How do you borrow $105 million and ultimately have to pay back almost $1 billion? Ask Poway Unified School District. It used a controversial form of borrowing called a capital appreciation bond, which allows it to borrow future tax dollars today. We explain why the district went for the deal and the uproar following our story in a recent edition of San Diego Explained.

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But that’s not all. One of the reasons Poway’s deal is so expensive is because it actually borrowed millions of dollars more upfront than the amount they say they did. The district did it despite a warning from state Attorney General Kamala Harris’s office, which said it was illegal. We break down how this all happened in the latest San Diego Explained:

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Want more? Check out nine important questions we answered about Poway schools’ borrowing.

Dagny Salas is the web editor at Voice of San Diego. You can contact her directly at or 619.550.5669.

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Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

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