By Hector Trujillo
The San Dieguito Union High School District Board of Trustees was briefed last week on its status as a recipient of $25 million in Qualified School Construction Bond tax credits.
The California Department of Education used a lottery to award $700 million in tax credit bond authorizations to 43 school districts and county offices of education statewide as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, signed into law earlier this year.
ARRA allows tax credits on $22 billion nationwide for this year and next. California's share is an estimated $2.7 billion over the two-year period. Of that, $582 million has already been directly allocated to the state's 11 largest school districts. The SDUHSD board decided in mid-July to apply for these tax-credit bonds.
"We have three years to spend the $25 million," said Associate Superintendent of Business Services Stephen Ma. Among the options SDUHSD is considered is a solar energy system being developed by Chevron. Despite being in its early stages, the system could provide some of the power needed at the district's 10 campuses, which serve more than 12,000 students from Carmel Valley to southern Carlsbad.
Installing this solar energy system could not come soon enough for the district after San Diego Gas & Electric issued a critical event warning that could impact area schools. However, if the district goes forward with the solar energy system, it is not expected to be up and running until 2011.
"The Qualified School Construction Bond program will not infuse communities with new money, but will help school districts use their local bond dollars more efficiently," California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell explained in a recent release.
School districts are allowed to use these funds for new construction, renovation, repairing school facilities, buying land for a school facility and equipment related to construction or rehabilitation.
A new scoreboard
Torrey Pines High School unveiled their state of the art scoreboard on Friday during their game against Sunnyside High School of Fresno. The Torrey Pines Pop Warner Football Association donated the funds for the $40,000 scoreboard.
To honor her more than 15 years of service to the SDUHD, the school board unanimously voted to make Sept. 4 Barbara Stanton Day. Stanton began her service as an administrative assistant for district superintendents in 1994.
"I have loved coming to work everyday since you have been here," SDUHD Superintendent Ken Noah said during the ceremony. Among those attending was former SDUHD Superintendent Peggy Lynch who served with Stanton from 2001 to 2008.