Thursday, July 24, 2008
California hands out voter-approved bond money to school districts to build or modernize campuses. This month, Poway and San Dieguito school districts will collectively get 35 million dollars to build three new schools.
The money comes from Proposition 1-D . Districts have to match the state funds.
Critics say that's not fair because wealthier districts have can raise the money easier.
But Tom Duffy, with California's Adequate School Housing Coalition, says that's not the case.
Duffy: If they (school districts) project out over a five year period, and that projection shows they will have more students in the district than they have room for, then they have eligibility for new construction (funds).
Qualified school districts get the money on a first come first serve basis. The grant will help Poway build an elementary and high school, and San Dieguito plans to build a high school as well.
He says that's because districts and the state can't keep up with the rising costs of school construction.
Duffy: Because of that, districts that may have had six projects, they go in to build them, and they can't build all six because they're local share is more than 50 percent.
For example, in Poway, county education officials say it will take roughly 100-million dollars to build a new high school. But the state has only kicked in about 26-million to cover the construction costs. Duffy says he's working on a bill to help districts shore-up the costs.
Ana Tintocalis, KPBS News.