San Diego voters will now decide whether or not to pay more in their property taxes to provide the San Diego Unified School District with some much-needed funds.
The school board unanimously approved putting a $2.8 billion bond measure on the November ballot on Tuesday evening, a district spokesperson confirmed.
The measure is designed to funnel money into campus renovations and technology upgrades. State law mandates that bond measure money cannot be used for teacher or staff salary, however staffing levels should increase if approved, the resolution read.
Supporters of this measure say unlike state education funds that have been cut in the past, this bond would provide financial stability to the school district.
"I just don't think it'd be that well for our future to have uneducated people,” said property owner John Henson.” Jobs depend on it. But I think it's a small investment and I think I'd be for it."
The growing number of charter schools in the district would also receive a hefty portion of the bond measure funds.
"Charter school parents are taxpayers, and as such, any bond measure should inherently include and benefit their children," said Miles Durfee, managing regional director for the California Charter Schools Association. "The Board’s action recognizes that charter schools are important partners with the district in provision of high-quality education choices and opportunities for students in San Diego.”
The district faces a $122 million deficit going into this school year. Because of that, about 1,500 teachers and employees avoided being laid off after the district and teacher's union scrambled to negotiate an agreement.
The jobs were saved, but the number of school days they'll teach next year largely depends on the passage of another November ballot item -- Proposition 30.
The approved bond measure would help to mitigate some of the effects of the shortfall.
Specifically, urgent repairs to schools will receive the most money from the bond measure at about $649 million. $355 million will go toward new technology for classrooms and students. Special education facilities will get about $19 million.
If voters approve the measure, their property taxes will raise to about $66 per $100,000 of the estimated value of their property for about 30 years.
The money will be held accountable for by an independent committee, and will undergo yearly audits.