The Proposition BB school bond money trickles from the headquarters of the Los Angeles Unified School District while nimble students and staff members dodge the rain pouring through leaky roofs. Weary students still ride school buses from their overcrowded neighborhood schools to faraway campuses, while plans for new schools creep along. In the coming warm months, teachers and pupils will sweat in classrooms with no air conditioners.
Steve Soboroff, chairman of the civilian oversight committee for the bond money, says in his first quarterly report that projects representing only 10% of the $2.4-billion measure are underway, eight months after the voters approved the bond measure in April. He promises, after an "arthritic" start, a speedup on repair and construction projects that will deliver relief to every campus.
School board member Victoria Castro was on target when she quizzed Soboroff about the appearance of foot-dragging and the concerns she expects voters will express at the one-year anniversary of the vote. Promises were made. They should be kept.
Soboroff says he foresees speedier progress in the next eight months. He touts new and expanded leadership in the program management team of the controversial company, 3DI/O'Brien Kreitzberg, hired by the district to stay on top of BB projects. The firm has been under fire for some questionable campaign contributions made while advising the MTA and because of the slow start at the schools.