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In a Tuesday Fact Check post, we investigated a recent claim by San Diego County Taxpayers Association CEO Lani Lutar that San Diego Unified School District has spent zero dollars in Proposition S funds on major repair projects.

The district says it has used $139 million in bond money to pay for urgent repairs at schools, prompting us to label Lutar’s comments misleading.

Lutar responded with a letter to the editor questioning whether VOSD should have relied on information from school district officials given a conflicting June report to the bond’s citizen oversight committee.

“Would it have been appropriate for (the San Diego County Taxpayers Association) to rely on photos or verbal statements by school board politicians or staff to determine how Prop. S money has been spent to date? “ Lutar wrote.

Here’s a little more detail about what went into our decision-making.

We put together our Fact Check with the average voter in mind. Parents who heard Lutar’s statement at Politifest were likely to come away thinking the school district spent bond money on iPads rather than repairs at city schools.

More context was needed. The district has spent significant Proposition S money on upgrades and renovations since voters approved the bond in 2008.

We don’t deny a district report that was the basis for Lutar’s claim said $0 had been spent on major repairs, but that document is deceptive. The school district has repaired facilities using bond money, though the work may not fall under the narrow definition of “major repair and replacement” in the June report.

We opted to dub Lutar’s comments misleading for that reason.

Lisa Halverstadt is the newest reporter at Voice of San Diego. Know of something she should check out? You can contact her directly at lisa.halverstadt@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.325.0528.

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Lisa Halverstadt

Lisa is a senior investigative reporter who digs into some of San Diego's biggest challenges including homelessness, city real estate debacles, the region's...

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