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San Diego School Bond Ideas Not Liked By All

The San Diego Unified School District wants to place a $2.1 billion school bond measure on the November ballot. A long list of potential projects was presented to the school board yesterday. But trust

San Diego School Bond Ideas Not Liked By All

The San Diego Unified School District wants to place a $2.1 billion school bond measure on the November ballot. A long list of potential projects was presented to the school board yesterday. But trustees and local charter school officials say they are not impressed. KPBS Reporter Ana Tintocalis has more.

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The school board has to approve projects tied to the bond measure by the end of this month. So far the initial project list put together by district staff includes replacing plumbing and sewer systems, renovating kitchen and food service areas and removing portable classrooms.

But school board members called the list "routine" and "disappointing." They want the $2.1 billion bond measure to pay for more revolutionary projects -- such as a districtwide wireless network for students and their laptops.

Trustee John DeBeck and Katherine Nakamura say the district needs projects that catapult kids into the future. 

<b> DeBeck: </b> The visionary part seems not to be there. Its seems to be, 'What can we do to make the schools look a little better, maybe plant a few more plants.' Something about that bothers me. And I would love (the project list) to be visionary, to have that fire, to have that…. <br> <br><br> <b> Nakamura: </b> Sizzle. <br><br> <b> Debeck: </b> Yeah, something to make it magic. 
DeBeck believes voters would approve a school bond if it included more innovative projects. But Nakamura acknowledges the most important projects may not be the most exciting. 

Meanwhile, local charter school advocates don't like the plan because there is no money set aside to help the district's charter schools. Advocate Greg Moser says investing in charters is one way the district can think outside-the-box.  

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<b> Moser: </b> Charter schools are not just static, they are growing. You're looking for sizzle, this is the place to do it. 

District officials say they'll rethink the initial project list, but say these things need to be done and they reflect what the community wants. They say over the past three years they've held numerous community forums and surveys on the matter.  

Ana Tintocalis, KPBS News.