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S.D. School Board OK’s School-Library Concept

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Above: Reporter Ana Tintacolis tells host Joanne Faryon about the San Diego Unified School Board's decision to commit millions to a charter high school in a proposed downtown library.

— A divided San Diego Unified School Board voted to help the City of San Diego finance a downtown main library using school bond money.

Three of the five school board members voted to spend $20 million worth of Proposition S bond money towards creating a district-run charter school within the structure.

San Diego Unified's financial support is seen as pivotal in giving the long-stalled project some traction. School board member Katherine Nakamura is a strong supporter of the plan. She says San Diego students deserve this library and this school.

"We should have a downtown library that reflects that love of learning, that love of education, that quest and thirst for knowledge," Nakamura said. "We're long overdue for this. And that our students will be housed in something that is really a monument."

Trustee John de Beck doesn't like the plan and urged the board to adopt a resolution which ensures the district can recoup its money if the city defaulted on the project. De Beck -- like other critics -- say the district is making a hasty decision without proper community input or planning. They also worry the downtown project could put other school bond projects at risk. The City of San Diego has to submit a final plan by the end of this month or it will lose extra state funding.

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