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Prop. 1A Would Benefit Channel Islands Campus

Education: State senator says new university stands to gain 'fair share' of $55 million the bond measure allocates for Cal State system.

October 23, 1998|PAMELA J. JOHNSON | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Ventura County's new four-year university, Cal State Channel Islands, stands to gain significantly from Proposition 1A--a $9.2-billion bond measure for building, expanding and repairing public schools, Sen. Jack O'Connell (D-San Luis Obispo) said Thursday.

During the next four years, the bond would allocate $165 million for the development of University of California, Cal State and community college campuses, O'Connell said in a press conference at the former Camarillo State Hospital, where the first Cal State students are to start classes by next January.

Opponents of the measure say immediate relief for California schools can be financed from the current state budget surplus.

O'Connell expected the school to receive a good portion of the $55 million earmarked for California State University campuses. But he could not say exactly how much the campus would receive.

"It really depends how many other counties are building new Cal State campuses, satellite centers or learning centers," O'Connell said. "But I've heard from the governor that we will get our fair share of the money."

If approved by voters in November, the money could be available within two years, he said.

The funds would be used to help transform the aging hospital. They would also go toward building laboratories and wiring classes for computers.

The 30-year bond measure does not include a tax increase. Interest would be paid by the state from an established fund for such purposes, said Charles Weis, Ventura County superintendent of schools.

"I'm usually conservative when it comes to bonds," O'Connell said, while flanked by Weis and former Congressman Robert Lagomarsino. "But the money would be used for something students will benefit from more much longer than 30 years."

Weis also supported the bond, which would allocate $6.7 billion for fixing and building classrooms from kindergarten through 12th grade. He could not say how much Ventura County schools might gain from that sum.

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