|October 24, 2002
Volume 33 Number 5
|A publication for the faculty, staff, administrators, and friends of California State University, Chico|
From the President's Desk
On Wednesday, October 16, I took part in a news conference for Proposition 47 with other educators from Butte and Glenn Counties. It was held in Yolo Hall, our new classroom, laboratory, and office building that is nearing completion. I made the point that Yolo is empty of office and laboratory equipment, and, without funds from Prop. 47, we will have to find almost $700,000 from somewhere else in an already reduced-budget year.
As a state employee, I can't tell you how to vote on Prop. 47. I can tell you, however, the effects on local education, in general, and CSU, Chico, in particular, if it doesn't pass.
Prop. 47, the $13.05-billion general obligation bond measure, addresses growing problems of overcrowding for students of all ages -- K-12, community college, and university students. It would authorize the state to issue general obligation bonds for construction and renovation of public education facilities.
The overcrowding in California schools is growing at the same time that people are gravely concerned about the economy. It is tempting to say, "We can't afford this right now." I, personally, believe it is an investment we can't afford not to make in education at this time. Financial analysts point out that the current low interest rates actually make it a good time to borrow this kind of money.
CSU, Chico has two facilities projects that would be funded as part of Prop. 47: the Student Services Center at $33.6 million and the classroom and office equipment for Yolo at $678,000. The new Student Services Center, which is planned for the spot where Sutter used to stand on Hazel and 2nd Streets, is essential for enrolling and keeping students. It will provide a convenient and beautiful place for prospective students and their families to be introduced to the campus. Offices for admissions, records, financial aid, testing, counseling, and career planning and placement will be located there. Space in the library that is now being used as offices will be freed for academic uses.
Butte College would receive $17.8 million for a Learning Resource Center, which would include classroom, office, and library space. It would house a Center for Academic Success and computer labs, and will increase access for students with disabilities. The Chico Unified School District would receive $5.5 million to be used for repairs and renovations to Chico High School.
Local educators have formed a coalition because the passage of this bond is critical to education. It's important to the local economy, as well, because it would generate revenue throughout the building and repair industry. The positive ripples from its passage would spread out into the community and into the well-being of schoolchildren and university students for years to come.
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