Eugene Brucker Education Center is headquarters of the San Diego Unified School District. File photo

A coalition of San Diego residents, local business leaders and taxpayer representatives led by Carl DeMaio is campaigning against Measure YY.

If passed in November, the measure would allow the San Diego Unified School District to issue $3.5 billion in bonds and use the money to improve school safety and security measures, remove hazardous materials like lead from drinking water and upgrade learning environments like classrooms and laboratories.

Opponents of the measure argue that the school district is requesting the bonds because it has managed funding poorly in the past and that the bonds would raise taxes for San Diego residents to an average of $1358.50 per year.

“The San Diego Unified School District board has recklessly mismanaged its finances and now wants struggling San Diego families to pay over $1,000 each to bail them out,” said former San Diego City Councilman Carl DeMaio. He is also the chairman of the Yes on 6 campaign to repeal California’s 2017 gas tax increase.

The San Diego Taxpayers Association, the Republican Party of San Diego and the San Diego Parents for Quality Education have all announced their opposition to the measure. In August, the taxpayers association argued that the bonds would pay for projects that have already been paid for by previous initiatives, a claim that San Diego Parents for Quality Education has echoed.

“Since 1998 SDUSD has asked and received taxpayer approval for $6.4 billion in bond measures they promised would fix our schools, but we have been lied to and the money has been squandered,” said San Diego Parents for Quality Education President Bret Caslavka.

The coalition planned to hold a news conference and a rally at the San Diego Unified School District’s headquarters Thursday afternoon. The measure will pass in November if 55 percent of San Diego voters favor it.

— City News Service

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.