Jim Steinberg,Staff Writer
Posted: 10/03/2012 10:15:43 PM PDT

FONTANA – School board members on Wednesday night defended their decision to issue a controversial class of bonds to stave off a likely state takeover.

The action had come under fire from San Bernardino County Treasurer/Tax Collector Larry Walker who said the structure of the borrowing “represents a generational transfer of debt created by a financing mistake, and is clearly not in the interest of the taxpayers.”

Separately from Walker, Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Josie Gonzales and 2nd District Supervisor Janice Rutherford joined in the opposition.

Fontana Unified school board member Gus Hawthorn called Walker’s and the two supervisors’ remarks “far from the realism of what goes on in a school district.”

He also said it was “easy to second guess” difficult decisions.

“Far too much of public education is political,” he said.

Next week, the district will sell $108 million in capital appreciation bonds to pay off principal and interest from a short-term “bridge” loan it took out in 2009 to complete several construction projects, including Jurupa Hills High School and Citrus High School.

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