San Diego Unified School District has spent almost a billion dollars of taxpayer funding in modernizing school sites – but not in the way it was advertised in 2008 and 2012 when the tax increases were put on the ballot.

If you want to see where some of the money has been going, look no further than the new turf fields taking San Diego Unified schools by storm.

With its spending decisions thus far, the district appears to be prioritizing a few select categories: technology, site modernization, air conditioning and athletic facilities.

Classrooms now have electronic whiteboards and the district has a goal to put iPads in the hands of every teacher and student, taking a $283.8 million bite out of the bond money reserved for school construction and capital needs. Every school in the district is getting a new football stadium – a $107 million price tag in total. And $249 million of the bond money has gone toward the replacing crumbling classrooms and overhauling schools, but that’s only six projects of the 140 left to complete.

Scott Lewis and NBC 7’s Catherine Garcia explain where the bond money is going and the district’s rationale in this San Diego Explained.

Camille is an intern at Voice of San Diego. You can reach her at

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