* California's reputation as a leader in public higher education is in jeopardy unless we in Orange County and others around the state pull together to make a difference. We can start on June 7 by voting "yes" on Proposition 1C, the Higher Education Facilities Bond Act, which will restore the greatness of California public education and improve the state's respected place in the education community.
Proposition 1C will provide $900 million in new investment bonds for improvements in classrooms, libraries, research centers and other facilities at our community colleges and public universities. Orange County's four community college districts--Coast, North Orange, Rancho Santiago and Saddleback--along with UC Irvine, Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Long Beach, Long Beach City College and Cal Poly Pomona, will receive more than $85 million if Proposition 1C passes.
Proposition 1C will also create 10,000 new jobs and $2 billion in increased economic activity for California, fund long overdue earthquake and safety improvements, and establish new facilities to provide adult Californians of all educational levels with career training and job retraining opportunities.
The best part about Proposition 1C is that every penny will work to make these things happen for Orange County and elsewhere around the state. None of the funds will go to administrative salaries or overhead costs.
A vote for Proposition 1C on June 7 is a vote for public higher education, for jobs and for economic security. It's a vote all of us can live with but few of us can live without. I urge you to vote "yes" on Proposition 1C.
SEN. MARIAN BERGESON
* UCI is coping with permanent state budget cuts of more than $24 million since 1990. By next year, the University of California will have cut its budget by $433 million in four years. Although there is little hope that the state dollars of yesteryear ever will be restored, there are ways that California's voters can support higher education.
One such way is a "yes" vote on Proposition 1C. If passed, the measure will fund earthquake safety projects and building upgrades long overdue throughout Orange County's public colleges and universities.
At UCI, the $900-million measure will mean more than $23 million in additional classroom space as well as renovations and seismic improvements to campus buildings.
Proposition 1C would provide $16.3 million for construction of a humanities building that will increase classroom space, add computer stations and house the Campuswide Honors Program, the Center for International Education and Instructional Development Services.
Also part of the measure: $6.6 million for seismic renovations and other upgrades to the central plant building, improvements that will provide additional cooling capacity to the campus and $467,000 for seismic and other renovations to the social sciences buildings.
The bond measure--in addition to providing campus buildings--will strengthen California's economy as well. It is estimated that the projects funded will create more than 10,000 jobs and improve job training through education.
All Californians benefit from a strong higher education system. Proposition 1C is essential for California's economic strength today and tomorrow. Vote yes.
Chair, UC Irvine Foundation
* I am a student at California State University, Fullerton, and I have recently become aware of a new proposition that will better the community colleges and public universities of California.
Proposition 1C will not provide funds for administrative salaries and expenses. It will, among other things, upgrade colleges and universities with new computers, science labs and other high-tech improvements so that our work force can compete with the best in the world. In recent years, as the education budget withers away and classes are continuously cut, my fees continue to rise. However, the university keeps admitting new students when the students that are already there aren't able to get classes. When students inquire about the diminishing quality of programs, faculty or resources, budget cuts are always the scapegoat. All we hear is how there isn't enough money. How can there not be enough money to maintain quality?
Although Proposition 1C may not create more classes, it will improve the quality of these institutions. At CSUF alone it will: invest in seismic upgrades, strengthening the campus to prevent injuries and costly damage in an earthquake; upgrade fire and safety standards; fund an addition to the University Library; construct an addition to the physical education building; construct a 1,200-seat auditorium/fine arts instructional facility, and develop plans and working drawings for the renovation of McCarthy Hall.
Other states pride themselves on the quality of education they offer--what happened to California?