¡Ahora en Español!
borrows $9B to build and improve schools
If passed, the state would give $9 billion in general obligation bonds (i.e. debts paid back with interest, paid by tax-payers) for school construction projects. $7B for K-12 public schools. $2B for community colleges. Lots of details in between.
Complexity of issue: 🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔
Money involved: 💸💸💸💸💸
Lopsided support? Editorials leaning towards No
Who's most affected? Schools, construction companies
Cool, why would anyone not want this?
The debate is not about whether schools should get money. Many schools are in disrepair and there hasn't been a bond approved since 2006.[3] Opponents, including Gov. Jerry Brown, oppose the prop because it adds $500M of debt every year to the budget, it seems to bank roll construction companies, and it won't go to the neediest school districts.[10] He says the legislature can make a better proposal. Supporters point out that schools really need it right now. Opponents counter that school population is declining, and this is not the most urgent thing on the budget.[11]
Why is this even on the ballot?
The state legislature tried to put a similar act on the ballot in 2014, but Gov. Jerry Brown opposed it. This proposition was created by a group made up of school districts and construction groups to bypass the state government and get money to school construction projects in need.[4]
Straight from Jerry Brown's phone
Come on. SCHOOLS
How did you get my number?
Just this year, a school had to cancel class because sewage leaked into the classrooms.
Yes, schools need more money, but Prop 51 squanders money and promotes sprawl.
The wealthiest school districts will use their consultants to get to the money first.
The state program that figures out how schools are built/maintained already favors the affluent by being first-come first-serve.
51 doesn't solve the problems. It puts us half a billion more in debt every year, and it primarily benefits construction groups.
We shoud be focusing on the districts most in need.
Well why don't you propose a better idea?
I've been trying to get the funding to a more local level (because they're better at this), but we don't have time to submit an alternative by Nov.
The schools need money now. It's an investment. It's been 10 years since the last education bond.
Good things take time.
More reading
Information last updated: Oct 23, 2016

Mostly impartial information
[1] Full text of the proposition
[2] Ballotpedia details
[3] Legislative Analyst's Office summary
[$] Voter's Edge: where's the money coming from?
[4] KQED: some historical context
[5] NYTimes: synoposis and why you should care
[6] KQED podcast: live debate
Arguments FOR Prop 51
[7] SF Chronicle editorial board support
Arguments AGAINST Prop 51
[8] Mercury News editorial board
[9] San Diego Tribune Editorial Board
[10] Gov. Jerry Brown opposes the measure
[11] LA Times Editorial Board
[12] OC Register Editorial Board

Note: we intentionally omit the official arguments/rebuttals found in the official voter guide. We believe they exaggerate claims, mislead through emotions, and use ALL CAPS irresponsibly.