Even in the shadow of a monstrous budget crisis, education should be a priority. Still, Prop 55 asks for a $12.3 billion bond – a hefty sum even in a healthy economy. Although we’d prefer a poor-but-educated population over a rich-but-stupid one, the language of this proposition dissuades us from giving it a strong endorsement.
Prop 55’s fundamental flaw is its stringent restrictions on how schools can use the money the state would allot to them; expenditures can only be used to repair run-down buildings or to construct brand new ones. If a school needs new teachers, for example, they couldn’t hire them using these funds.
Nonetheless, the present budget situation also means California schools should scramble for whatever money they can get. Thus, this proposition is a good idea, if a flawed one. Besides, maybe the facilities this money can pay for will educate the guy who eventually solves California’s budget problems.