RELEASE: Schools, Job Creators, Economists Applaud Prop 39 Implementation

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

SACRAMENTO – Schools, economists and job creators are speaking up about the benefits California communities are seeing sixteen months after Proposition 39 Projects have started. Over three years, Prop 39 has brought a total of $2.35 billion in revenue back to California that would otherwise have been pocketed by out-of-state corporations. A timeline as well as revenue and project numbers can be found below.

Karin S. Temple, Chief Operations Officer, Fresno Unified School District Facilities Management and Planning, Food Services, Maintenance and Operations, Purchasing and Warehouse, Safety and Security, Transportation:
“Fresno Unified is located in one of the most impoverished areas of the state, with a high unemployment rate and extremely hot summer weather. Proposition 39 dollars have benefited the district and community by supporting extensive energy-related improvements at one of our oldest comprehensive high schools including lighting, HVAC components and energy management controls. Absent Prop 39, the resources would not be available for these upgrades.  Given that the district’s expects to spend approximately $13 million this year on electricity and natural gas, the opportunity to save energy and utility costs means dollars that can be redirected to classrooms.  Fresno Unified is committed to utilizing local contractors for Prop 39 construction and therefore the program also creates jobs for local trades people. For the next phase of our Prop 39 work, surveys have been conducted at multiple elementary and middle schools to identify potential energy efficiency projects and again the objective is to identify the biggest contributors to energy costs including boilers, chillers, lighting and controls, while meeting the savings-to-investment ratio requirement. We are planning to submit Phase 2 projects to the California Energy Commission in fall 2015.”  

Scott Griffin, Assistant Superintendent of the Fowler Unified School District:
“Our oldest school, John C. Freemont Elementary, built in 1938 needed major HVAC and roofing repairs and it could not have been done without the Prop 39 funding. Energy savings and energy efficiency made this a valuable opportunity—the HVAC units we replaced were over 50 years old and the windows and roof had very little insulation. We’ll see tremendous cost savings, and we’ll put that money directly back in the classrooms.”

Paul Gothold, Lynwood Unified School District Superintendent:

“Upgrading our energy systems has real financial and environmental benefits that demonstrate the value of the sustainable practices we are teaching our students. This grant also represents another major success in our ongoing efforts to aggressively pursue all funding sources to improve the quality of our programs and facilities. The package of improvements is expected to cut utility usage by about 34 percent upon completion of the proposed projects. Over their 15-year life span, the upgrades will save the district about $2.5 million.”

Geoff Yantz, Superintendent, South Pasadena Unified School District:
“SPUSD is in the process of capitalizing on funding available through Prop. 39, we just received approval for our plan a few days ago.  Prop 39 is providing the District critical revenue to reduce long-term energy costs and its carbon footprint that would not have been possible otherwise.”

Anthony Duarte, Board President of Hacienda La Puente Unified School District:
"Hacienda La Puente USD is proud to have been approved by the California Energy Commission for our entire 5-year energy savings plan for $5.3 million in energy retrofits for our four high schools.  We're putting Prop. 39 funding to work by saving almost half a million dollars annually in energy costs, reducing energy use by 38%, and stimulating the local job market through a project labor agreement with electrical workers from IBEW."

Mark Hovatter, Chief of Facilities at Los Angeles Unfied School District: 
“School construction does not happen overnight. Nor does the creation of a new state funding program. Since the California Energy Commission guidelines have been approved, we have been working hard to identify high energy-consuming schools, designing projects and getting the necessary state and local approvals.  With 13 school projects already approved by the California Energy Commission, the District is projecting annual energy cost savings of almost $1.5 million and a 27% reduction in electricity usage and a 7% reduction in gas usage at those schools. The cost savings generated will benefit the school district’s general fund which will allow the District to re-invest in many critical programs benefiting our kids.” 

Carol Zabin, Ph.D., Research Director, Center for Labor Research and Education, UC Berkeley:
“Prop 39 closed a corporate tax loophole and this provides a significant economic stimulus to California.  In addition to the several hundred million dollars going to clean energy projects and training in California schools each year, an equal amount is going to the state’s General Fund.  The California Energy Commission is only required to report the direct jobs created by the allocation of funds to schools.  However, since this is new state money that otherwise would be in the hands of out-of-state corporations, a full jobs accounting for the law would include: 1) the direct investment into schools (to be reported publicly), 2) the multiplier effect of this investment, which we estimate to be 2 or 3 indirect and induced jobs for each direct job; 3) the direct jobs created by the new General Fund expenditures, and the multiplier effect of this investment, which also generates new jobs.”

Bruce Saito, Former Executive Director, Los Angeles Conservation Corps:
“Prop 39 has helped create job training opportunities for many veterans, at-risk young people, and residents of disadvantaged communities.”

Erik Emblem, Executive Director, Western States Council of Sheet Metal Workers Trade:
“Proposition 39 is creating real jobs that can’t be outsourced or shipped overseas. Our journeymen and apprentices are excited to get to work on the large-scale energy efficiency projects that are coming down the pipeline.”

John Brauer, Workforce and Economic Development Program Director for the California Labor Federation and a State Workforce Development Board member:
“Prop 39 dollars have been invaluable in creating regional, career pathway training programs that will enable local residents to access family-supporting jobs in their communities. Investments leading to careers in all of the construction trades are being made right now in Fresno and the Central Valley, Richmond/Oakland, Sacramento, Los Angeles and San Jose area, some of the exact communities where jobs were decimated during the recession.”

Peter Miller, Senior Scientist, Natural Resources Defense Council:   
“Hundreds of California school districts are in the process of implementing significant clean energy retrofit projects funded by Proposition 39 that will save tens of millions of dollars through lower energy bills today and far into the future while improving the learning environment for our schoolchildren – all without increased property taxes. Given the herculean effort it took to launch this program, the fact that school districts are already starting to implement projects less than three years after the proposition was passed (and less than two years after the guidelines were adopted) should be a cause for celebration, rather than alarm.”

