Tonight: Big School Board Meeting in Poway - Voice of San Diego

Education

Tonight: Big School Board Meeting in Poway

The board, which has been under fire for its creative bond financing, will seek to defend its position at tonight’s meeting.

 

Tonight’s Poway Unified school board meeting promises to be interesting.

The district has been under fire ever since we published this story about the extraordinarily expensive loan it took out last year. As detailed in the story, the district borrowed $105 million to finish the final phase of its decade-long refurbishment and modernization program, a debt that will eventually cost taxpayers almost $1 billion to repay.

In addition to the extensive media coverage of the issue, the board has also been publicly criticized by a sitting city councilwoman and a grassroots Facebook campaign called Thanks a Billion has been formed to rally opposition against the officials who approved last year’s deal.

There’s not much on tonight’s meeting agenda to indicate what’s going to happen, but board member Todd Gutschow just told me the district plans to make an extensive presentation on its whole bond program, “Building For Success.”

“We’re going to review the program, including all the decisions that led up to Proposition C,” Gutschow said, referring to the ballot proposition that paved the way for last year’s controversial loan.

The board is likely to spend some time defending its use of capital appreciation bonds to raise the additional $105 million. On Aug. 8, the district released a statement that sought to detail the reasoning behind the deal.

I’ll be at the meeting, and I’ll be live-tweeting it using @sdlivetweet.

I’ll be sure to take a close look at the district’s reasoning and plan to press some of the board members after the meeting.

Look for a story from me later tonight.

It will be very interesting to see how many Poway residents show up.

Will Carless is an investigative reporter at Voice of San Diego currently focused on local education. You can reach him at will.carless@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.550.5670.

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