San Francisco Schools Win $450 million Bond Measure
SAN FRANCISCO – Supporters of the San Francisco school bond went home early Tuesday evening, not because it was a school night, but because it was clear Proposition A had been approved by a landslide.
This year’s bond measure earned three quarters of the vote, besting the 70 percent margin won by the 2003 school bond, and far exceeding the 55 percent needed.
The record-setting $450 million in bond funds given the nod by voters will pay for improvements at 64 city schools, child development centers and administration buildings. The passage of Prop. A follows a school bond passed in 2003 that triggered $295 million for 30 schools.
“They’ve given us an ‘A’ on how we’ve spent the money so far on the previous bond, and that’s reflected in the percentage,” said Campaign manager Phil Halperin.
Prop. A opponent Roger Schulke said Tuesday’s tally merely demonstrated the short-term memory of city voters.
“We’re awarding incompetence,” said Schulke, who also competed in the race for board of education where he received about four percent of the vote. “I bet you in three years there’ll be another bond measure. Why can’t the city keep the schools maintained?”
District Spokeswoman Gentle Blythe said school districts across California have long relied on bonds to pay to fix leaky roofs, peeling linoleum floors, and safety upgrades like those included in Prop. A’s project list.
And a big chunk of the bond funds, 28 percent, is money the district has to spend to bring schools into compliance with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act by 2012 as it’s required to do under the settlement of a 1999 lawsuit.
The approval of Prop. A means property owners can expect $22.26 per $100,000 of assessed value to be added to their annual tax bills on average over the 25-year life of the bonds.
Halperin said that voters can expect to see the third school bond measure on the ballot in five to seven years to complete the modernization of the district’s infrastructure.