The money would provide state matching funds for 143 projects that had cleared the approval process as of July 24. But school officials and other bond backers, who spent almost $13 million in the campaign to pass Proposition 51, say the need is much greater. School districts’ pending new construction and modernization requests total more than $2.4 billion, backers say, and include new elementary schools in Elk Grove Unified School District and new classrooms at Rocklin Unified’s Granite Oaks Middle School. “There really is no excuse for us to find ourselves in the position we’re in today,” said former Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, D-Alamo. “At this pace it could take up to 10 years to fully commit Proposition 51 funds. “This is not what the voters intended when they passed Proposition 51,” added Buchanan, saying constructions costs will only increase, reducing the bond’s purchasing power. Fifty-five percent of voters approved Proposition 51, which passed in two-thirds of cities and 32 of the state’s 58 counties. Yet the measure faced a powerful skeptic in Gov. Jerry Brown, who said it left intact an inefficient school-construction program.

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