ELECTION BRIEFS: SF Prop A - School bonds | KALW

ELECTION BRIEFS: SF Prop A - School bonds

Oct 29, 2016

Since 2003, San Francisco has approved almost 700 million dollars worth of bonds to pay for school improvements. Proposition A would issue bonds worth another 750 million dollars. Where would that money go?

The school district would spend most of the money on construction and renovations, including seismic upgrades. It would improve computer technology, modernize school kitchens, invest in renewable energy sources for schools, and fund some housing for educators.

Also, $100 million would be put toward rebuilding a property near the Civic Center where the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts will relocate. Another $100 million will go toward building at least one new school, though it's unclear whether it will serve new families moving into Mission Bay, or the Bayview, or the Hunters Point Shipyard development.

That uncertainty is part of the reason why the Libertarian Party opposes Prop A. They say it is irresponsible to approve the issuance of bonds without specifically explaining how the money will be spent. Libertarians point out that the proposition uses the word “may” more than 26 different times.

If 55 percent of voters approve Prop A, the city may issue school bonds for $750 million. The best estimate of the total debt for issuing those bonds is $1.2 billion.

Citizen respondents to KALW's elections call-out contributed to this post. Our call-outs are part of our community reporting project.