Voters in two Los Angeles County community college districts will decide Tuesday whether to pass bond measures to upgrade technology and infrastructure.
In the El Camino Community College District—which covers South Bay cities including Torrance, Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach—the $350 million Measure E is designed to upgrade the college's programs by expanding science labs, upgrading electrical systems, repairing facilities and building new classrooms.
If it passes, the bond will cost property owners in the district nearly $7 per $100,000 of assessed value.
Proponents of the measure argue that South Bay students will benefit from the new classrooms and technology, especially since it costs less money to attend El Camino College than it would to attend a University of California or California State University campus. Opponents, on the other hand, argue that there is still $105 million left from a bond issued in 2004 and that property owners cannot afford to pay more taxes.
The $350 million Cerritos College bond, also known as Measure G, would be used to fund similar infrastructure upgrades as Measure E. If passed, property owners would be taxed at $25 per $100,000 of assessed value.
Measure G proponents argue that the bond is "critical" to provide a high level of educational opportunities, while opponents say it could be a waste of money to build new classrooms while many classes are moving online.
Because the measures are bonds, funds raised cannot be used to pay for teacher or administrator salaries, pensions and other operating expenses. The measures each require a 55 percent vote to pass.
In addition to Measure E, Redondo Beach voters will have another education bond issue to consider. Measure Q, which was unanimously placed on the ballot by the Redondo Beach Board of Education over the summer, would fund new technology in Redondo Beach Unified School District classrooms and upgrades to campus electrical and other systems.
The $63 million bond would cost property owners about $24 per $100,000 of assessed value.
By using bond funds to pay for upgrades and new technology, money that would normally pay for such improvements will be diverted to the classroom instead, proponents argue.
Nobody submitted an argument against the measure for the ballot.
Fifty-five percent of voters must approve the measure for it to pass.