In a Oct. 9 Fact Check, Voice of San Diego reviewed statements I made at Politifest during a Proposition Z debate:

“It’s based on the most recent report that was presented to the committee that said that zero — zero — has been spent on major repair and replacement projects,” San Diego County Taxpayers Association CEO Lani Lutar said. | Lutar said the district has not spent all of the money it sought in the previous measure and that the district appears to have invested more Prop. S money in iPads for students than on major upgrades to school buildings.

Let’s review the facts:

• Voice reporter Lisa Halverstadt confirms in the Fact Check that the most recent report from the San Diego Unified School District to its bond oversight committee shows $0 from Prop. S has been spent on major repairs and replacement.

• The report to the bond oversight committee also shows the majority of Prop. S tax dollars have paid for “student learning and instruction,” which includes iPads and other technology, using high-interest and risky financing.

• On Oct. 10, Ms. Halverstadt confirmed in an email that the district figures she included in the Fact Check did not come from any new documents or financial statements. So where did the figures come from?  According to Ms. Halverstadt, “… the district did not provide any new documents to me as I worked on this fact check. It was largely a back and forth, question and answer process.”

• Finally, the Fact Check includes pictures provided by the District that do not confirm any facts.

Would it have been appropriate for SDCTA to rely on photos or verbal statements by school board politicians or staff to determine how Prop. S money has been spent to date?  

The fact is that the school district still has $1.7 billion remaining from Prop. S, approved by voters just four short years ago. The fact is that the district doesn’t have its fiscal house in order.

It’s important to verify facts. That’s why SDCTA supports Fact Check. But a Fact Check rating needs to be based on reliable, verifiable information.

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