Million Higher Education Bond Referendum
By overwhelming bipartisan majorities, the Virginia
General Assembly this spring approved a $900.5 million general
obligation bond package for educational facility capital
projects. The Governor supported
the measure and signed it into law.
For it to take effect, Virginia voters must approve
the bond package on the November 5 statewide ballot. It is the first such bond referendum since
1992, and only the fourth in Virginia history.
If approved, the funds would pay for urgently
needed upgrades, renovations, modernizations and new construction
at Virginia's public college and university campuses, museums, and
Every college, university, and community college in
every region of Virginia will benefit.
Beyond bricks and mortar, the education referendum
is about expanding opportunity for more students to go to college,
acquire knowledge, and learn new skills so they can get good jobs
and get ahead in today's changing economy.
By 2010, the State Council of Higher Education for
Virginia projects 32,000 more students at Virginia public colleges
and universities. Existing
facilities cannot accommodate them.
Without the new space the bonds will provide, these students will
be forced to forego a college education or go out of state, at a
higher cost to families, to earn their degrees.
The education referendum also is about enhancing
Virginia's economic competitiveness and quality of life. The bond plan will help universities
advance life-saving medical research, science, and technology
breakthroughs. It also will
generate over $1.5 billion in economic activity by 2008, create
nearly 14,000 new jobs, and not raise taxes or affect Virginia's
AAA bond rating.