Anna Ferrera, Executive Director of the School Energy Coalition:
“On behalf of the School Energy Coalition an organization made up of K-12 schools, community colleges, school construction and energy consultants focused on energy and water efficiency and renewable generation projects for California’s students, we are working on hundreds of great school district projects statewide that are moving forward under this program.  The revenue allocated to K-14 schools through Proposition 39 is successfully providing funding for energy efficiency projects will ultimately pay back schools and taxpayers in real dollar savings over time and lower our use of energy – which is a wise environmental choice for our community and our state. Much data and analysis that must be done before installation or construction so that the projects deliver the savings promised, and you just cannot rush that. Communities around schools are very involved, excited and grateful for this opportunity, along with employees and others that are assisting to support these projects so that they deliver the efficiencies that we have promised our teachers students, community and state.”

Strela Cervas, Co-Director of the California Environmental Justice Alliance:
"We are disappointed that low-income communities of color are being used as a wedge to further big oil and industry agenda. Communities of color came out to the polls in record numbers to vote in favor of Prop. 39 and schools and communities that are most impacted by pollution and climate change are already starting to see energy savings, pollution reduction, and jobs benefits from Prop. 39."

Kate Gordon, Citizens Oversight Board Appointee & Vice Chair, Paulson Institute:
"Yes, it’s true that the oversight board has never met. But that’s not because we’re just a “rubber stamp” created by the political process—it’s because under the CEC’s regulations, we aren’t supposed to meet until this fall, when we’ll be able to review and discuss the first tranche of data from the completed Prop 39 projects that have been underway across the state during the past year. You can find a full list on the CEC site here, along with the fact that they’ve already saved the state’s schools over $25 million in energy costs."


  • NOV 2012: Proposition approved
  • JAN 2013:
    • Tax loophole closed
    • Implementation Field Hearings (San Jose)
    • Implementation Field Hearings (San Diego)
  • FEB 2013: Implementation Field Hearings (Los Angeles)
  • MAR 2013: Implementation Field Hearings (Fresno, CA)
  • APR 2013: Implementation Field Hearings (Riverside, CA)
  • JUN 2013:  Implementing legislation (SB 73) adopted
  • OCT 2013:  CA Community Colleges issue program guidelines
  • NOV 2013: First k-12 planning funds disbursed
    • $106.2M for audits and technical assistance (CDE)
  • DEC 2013: CEC program guidelines adopted
  • JAN 2014:
    • Treasurer & Controller COB Appointments
    • CA Community College program guidelines revised
  • FEB 2014: K-12 Applications open (CEC)
  • MAR 2014: Senate Budget Resources Subcommittee hearing on Prop 39 implementation
  • APR 2014: First expenditure plan approved
  • MAY 2015: Senate Budget Education Subcommittee hearing on Prop. 39 implementation
  • JUN 2014: CEC program guidelines Revised
  • SEP 2014: COB implementation (AB 2227) adopted
  • NOV 2014: Attorney General COB Appointments
  • DEC 2014:  Final 2015 Guidelines adopted (CEC)
  • MAR 2015: Senate Budget Education Subcommittee hearing on Prop. 39 implementation


    • 2015: 306
    • 2014: 193
    • 2013: 0


    • 2014-15: 246
    • 2013-14: 203






July 1, 2013 –

June 30, 2014

July 1, 2014 –

June 30, 2015

July 1, 2015-

June 30, 2016

Revenues from Closing Corporate Tax Loophole

$928 million

$705 million

$721 million

Funding to General Fund

$464 million


$352.5 million

$360.5 million

Funding for Clean Energy Jobs Act

$464 million

$352.5 million

$360.5 million

Funding to K-12 Schools

$381 million


$279 million

$313.4 million

K-12 Zero/Low Interest Loans

$28 million


$28 million


California Community Colleges

$47 million

$37.5 million

$38.7 million

California Conservation Corps

$5 million

$5 million

$5.3 million

Workforce Investment Board

$3 million

$3 million

$3 million


Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León and Proposition 39 Co-Chair Tom Steyer released a statement Monday.

More information:  




Vista Unified School District Granted $4.7 Million for Prop 39 Energy Efficiency Upgrade Projects


Central Accepts $844,000 Prop 39 Grant Money

Prop. 39 money sets schools on energy efficiency binge

Newport-Mesa installing solar panels

Rancho Santa Fe School’s Prop 39 projects moving forward

Eureka City Schools using "Prop 39" funds to become more energy efficient

School district finds energy savings through Proposition 39 funding

California community colleges get $45 million boost for green energy projects

Oroville high school district planning solar project

SDSU wins competition with Kearney Mesa High School renovation project

Merced College needs oversight committee volunteers

CCC conducts energy audit of Santa Cruz High

K-12 Schools Sustainability Strategy Collaborative Update

San Diego School Districts Out Front to Achieve Energy Savings with Proposition 39 Funds

Schools apply for funding from Prop. 39


Peralta Trustees Approve $933,000 Grant For Laney College To Lead Clean Energy Workforce Program

Schneider Electric Aids in Prop 39 Energy Efficiency Upgrade Project

A bright idea: Prop. 39 powers up school savings by driving down energy costs 

Jackson Announces $7.8 Million from Prop. 39 to Retrofit Schools in Santa Barbara, Ventura Counties

Area makes a grab for Prop. 39 money

Built to Last: Proposition 39 and California's Schools

CCC Energy Corps Prop. 39 Program Background

ACOE to host California Energy Commission Proposition 39 Training