Parents and watchdogs are worrying about the water at San Diego Unified schools after a report of unhealthy lead levels in the system at an elementary campus.
We wondered right away about how construction bond money was spend on the plumbing said the be the culprit. San Diego Unified voters have approved three tax and construction bond measures in the last 20 years. They were supposed to fix schools — specifically addressing dangerous things like lead and asbestos.
As our Ry Rivard reports, the tax hikes — which allowed the district to borrow billions — specifically mentioned repairs at Emerson-Bandini Elementary, where lead was discovered in the water.
The district did spend $1.7 million on the school, including $400,000 on new artificial turf. The district said the turf spending didn’t delay plumbing upgrades. Richard Barrera, a district trustee, explains in the article why the turf was prioritized (students wanted it) and plumbing put off (they thought they’d tear down the school maybe).
In the big picture, “even after district officials persuaded voters to approve multibillion-dollar school construction bonds, San Diego Unified has seen the condition of its schoolhouses worsen.”