Prop. 13 school bond isn’t really for the kids



By Jon Coupal

In the arguments and advertising in support of Proposition 13 on the March 3 ballot, the proponents are trying to convince the voters it is all “for the kids.” As with previous education ballot measures in California, a parade of disasters is predicted unless the proposal in question is approved.

True to form, the opening argument set forth in the official voter information guide intones ominously, “Despite research showing students learn better in classrooms which are modern and safe, too many school buildings are dilapidated, unsafe, and unhealthy. Thousands remain at risk of wildfires or earthquakes. Others are contaminated with lead, mold, asbestos, and other hazardous materials.”


The first question taxpayers should ask is if things are this bad, where has all the previously voter-approved bond money gone? Let’s review some recent school bond measures already authorized by voters: Prop. 1A in 1998 ($9.2 billion); Prop. 47 in 2002 ($13.05 billion); Prop. 55 in 2004 ($12.3 billion); Prop. 1D in 2006 ($10.4 billion); and Prop. 51 in 2016 ($9 billion). In addition to tens of billions of dollars in new debt, there’s a nearly equal amount owed in interest costs.

But perhaps the allegedly unsafe conditions are merely a cover to conceal what this is really all about. The proponents of this year’s Proposition 13 are spending millions on advertising (featuring, of course, the obligatory firefighter) in an effort to convince voters that “our kids deserve better.” Turns out that the big funders of the more than $6 million in campaign costs have a lot to gain from more debt and higher spending.

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HJTA1Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association — California’s largest grass-roots taxpayer organization dedicated to the protection of Proposition 13 and the advancement of taxpayers’ rights.

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