDailyPress.com.