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Proposition 56: Education Bonds

October 30, 1986

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.

Six million new jobs are expected to be created in California by the year 2000, and most of these new jobs will occur in occupations that require some college education.

UCLA will benefit directly from Proposition 56 by providing the funds to begin planning and design of a new chemistry and life sciences complex and to construct an addition to our School of Law building. Both projects carry a high priority and were selected after careful study by the university, the Legislature and the governor.

In the past, capital improvements for higher education have been funded through tideland revenues derived from royalties paid to the state by oil companies that extract oil and natural gas from state-owned lands. With the drop in wholesale oil prices, however, the state has taken in only a fraction of the anticipate revenue. The Legislature, therefore, decided to make up the balance through the sale of bonds.

I urge all Californians to study the issues related to Proposition 56 and to vote on Nov. 4.

CHARLES E. YOUNG

Chancellor

University of California

Los Angeles

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