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Re: 'After Measure EE, it is time to come together' [Village News, Letter, 11/22/18]

 

Last updated 11/30/2018 at 6:53am



Since Mr. Toney included my name in his Nov. 22 letter to the editor, I would like to respond.

I originally believed Bonsall Unified School District had its finances in order and was operating at capacity, facing real needs for building. After much research and time attending meetings, I learned these assumptions were incorrect.

After seven years of deficit spending, BUSD is on the State’s Fiscally Challenged List and the State predicts a long-term declining enrollment trend.

Reality dictates caution not big building projects.

With only about 2,500 students enrolled (about 2,300 housed on campus daily), BUSD’s high school enrollment is under 350 with 22.3 percent listed as disabled, almost twice the national average. BUSD’s 2018 high school graduating class was just 57 students.

BUSD should use its existing facilities (124 classrooms scattered from Oceanside to Pala) more efficiently, while keeping its disabled students’ needs in mind.

To do this, BUSD needs far more accurate and detailed enrollment projections (with heat maps) in order to plan more effectively.

Lilac Hills Ranch interests contributed to BUSD’s unification (expansion from K-8 to K-12, 2012) and to the Measure DD (2016) and Measure EE (2018) bond campaigns. Such builders provided calculations used in BUSD’s overstated enrollment projections. BUSD should stop relying on builders’ biased-for-growth projections. These builders hope District residents will pass general obligation bonds and bear the burden of building schools to benefit their proposed sprawl developments.

When ready, BUSD should consider abandoned retail space (conveniently located along transportation corridors) for future facility needs.

Traffic is the No. 1 complaint about schools so BUSD should implement a carpool app with an evacuation plan.

So we can all listen in, BUSD needs to embrace transparency and archive meetings’ recordings online.

Measure EE was Attempt #6 since 1978 to build a high school in Fallbrook’s Gird Valley. It is clear that the inconveniently located site is simply a non-starter.

The Gird Road property should be sold and the funds used to put BUSD’s finances in order. After this process is complete, I am sure Gird Valley residents and others will support BUSD.

Teresa Platt

 

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