The San Diego Unified school board voted unanimously today to put a $2.1 billion facilities bond on the November ballot, despite some members’ concerns that the list of proposed bond projects was still “imperfect.”

Trustee Luis Acle said the bond prioritized politically popular ideas over other necessities, such as renovating the school district offices on Normal Street. Such a renovation has not been included in the bond list. Yet Acle ultimately voted for the proposal, saying he would not deny voters their say on the bond.

Early opposition has surfaced from the California Charter Schools Association, whose attorney, Greg Moser, complained that the list didn’t provide enough money for charter schools. Charter schools in district buildings are receiving some improvements, and like all San Diego Unified schools, charters will receive $150 per student to spend on facilities as they wish.

Moser said that the funding for charters should correspond to the percentage of San Diego Unified children enrolled in charter schools — roughly 10 percent — and pointed to today’s Los Angeles Times editorial criticizing the share that district is planning for its charter schools in their proposed bond.

“You’ve turned your back on the charter community, and we’re sorry about that,” Moser said.

Another resident, City Heights attorney John Stump, is drafting an opposition statement to the bond. He complained that plans to merge Central Elementary into Wilson Middle School as a K-8 school hadn’t been discussed publicly, and asked why the school district is talking about a new school downtown and not in City Heights, where new elementary schools and efforts to stop dropouts could later mean swelling ranks in the high schools. The problem is transparency, Stump said.

“These guys have definite plans for definite sites which have not been vetted by the public,” Stump said Monday.

Though the bond list was heavily debated, the list isn’t set in stone, district staff said.

For instance, the list includes plans to renovate underenrolled elementary schools such as Rolando Park Elementary. Such schools are relatively expensive to operate. Trustee Mitz Lee asked how San Diego Unified would juggle those plans with discussion of closing under-enrolled schools or replacing them with small high schools, a project touted by Superintendent Terry Grier.

Grier said the projects could be altered, and that the school district would determine its plans for closing or remaking under-enrolled schools before undertaking any renovations at those sites.


Leave a comment

We expect all commenters to be constructive and civil. We reserve the right to delete comments without explanation. You are welcome to flag comments to us. You are welcome to submit an opinion piece for our editors to review.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.