San Diego Unified is considering whether to increase the maximum amounts that people can chip in to school board campaigns from $500 to $750 in each election.

The agenda item for next Tuesday, which originated with school district attorney Lawrence Schoenke, states the limit “should be adjusted for inflation and the cost of living.” The last time San Diego Unified hiked the maximum was in 1999, when it went from $250 to $500.

How does that compare to other government agencies? For San Diego City Council candidates, the limit for individual contributions is $500 per candidate per election. So someone could give $1,000 total to a candidate if they gave in both the primary and the general election. In Los Angeles Unified, the only school district in the state larger than San Diego Unified, the limit is $1,000 per candidate per election.

A chart created by the city Ethics Commission three years ago shows much higher limits in some other cities, such as Houston, where the limit was $5,000.

The school board is going to take up this proposal on Tuesday night. Good idea? Bad idea? I’m curious for your thoughts.

Please contact Emily Alpert directly at or 619.550.5665 and follow her on Twitter:

Emily Alpert was formerly the education reporter for Voice of San Diego.

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