Election Section

State assembly passes bill to help build schools faster

By Stefanie Frith, The Associated Press
Friday May 31, 2002

SACRAMENTO – School districts will be able to build schools faster under a bill that passed the state Assembly on Thursday, raising alarm among smaller districts that larger districts will get more school construction money. 

Written by Assemblywoman Jackie Goldberg, D-Los Angeles, AB2424 would allow school districts to form school construction authorities to build schools faster and in turn get even more money. It passed the Assembly 50-23. 

Goldberg said her plan would let school boards focus on making policy instead of worrying about building schools with their share of the $13 billion that could come if voters pass a proposed bond issue in November. 

But small school districts fear they don’t have the resources to create the school construction authorities. The districts are feeling the heat because state school officials estimate that California needs 12,775 additional classrooms and 331 new schools in the next five years. 

The bill would require a local school construction authority to be governed by those appointed by the school district and city council. There also would be a member from the State Allocation Board and Office of the Architect. Small school districts would be able to team up with other districts to form the construction authority.