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Reply to 'Safe and strong Bonsall schools' letter in Village News, Oct. 18

 

Last updated 10/25/2018 at 6:42pm



Dr. Coen, Bonsall Unified School District board president, is probably a good doctor, but his opinion letter states facts not in evidence.

First, can BUSD afford to run a separate campus? Answer – they simply can’t. BUSD is in deficit spending and has been for seven years, and they predict financials to worsen as deferred maintenance and pension costs increase. No additional campus budget has ever been produced.

Second, is Bonsall High School really overcrowded? No – not according to the state Department of Education, which said, “site (BHS) has 10 excess classrooms (that) would provide ample space…for 513 students.” The 2018-2019 enrollment is 343 students. Maybe Coen is confused by those professionally staged pictures taken by the “yes” committee’s public relations group and consulting firm. Hopefully, voters will see through that slick, but false advertising.

Third, Coen should also know that the fire danger at Gird Road is rated higher than at Sullivan Middle School. Moving to Gird Road will increase the fire risk for students.

Fourth, Coen said that 86 percent of 57 graduates are pursuing college degrees. According to BUSD, those graduates went on to college or trade schools.

Fifth, another false statement, Coen said that only a new school will provide a safe environment and the ability to use programs like science, technology, engineering, arts and math. Can teachers teach only in a new school?

Sixth, will real estate values increase? No. Bonds put debt on homes, which lowers value, and homes around the new school would decrease in value due to traffic and noise. Unfortunately, state test scores from Bonsall High are below state averages, which is a factor used to judge a school’s all-important reputation. A different campus will not change that.

In closing, the “yes” campaign said they are a “grassroots” effort. But they are not really. Here is just a partial list of their major special interest contributors so far: Urban Futures, which will make over $1 million if Measure EE passes, $5,000; Baker-Nowicki Design, $10,000; Erickson Hall construction, $15,000; Pala, $2,000, etc. This is the big money construction and special interest game of “build, build, build.” Don’t accept the hype. Teachers teach – not buildings. Vote “no” on EE.

Diana Kunasz

 

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