Half-victory frustrates D-11

       Usually, as the saying goes, half a loaf is better than none.
       That doesn't work for School District 11 in the case of the Nov. 2 election.
       The district needed both “halves” to be successful with the $131.7 million bond issue it had proposed. Voters approved the bond issue itself (ballot issue 3F), but rejected the mill-levy cap relief that was necessary to pay for it (ballot issue 3G).
       “It was complicated, and not everybody understood it,” said Glenn Gustafson, the public school district's chief financial officer said of the two-part request of voters. “We're looking at options, but we can't go very far,”
       One possibility is to cut back the budget enough to allow some of the bond-issue money to be spent. This could be done as long as district residents did not pay a higher mill levy as a result, he pointed out.
       But he doesn't think there's much room in the budget for such financial maneuvering. The Board of Education will have to decide what to do, he said.
       One option is to go back to the voters next November and try again to eliminate the mill-levy cap, Gustafson said. The district had put in the cap in 2000, as part of an effort to convince voters to approve a bond issue at that time.
       The 13 Westside schools in District 11 were scheduled for $16.7 million in improvements from this year's bond issue, which was earmarked for building upgrades ranging from heating and electrical upgrades at most schools to air conditioning at some schools and science-area renovations at Coronado High.

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