The San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) passed a vote Tuesday evening to place a property tax increase bond on the November ballot that will raise money for improvements and security upgrades at several campuses.
It’s the third bond measure to go before San Diego voters in the last ten years. This one, called the Safety and Repair Bond, is asking for $3.5 billion.
The SDUSD says it needs more money to repair schools and make them safe, especially in the wake of recent school shootings across the country. Health and safety improvements are also a big concern after drinking water supplies at several schools tested positive for lead.
Manny Vasquez, a union worker and parent, worked on projects under previous propositions, like the $2.1-billion Prop S in 2008 and $2.8-billion Prop Z in 2012.
“It’s going to affect our children and the schools in a positive way and it’s something that can help local people get to work also, so it helps all the way around,” Vasquez said.
The district says it has put in air conditioning, upgraded technology, built new classrooms and refurbished buildings with money from previous bonds.
More projects are in the works and money from those thirty-year bonds hasn’t dried up yet, but board member Richard Barrera says there are always new needs
“The work is never finally done. You can’t just pass one bond measure and say for the next 50 years our schools are not going to need investment. I think voters understand that clearly. They’ve consistently understood that and I’m confident the voters will support this measure as well,” Barrera said.
An attendee at the board meeting told the district during public comment that she didn’t approve of the way money from previous bonds was spent. But Barrera said the district has always received high marks from the independent committee overseeing how the money is used.
The district said bond measures help to employ nearly 17,000 people in the city.