Scripps Ranch Residents Upset Over SDUSD Funding Plan for New Charter School

The school district will vote whether to spend $20 million of bond money to pay for a new charter school.

The San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) met Tuesday night to vote on a controversial funding plan that has some Scripps Ranch residents riled up.

At the center of feud is the Innovations Academy Charter School in Scripps Ranch.

SDUSD had previously voted to lease the property where the charter school currently sits to a developer. The school will be torn down and replaced by apartment units.

In Tuesday’s meeting, the district will vote on whether to spend $20 million to build a new charter school in Scripps Ranch.

But some residents are calling it "fiscal mismanagement" and say they are upset that the district will be spending bond money to build a new school to replace the one that is already standing.

"I think it's kind of silly to move it--tear it down and then rebuild somewhere else," said resident Guy Henry.

In return for leasing the propery, the district will receive $400,000 a year for the general fund for 66 years. They will also be given a stem lab for student field trips and a community garden.

"This seems like a shell game. The district is taking money from one pot and putting it into another one. And the only one going to win in this game are the developers. Taxpayers are going to lose," parent and community activist Emily Dresslar told NBC 7.

But she said she's upset about more than just an apartment unit going up in place of the school.

"As a San Diego resident and a taxpayer, I'm more upset about the fiscal mismanagement," Emily Dresslar said.

Another parent felt the same way.

“I believe the district has a judiciary responsibility to make financial decisions best for students, not a developer,” parent and community activist Larayne Burley said. “Clearly, most people, when they look at the facts, most people will see this $20 million is not needed and could be spent on other charter schools south of the I-8.”

The district says it followed the recommendation made by the committee that oversees how charter school money should be spent.

The principal of Innovations Academy Charter School told NBC 7 that she believed this was a perfect way to use the bond money set aside for charter schools

SDUSD has plans to build a new charter school in Kearny Mesa.

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