$2.8B San Diego school bond gets early support

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SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Unified School District’s proposed $2.8 billion bond measure held an early lead among absentee voters Tuesday.

Proposition Z, the “San Diego Neighborhood Schools Classroom Safety and Repair Measure of 2012,” led 58.2 percent-41.8 percent, surpassing the 55 percent needed for passage.

District officials said the funds generated by the bond would fund projects including asbestos and mold removal; wiring, plumbing and roof repairs; and ongoing maintenance. It would also go toward improvements in disabled access and upgraded fire alarms and security systems.

If Proposition Z fails, funding for the technology education program would end, according to the district.

The proposed bond issue would add a maximum of $60 in taxes per $100,000 of assessed value of properties within the district’s boundaries, according to the district. The district would establish an oversight committee and conventional financing would be used, not capital appreciation bonds.

Voters approved a $2.1 billion bond issue in 2008.

Opponents argued the district had yet to spend the majority of the money authorized under that bond, and should finish those projects before increasing taxes again. The proposed bond issue also lacks safeguards against balloon payments or high-interest financing, opponents contend, adding that long-term financing should not be used on technology that would only be used for a few years.

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