San Francisco School Board to consider multi-million bond measure
By Erica Holt, Bay City News Service
July 26, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - San Francisco's school board will
consider Thursday whether to put to voters a multi-million dollar
bond measure aimed at improving about half of the city's dilapidated
school facilities, board president Norman Yee said Tuesday.
"This is in a way, part two of trying to modernize our schools,''
Yee said. "The first bond issued was in 2003. We're well
on our way managing those projects in terms of timeline and making
sure that we're spending on budget. We want to continue modernizing
The proposed bond measure could range anywhere from $395 million
to $500 million. It was submitted by Superintendent Gwen Chan
and will be decided on by voters in November if a majority of
board members support it.
"Hopefully all of us will be voting for it,'' Yee said.
The school district has more than 100 facilities, he said, and
the bond would cover a much-needed combination of building upgrades,
including fixing bathroom plumbing, adding greenery and updating
technology, for about half of the facilities.
"For good education, we need good facilities,'' Yee said.
"A lot of our buildings are 50 to 70 years old and haven't
had much improvement over the years.''
The exact amount and specifics of the resolution have not been
finalized. A committee forwarded the un-finalized resolution with
recommendation to the board July 20, noting that the particulars
will be presented at Thursday's 7 p.m. meeting.
Mandated accountability would be built into the bond, as in the
2003 bond, Yee said, with an annual independence performance audit
and other required actions.
As far as school closures, the measure won't subsidize problems
caused by declining enrollment. The school bond "needs to
happen regardless of schools closing or not closing,'' Yee said.
The bond would need 55 percent voter approval in November to
pass, as required by Proposition 39.
A $500 million state parcel-tax initiative for schools recently
qualified for the November ballot, of which $30 million could
be made available to San Francisco if the district adequately
prepares for it, according to Yee.
"If both (measures) were to pass, San Francisco could benefit
quite a bit,'' Yee said.
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