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Overview

General Obligation Bonds

A general obligation bond is a type of municipal bond that relies on tax revenue to repay the bond holder. General obligation bonds are a relatively safe way to provide states and local governments with funds for community improvement.

Proposition A 2016

On Nov. 8, 2016, San Franciscans will vote on Proposition A, a $744 million general obligation bond that will fund repairs, and maintenance to SFUSD facilities. The bond would allow SFUSD to construct new schools and make seismic upgrades to existing facilities.

Specifically, Proposition A will:

  • Complete seismic safety and modernization projects to make all schools and other district facilities more earthquake safe and energy efficient;
  • Build new schools and classrooms to accommodate a growing student population;
  • Kickstart development of a new SFUSD Arts Center and Ruth Asawa School of the Arts to preserve and promote music and art in curriculum;
  • Invest in technology improvements including installing higher-speed Wi-Fi for all classrooms to enable 21st century learning;
  • Maintain and expand the district’s green schoolyards program to 91 school sites;
  • Explore methods for developing affordable housing for teachers.

SFUSD would create an independent citizens' oversight committee to report to the public about the use of bond funds. The Board of Education would also conduct an annual, independent audit regarding the use of the bond funds.

Proposition A 2011

On November 2011, the voters of San Francisco approved Proposition A 2011, which autthoized the school district to issue up to $531 million of general obligation bonds for: 

  • Modernization at 65 additional school sites 
  • Expansion of the green schoolyard program 
  • Construction of at least one new school campus
  • Planning for future bond issue

Priorities for modernization are similar to Proposition A 2003 and 2006.

Proposition A 2006

In November 2006, the voters of San Francisco approved Proposition A 2006. Proposition A 2006 authorized the school district to issue up to $450 million of general obligation bonds for:

  • Modernization of 59 additional school sites
  • Expansion of the green schoolyard program
  • Further funding for a new School of the Arts
  • Planning for future bond issues

Priorities for modernization are the same as for Proposition A 2003; however, the group of sites affected by Proposition A 2006 are more varied in that they include early education centers, charter schools, leased sites, and non-academic, administrative sites.

Proposition A 2003

In November 2003, San Francisco voters passed Proposition A 2003 and initiated the SFUSD bond program.

Proposition A 2003 authorized the San Francisco Unified School District to issue up to $295 million of general obligation bonds for:

  • The modernization of 30 school sites
  • The creation of a green schoolyard program
  • Partial funding for a new School of the Arts
  • Planning for future bond issues

Highest priorities for work at the school sites went toward handicapped accessibility and making fire and life safety improvements.

Public Oversight

The Citizens Bond Oversight Committee provides local oversight of the Proposition A bond program and meets quarterly at 135 Van Ness Avenue. Citizen Bond Oversight Committee webpage includes information about the SFUSD bond program, the purpose of the CBOC, members of the CBOC, Green Schoolyard Program, important legislative and legal documents, meeting agendas and minutes, audits, monthly financial reports, and contact information.

Reports and Presentations

Useful Links: