If San Diego is any guide, Proposition 51, a statewide ballot measure billed as an effort to fix and improve school facilities, could lead to lots of new football and athletic facilities across the state if passed.
The ballot measure says $9 billion will be spent on leaky roofs, asbestos, air conditioning and lead paint – all projects that lack adequate funding.
Stadiums aren’t mentioned at all, but the money could still be spent on new football and other athletic facilities. That would be a familiar outcome to anyone who remembers San Diego Unified twice promising to fix that same list of needs, and proceeding to spend more than $100 million building stadiums and other athletic complexes over the last seven years.
Prop. 51 money could go toward stadiums because “the rules of the state’s existing school facility program would apply to these funds,” according to the state’s impartial Legislative Analyst’s Office.
Since the state’s current School Facility Program can help pay for stadiums and sports fields, among other things, the new money can go toward those kinds of projects too.
“Yes. Funds can be used for athletic facilities,” said Dan Kaplan, a fiscal and policy analyst for the LAO. “The current system isn’t really changing. It’s just adding new dollars.”
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Of course plumbing isn't sexy, though repairing it starts looking more sexy when it begins to fail. If our administrators are so foolish that they focus on sexy for SCHOOLS, then we clearly have administrators who don't care that much about educating kids. Education doesn't need to be sexy. Football is at most the sprinkles on the cupcake, not the nutritious main course.
School boards must take care of classrooms and building infrastructure first... before
spending money on stadiums... education, then students' welfare, then sports.
I think Spanos is getting ideas from this. What if he renamed the Chargers to NFL elementary the way they are playing? And get a free stadium in the process?
I don't have a problem with new or remodeled sports facilities for high schools--but if other things need to be done on campus, upgrading sports facilities should be the LAST thing done on that campus.
"...sports fields are a source of pride for students, building them everywhere is a matter of equity and stadiums are just sexier than things like new plumbing."
Well, there's your reason for not voting for this proposition. Apparently schools are now little sports factories, with a few classes thrown in. I like how they speak for everyone...I can't recall being full of pride over a damned field I had to run around every morning.
Until this sort of Proposition focuses solely on infrastructure and repair, rather than building shiny new sports facilities so your kid can get brain injuries in a more upscale surrounding, I'm out.
I'm sick of 'sport' leeching money away from city funds and schools.