I’ve recently had discussions with other parents and teachers about the Measure Z money and the proceeds from the recent sale of the District Office building and how we can have an influence on where the money is spent. The district will soon be receiving $24.2 million. $20 million will be coming from the Measure Z bond sale and $4.2 million will be coming from the proceeds of the sale of the district office. Parents and teachers want to provide input about how this money is allocated.
There are many parents and teachers that are concerned about the plans for the use of this money. We realize that the bond money must be spent on projects designated by Measure Z, which includes facilities and technology. We also know that the State of California has authorized proceeds from the sale of surplus property may be used “for any one-time general fund purposes”. This was put in place to help small districts suffering from the budget cuts. For more details regarding surplus property funds, read my post “Do we really need a new sports complex...now?”
Parents and teachers want to know what the district plans to do with the money. We know the list of Measure Z projects: Theatre Project, High School Expansion, Sports Complex, 21st Century Rooms, Shade Structures, and New District Offices. But we don’t know the costs or the district’s priorities. This information may be available somewhere but it isn’t easily available to parents and teachers.
It is my belief that the surplus property money will be put towards projects eligible for Measure Z funds but no one knows for sure. People who know I am on the Budget Review Committee, have asked me if I know what the plans are for the surplus property funds and they want to know how we can have an influence on the board’s decision. I explain that these issues aren’t discussed in the BRC and that it has been quite some time since our last meeting; the next one isn’t scheduled until December 15th.
Parents and teachers want to express their opinions about what should happen with the money that may be used for one-time general fund purposes. We want to feel we have some input into the process. We can’t even begin the discussion because we don’t know where the starting point is and we don’t have a platform for a discussion with the board and administration. We can express our concerns at the board meetings during the time for the public to address the board but the trustees and the administration are not allowed to respond to our concerns, there must be an agenda item. Only the board or administration can add agenda items.
We need to focus our attention on board members to find one willing to focus on our kids. One who is willing to respond to their constituents and request an item to be placed on the agenda to open a discussion giving parents and teachers a voice in what happens in our schools. If we are unable to find one willing to help, then our only avenue is the public discussion forum at the November 17th board meeting. Either way, we need to have as many parents or teachers show up at the next board meeting. If you have any ideas how I can get more parents and teachers to show up, please let me know.
Please take a few minutes to send an Email to each of our board members and ask them to add an agenda item to the November 17th meeting to open a discussion.
Here are the trustees' individual email addresses:
Dr. Lin Vaccarello
Please pass this along to anyone else who might be interested.