San Diego County Taxpayers’ Association supports high school district bond, opposes Del Mar school district bond
The San Diego County Taxpayers’ Association (SDCTA) recently released its position on two local school district bonds. The SDCTA said it supports the San Dieguito Union High School District’s bond, Proposition AA, and opposes the Del Mar Union School District’s bond, Proposition CC. Of the 12 SDCTA criteria, DMUSD met three and SDUHSD met 10.
Regarding its position on the San Dieguito Union High School District’s bond, the SDCTA stated:
“SDCTA supports Proposition AA. The San Dieguito Union High School District’s proposed bond measure meets key provisions of SDCTA’s Bond Support Criteria. The application submitted by the district outlines the need of the district, plans and draft budgets for each of the proposed projects. Voters within the district will have an understanding of the program prior to the election, but other phases will be determined following the election. The descriptions of the projects submitted and outlined in the Master Plan have been thoroughly vetted, and no reason has been found that would prevent the district from executing the projects. The district has adopted SDCTA’s policy regarding the use of Capital Appreciation Bonds.”
In response to the SDCTA’s position, San Dieguito Union High School District Superintendent Ken Noah said, “The support by the SDCTA was certainly one that we had hoped to obtain. It was reassuring to know that our proposal met their criteria, and that the request to be decided upon by the voters in this district is one that is thoughtful, reasonable and responsible.”
The San Dieguito Union High School District is proposing a $449 million General Obligation Bond which is estimated to increase the current tax rate by a maximum $25 per $100,000 of assessed valuation for properties within the district.
Regarding its position on the Del Mar Union School District’s bond, the SDCTA stated:
“SDCTA opposes the Del Mar Union School District’s proposed bond measure. The proposed bond measure fails to meet key provisions of SDCTA’s Bond Support Criteria. The district is proposing to use bond funds paid over the next four decades to support ongoing, short-term maintenance needs. Further, the district proposes using long-term bonds to pay for student devices that will only last three to five years. If the district is in need of budgetary relief, it should seek to streamline operations or renegotiate labor contracts to generate needed savings instead of relying on taxpayers paying for these needs for the next four decades.”
The Del Mar Union School District is proposing a $76.8 million General Obligation bond which is estimated to increase the current tax rate by $8.44 per $100,000 of assessed valuation for properties within the district.
In response to the SDCTA’s position, Del Mar Union School District Superintendent Holly McClurg said, “Unfortunately, the DMUSD was limited to providing only written documentation and was not able to present the bond program to the San Diego County Taxpayers Association. Had DMUSD been able to present the bond program, it is believed it would have been evident that the program addresses long-term facility and infrastructure needs. It is discouraging that funding for student devices was highlighted and yet devices would comprise a relatively small part of the bond measure. DMUSD has long-term facility needs that the bond program addresses.”
Suzanne Hall, co-chair of the Quality Schools for Del Mar committee, said, “The taxpayers association is a county-wide group. The benefits of Prop CC are felt locally, in a community that values quality education. I believe that residents of Del Mar and Carmel Valley would agree that keeping cuts as far away from the classroom as possible is an important part of ensuring that our children receive the best possible public school education.
“The taxpayers association ruling does not appear to take into account historical aspects of our district, including the fact that the DMUSD has never asked its constituents for a bond before. It does not appear to acknowledge that education funding at the State level has created a crises for all public schools, to which the DMUSD is not immune. The ruling does not address the impact to the taxpayer, and particularly the taxpayer concerned with his or her property values, should our schools’ academic excellence decline because of cuts to the classroom.”
For links to full reports on both bonds, visit:
•SDCTA on Del Mar Union School District bond, Proposition CC:
•SDCTA on San Dieguito Union High School District bond, Proposition AA: