The board flinched at that message, sent the advisory committees back to resift
the numbers and last November forwarded a timid request to voters for $5.5
million. This included $3.5 million that would add classrooms but not
year-round school, resolving the growth problem for only two, maybe three
The $2 million was for poorly identified "capital improvement" projects that
would shift some costs from the operations portion of the budget, limited by
Measure 5, to the capital projects portion, for which the district can borrow
through a bond.
The voters rejected that $5.5 million request, 1,200 opposed to 1,087 in favor.
School board members Bill Reed and Charles Warren apparently believe that the
voters were uninformed and because the bond failed by only 113 votes, what they
need to do is convince 57 people who voted against the bond last November to
vote for an identical proposal next May.
They said as much on February 5 and finessed the rest of the board into going
along, with the notable "nay" vote from Harold Gott, who said the $2 million
capital projects portion should be reduced.
Our $3.5 million will buy them two or three years. Then, Warren said, "Another
board will make the decision on whether to go to year-round school or build a
This shows no leadership and makes no sense. A school board has continuity over
time, even though those who occupy the chairs may change. It is
irresponsible to simply throw a decision that should be made today into the
lap of some future school board member to deal with when classes are already
It would probably take two or three years to successfully implement a
multi-track, year-round calendar. We should start with a single-track calendar
next year, identifying problems faced by teachers and working with them toward
solutions, and assisting families with potential conflicts.
Money from the bond should have been identified and set aside for expressly