February 14, 2000
UC Board of Regents supports Proposition 26
By UC Office of the President
The UC Board of Regents has adopted a resolution in support of Proposition 26 on
California's March 7 ballot. The measure would allow voter approval of local school
bond issues by a simple majority rather than the current two-thirds vote requirement.
If passed, the proposition, known as the Majority Rule Act for Smaller Classes, Safer
Schools and Financial Accountability, would affect local school districts, community
college districts, and county education offices throughout California.
"Because it would impact the capability of K-12 schools to fund improved teaching
environments and foster higher student achievement, the act may ultimately enhance
the preparedness of high-school students for enrollment and academic success at UC
campuses," UC President Richard C. Atkinson said.
California's K-12 public school enrollment is expected to increase by nearly one
million students over the next decade, with approximately 63,000 of the additional
students likely to attend UC campuses by 2010. To maintain state-mandated class-size
reductions, this growth will require the construction of new schools and the hiring
of new teachers as well as improvements for existing facilities to fulfill California's
K-12 education goals.
The CSU Board of Trustees also has voted to support the proposition. The initiative
has been endorsed by the California Teachers Association, the California Chamber
of Commerce, and the California School Boards Association, among others. Proposition
26 is opposed by "Save Our Homes," a group formed by the Howard Jarvis
Taxpayers Organization, which argues that the two-thirds standard protects property
owners who are responsible for repaying any school bonds that are approved by the
Nationwide, 38 states allow majority approval of school bonds, while only California
and New Hampshire require a two-thirds vote for local school bonds.
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