The past year has been difficult for everyone — especially for our schools. I am reaching out to our community to highlight the importance of transparency in the spending of our Measure M bond funds.
I started paying attention to what our bond funds were being spent on when I learned that Cabrillo Unified School District built a fence next to another pre-existing fence on school grounds, costing over $17,000 with no permit, no contract and no bidding. As of June 2021, bond-funded improvements of approximately $20 million, $46 million and $10 million are planned for Farallone View, El Granada and Half Moon Bay High School, respectively. I am told that there are no additional funds available for more work. However, bond funds are being used to fund additional items on an ongoing basis, including, for example, fences, outside counsel legal fees and landscaping. If the district spends less than $50,000, it is not being reviewed and approved by the school board. It is unclear why.
HMBHS originally had $34 million allocated in June 2020 in the Master Plan, but now has the least funds assigned and is at the earliest stages of planning. I am concerned that in the end there will be no bond funds left for the high school — the facility that serves the most students in the district.
While the large-scale building plans are positive and exciting, it is important for our bond funds to have a tangible, immediate, positive impact on the day-to-day experience of our students and teachers. Why are we not making desperately needed repairs to the classrooms, the bathrooms and the high school pool (where tiles are literally falling off) as normal course of business while we have bond funds available? School boards do not have an easy job these days, but we need to advocate for our children and require the appropriate level of transparency and compliance in the spending of our bond funds. Let’s do something that makes our kids’ and teachers’ lives a little better, please.
Half Moon Bay