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An interesting sidebar to the controversy over San Diego Unified School District’s budget: As part of the annual spending plan, the school board has approved spending approximately $22 million to upgrade some of its neglected facilities, a need known as deferred maintenance.

Under a plan approved this year, the district will spend approximately $100 million on deferred maintenance over the next five years. That’s not nearly enough, argues San Diego County Taxpayers Association President and CEO Lani Lutar, who points out that the district’s maintenance backlog totals $600 million and will likely grow as construction costs increase. District staff has also said that the $600 million figure may underestimate the true scale of the problem.

At least one school board member, John de Beck, indicated that he would like to see the district spend more on the upgrades now, an issue that may come up in July, when the school board revisits the newly approved budget.

VLADIMIR KOGAN

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