Overview

On Tuesday, November 6, voters approved plans from San Diego Unified to create the next generation of world-class schools for our city. Measure YY, put forward by the Board of Education this year, received more than 60 percent of the vote. The bond measure will fund some $3.5 billion in school improvements, including a focus on school safety and creating the classrooms of the future.

Capt. Joseph Florentino of the San Diego Unified Police Department spoke on the recently introduced bond measure and what it entails. 

Measure YY addresses the most critical needs our schools are facing today.

  • Improving school security through emergency communications, controlled entry points, door locks
  • Upgrading classrooms and labs for vocational, career, science, technology, and math education
  • Removing lead in drinking water and hazardous asbestos
  • Compliments current capital renewal program
  • Provides an equitable share of bond funding for charter schools


See the full description and detailed project list here.

Addressing critical needs

Repairs
The core of Measure YY are repairs to our classrooms and aging facilities.

  • There are currently 226 educational facilities across the district
  • Most of these facilities were built 30-50 years ago; our average building age is 48 years old
  • This encompasses 15.1 million square feet of buildings serving roughly 130,000 students

Protecting students from threats both seen and unseen
This includes addressing issues such as lead in the water and preventing campus intruders.

  • Removing lead in drinking water and hazardous asbestos
  • Improving school security through emergency communications, controlled entry points, door locks and more

Protecting their future
Projects include upgrading classrooms and labs for vocational, career, science, technology, math education and more.

See a list of all projects at your school: My School Bond

History

Past bond measures were right for their time, but the times have changed since passage. Those measures were passed before:

  • Flint, Michigan
  • Parkland, Florida and
  • Before new technology was developed to meet student needs (things like Google classrooms).

All current S & Z funds have been either expended or allocated towards critical projects.

https://www.boarddocs.com/ca/sandi/Board.nsf/files/ASBMLW59AE4C/$file/Attachment%201%20-%2011-7-2017%20BOE%20Update.pdf

To date, our past general obligation bond measures (Props. S & Z) have made a significant impact on San Diego schools:

  • $1.78B expended
  • 126 major construction projects completed
  • 56 new classroom buildings
  • 531 portables removed/replaced
  • 20 air conditioning projects
  • 25 career technical education facilities
  • 125 projects in design and bid phases
  • 20 projects currently in construction
  • 17,801 job years created

Background

Past public support has allowed San Diego Unified to make significant improvements to the condition of our schools. These projects have entirely transformed the classroom experience for many of our students.

This slideshow (PDF) explains the current facilities & construction needs faced by San Diego Unified schools, including how our past bonds have been utilized and how the District spends these funds:

For further reference, additional materials can be viewed here:

Measure YY - Detailed Overview
Important Information for Charter School Families

Accountability matters

The bond measures approved in the past have always been completed with an eye on accountability to make sure our students get everything they deserve. This also protects taxpayers. Thanks to our accountability measures, San Diego Unified pays the lowest interest rate of all districts in the state based on the last issuance.

  • Perfect score of 100 percent for transparency for Props. S & Z bond programs (San Diego Taxpayers Educational Foundation, June 2016)
  • Bond Buyer 2016 Deal of the Year Award
  • ‘Aa2’ Prime-1 bond rating from Moody’s (top rating tier), November 2015
  • ‘AAA’ bond rating from Fitch Ratings, Inc. (highest rating issued by the agency), September 2017
  • Moody's Investors Service assigned a MIG 1 rating to San Diego Unified School District's 2017 General Obligation Bonds
  • Quarterly and Yearly ICOC Reports

The investment

The total bond amount would be for $3.5 billion:

  • 6 cents per $100 of assessed valuation tax rate increase
  • Average home in SD has an assessed value of $383,000
  • This measure would cost those homeowners $230/year

Safe drinking water for all students

Testing drinking water in schools for lead came to the fore-front of education policy after the Flint crisis. Prior to the districtwide water sampling and remediation effort, plumbing upgrades were largely driven by age of facilities and the condition of fixtures. Districtwide under Props. S and Z, hundreds of old portables and many old buildings have been replaced with new construction, including new plumbing.  Despite the new construction, the district continues to find elevated levels of lead within the 5-15 ppb range lead throughout district schools, many of which were built over 40 years ago. It’ll take significant action to reach the low lead standard of 1 part per billion, which the district considers a public health goal worth pursuing.

For further information on our lead remediation efforts as it relates to general obligation bonds, please see this statement attached.