In February, I reported on the controversy involving Del Mar’s elementary schools, which were receiving a significant amount in donations through a private foundation created to coordinate the giving.

At the time, the work of the foundation turned into a political debate after some parents questioned whether their kids were getting less out of their public education because their schools raised fewer private dollars.

Here is a paragraph from the story:

How the city’s elementary school district decides to balance parent concerns about equity with the reality that tax dollars cannot keep up with the needs of public education could provide an early glimpse at the issues schools in San Diego are beginning to face as nonprofit educational foundations quickly emerge as permanent fixtures in public education. The debate will also prove timely for the San Diego Unified School District, whose superintendent Carl Cohn has made the establishment of school foundations one of the priorities of his administration.

The same issue is now emerging at San Diego’s public school system. Private foundations formed to support some of San Diego Unified’s wealthier schools have paid to install artificial turf at the campuses, and poorer schools have asked the district to do the same for them.

The issue has caught the attention of school board member Katherine Nakamura.

“It’s becoming an equity issue,” she said at a meeting Tuesday.

Nakamura has suggested that the board consider including artificial turf as part of its upcoming 2008 bond measure, though the district has identified a total of $3.7 billion in construction needs, only a part of which would likely be covered by a bond.

VLADIMIR KOGAN

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