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California Schools Chief Calls For Statewide Bond Measure

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(CBS)

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SACRAMENTO (KCBS) – California’s schools chief said the passage of Proposition 30 in November is just the first step in getting the state’s education system back on track.

While the approval of Prop 30 and its temporary tax increases was vital for public schools, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson is already talking about a statewide school bond measure.

“It’s not a silver bullet. It’s not a panacea,” Torlakson said. “Some districts are still on the edge with their own internal finances. Most districts ran through all their reserves.”

Torlakson said he wants to begin a statewide discussion about putting an education bond measure before voters, possibly as soon as 2014.

“California voters would have a chance by voting yes on the bond measure to earmark tax money that’s already been collected, that’s in the state general fund, dedicated to our schools,” he said.

There’s no word yet on how large the bond proposal could be.

Torlakson said another idea he hopes will soon go to voters is a proposal to amend the California Constitution to lower the majority required to approve local parcel taxes for schools from two-thirds to 55-percent.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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