Union Endorses SDUSD Bond Measure

If approved, San Diegans would pay $66 per $100,000 of their estimated property value

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    NEWSLETTERS

    At a time when school bond measures are under increased scrutiy, San Diego's teacher's union has thrown its support behind the San Diego Unified School District's upcoming bond measure, Proposition Z.

    The school board unanimously approved putting the $2.8 billion bond measure on the November ballot in July.

    The measure is designed to funnel money into campus renovations and technology upgrades. 

    “The SDEA Board knows the importance of bringing more money into our schools, so that we can continue to deliver the high quality education our students deserve,” said the San Diego Education Association Vice President Lindsay Burningham.

    “This bond will also free up money in the general fund and in discretionary budgets to allow for the District and schools to provide other supports for their students,” Burningham added.

    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 good for our future to have uneducated people,” said property owner John Henson in a previous article. "Jobs depend on it. But I think it's a small investment and I think I'd be for it."

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    The growing number of charter schools in the district would also receive a hefty portion of the bond measure funds.

    The Poway Unified School District, also in San Diego, recently came under fire for financing a Capital Appreciation Bond. The bond will be payed off starting in about 20 years after interest builds. Poway parents and residents were outraged when they learned of the financing plan. They criticized the long-term impacts the bond will have on future taxpayers.

    Yet the SDUSD bond will use conventional financing for the Prop. Z bond, said John Lee Evans, SDUSD board president. The district will vote on a resolution that would ban the use of Capital Appreciation Bonds.

    "The new tax rate included in Proposition Z will allow the district to use regular current interest general obligation bonds," he said. "Therefore, under Prop. Z, there should be no need for the district to make use of Capital Appreciation Bond financing."

    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.

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