Hundreds of millions of dollars may be needed over the next 15 years to get schools in the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) in good condition, according to a new report.
The report, from the SDUSD for the Independent Oversight Committee, looks at how bond money is spent. It is a quarterly review of where SDUSD stands in terms of the money it needs to meet the district's goal of having schools in good condition.
SDUSD said the report is an update: a way of being transparent, a way to let people know where the district is when it comes to improving schools.
But according to that report, overall, schools are in poor condition and it will take more money to make necessary repairs.
The concern comes as the district held a groundbreaking ceremony for a new school building at Horace Mann Middle School in El Cerrito.
The project includes a new three-story building with 16 classrooms, a health and wellness center and a new entrance to the school.
It is one of the many improvements made to schools under Proposition S, passed in 2008, and Proposition Z, passed in 2012. Both propositions are bond measures approved by San Diego voters, in part, to fund repairs at local schools.
According to the report, in order to meet their goal of repairing schools by 2028, the district must count on their own money and funding from the state.
But Tuesday night, SDUSD board voted to cut $124 million dollars from their budget.
Committee member William Ponder said the cuts concern him.
“If they lay off people in the district whose job it is to help maintain facilities, and do the things that need to be done, I’d be very concerned,” Ponder said.
Lee Dulgeroff, chief of SDUSD's facilities program, told NBC 7 he is not concerned the budget cuts will impact school improvements and the condition of schools in the long term.
“The vast amount of money allocated is from capital funds,” he said. “It’s a long road. We have a big district, but you can see we’ve made progress and we’re on a track to a state of good repair.”
Dulgeroff also said there is money coming from Proposition 51 that will help fill the gap.
But Ponder said that money is an “if”, not a guarantee.