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Bond over $5 billion

Updated: Nov 13, 2023

By Cassandra Nava, Managing Editor

Los Angeles County residents could pay up to $157 yearly if the LACCD’s bond measure is approved in November’s midterm election.

The district’s largest bond measure to date would bring renovations to the nine colleges and be paid by a tax increase, which can vary between $88 and $157. However, it could be more on the top end, with some paying more than $4,000 over the life of the 25 year bond. Six district board of trustee members approved the measure at a July 6 meeting and helped prepare the measure for the Nov. 8 election.

“Students deserve excellent teaching and learning facilities, they deserve high quality experiences, they deserve an opportunity to be involved in student life,” said LACCD Chancellor Francisco Rodriguez at the meeting. “When the students engage, our students do better.”

The sole vote in opposition came from board member Ernest Moreno.

“I know I’m swimming against the tide, but somebody has to be the adult in the room and be cognizant,” said Moreno. “Perhaps enrollment will improve to a level of normalcy, but we may not get to the numbers of students we built the district for.”

According to Moreno, the colleges are built using master plans, which anticipate growth in student population, therefore assessing the future needs for new buildings and revitalization. In the July meeting, Moreno shared he feared that in renovating the colleges the district would build “ghost towns.”

The last district bond, Measure CC, was approved in 2016 at $3.3 billion. The headcount across the district was 251,530 students. This year, the headcount is less than half of that at 102,045 students district wide.

As of March 2017, Valley College experienced a $612 million renovation, using about 94 percent of the budget allocated from the first three bond measures. The Allied Health and Sciences building was constructed during this period, while the Campus Center, Parking Lot D and the Gym (Complex 2) underwent renovations. The unfinished Valley Academic and Cultural Center was under construction with an expected completion in 2019. As of 2017, the estimated budget of the VACC at completion was $105,990,566, with the majority of the funds coming from the 2008 bond measure.

If the $5.3 billion bond passes, Valley will receive more than $496 million. The largest portion, $199.2 million, will go toward renovating pre-1970s buildings while the rest of the money is earmarked for infrastructure, technology, athletic fields, sustainability and other needs.

By asking for more money on top of the $9.6 billion total received in bond funds and state funds, Moreno fears the district’s credibility is at stake.

“In my opinion, the list [of needs] was created not by necessity, but with a top down approach,” said Moreno. “The $5.3 billion is our cap. They built the list by dollars and filled in the needs after. I believe in the investment of education, but there is a point and time to be honest about the needs.”


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