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Path Santee School District Took To Expensive Capital Appreciation Bond

Santee School District is one of 19 districts in San Diego County that used high-interest bonds to meet demands to improve schools. The $35 million bond it issued in 2011 will ultimately cost taxpayers $58.6 million to repay. That’s one of the most expensive bonds in the state and the most expensive bond in the county.

But Santee — like other districts — used other means of financing new construction or updates on its kindergarten-through-eighth grade campuses, classrooms and technology.

inewsource dug into public documents, including school board minutes, reports from an independent citizens oversight committee and newspaper archives to construct a timeline of events that shows how pressure was brought to bear and how decisions were made in Santee, some without a full understanding of consequences.

The journey from 2006 until 2011 illustrates reliance on financial advisers, continual changes in the long-term bond plan, shifting construction priorities and indecision in funding choices.

Timeline: Santee’s road to a capital appreciation bond

Madison Hopkins is an investigative assistant at inewsource, follow her on Twitter at @MadHop93.


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