Document:California Press Release 3 September 1998 School Bond Measure

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Office of the Executive Director
11956 Riverside Dr., #206
Valley Village, CA 91607-3772
For immediate release: September 3, 1998
For additional information:
Juan Ros, Executive Director
Phone: (818) 506-0200
Fax: (818) 506-0212


LOS ANGELES - The $9.2 billion school construction and modernization bond measure signed by Governor Pete Wilson last week will hurt children, not help them, the Libertarian Party of California charged today.

"This bond measure is an absolute tragedy," announced Libertarian state chair Mark Hinkle. "The government-run education system is crumbling and state bureaucrats are piling more debt on our children's backs."

The measure, Proposition 1a, will go before the voters on November 3rd.

Why do Libertarians object to the bond measure?

  • According to the Assembly Appropriations Committee, Prop. 1a will end up costing taxpayers $15 billion after interest is factored in, or about $750 million per year.
  • As Assemblyman Tom McClintock (R-Northridge) pointed out from the Assembly floor, funds from the state surplus could have been devoted to "immediate pay-as-you-go school construction," which would have saved Californians $700 million in interest costs this year.
  • Prop. 1a provides a perverse incentive to school districts: grants from the state for new construction must be matched by districts dollar-for-dollar. "School districts will create construction projects they don't need just to get a slice of the state pie," Hinkle predicted.
  • Prop. 1a creates a new $160 million state program that would provide downpayment and renter's assistance to certain low-income homebuyers and renters. "Prop. 1a is supposed to pay for school construction, not new homes," remarked Hinkle.
  • Californians already approved a $3 billion school bond measure in 1996, Proposition 203. "Now we're being asked to approve three times that much. When will it end?" Hinkle wondered.

Similar local school bond measures have proven ineffective. Los Angeles voters approved a record $2.4 billion measure in early 1997 with the promise that schools would be air conditioned in record time. To date many of the planned construction projects remain unfinished, and children are suffering inside sweltering classrooms.

So what's the answer? "Easy: privatize government education, a solution endorsed by Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman," proposed Hinkle. "Until our education system is based on choice and competition, tax money will be squandered, schools will fall into disrepair, and children will continue to be the unfortunate victims."

"Prop. 1a is costly, burdensome, inefficient, and won't work. The Libertarian Party of California urges voters to unequivocally reject Prop 1a -- for our children's sake.