The future quality of higher education in California will be at stake Nov. 4 when voters decide the fate of Proposition 56, the Higher Education Facilities Bond Act of 1986.
Proposition 56 authorizes the state to issue $400 million in general obligation bonds to fund construction and equipment projects over the next two years for the University of California, the California State University and the California Community Colleges.
The bond funds are desperately needed to modernize obsolete laboratories, make seismic, health and safety improvements, equip laboratories and classrooms, and build libraries, classrooms and research facilities.
This backlog of urgently needed projects comes at a time when overall enrollments in all three systems of public higher education are increasing. Together, UC, CSU and CCC enroll more than 1.5 million students on 135 campuses, and the three systems contribute about $28 billion each year to the state's economy.