JUNE 4, 2018 In a nutshell…
BUSD ignored the state and county which recommended BUSD sell the Gird Valley property and build a high school in the core of Bonsall where it would be conveniently located for the entire district (88 square miles running from Oceanside to Pala). It ignored the Fallbrook Community Planning Group which said the same thing and this report by staff and community volunteers which also recommended building in conjunction with the Ocean Breeze property’s development (1,400 acres adjacent to Sullivan Middle School campus in the center of the district). Why does it keep pushing to build in Fallbrook’s Gird Valley, the northern most edge of the district?
BUSD will finish up its annual audit report at the end of June. Until then, you can see where our school district it up to, in a nutshell, by reviewing last year’s audit report. We especially recommend page 90 in the pdf document.
The report notes that average daily attendance increased by just 169 students since the District was unified in 2014 while debt increased by $14.5 million. Reserves dropped from over 12% to 3%. 3% is the legal limit.
“Unfortunately the District has experienced declining enrollment over the last several years in the transitional-kindergarten to 6th grade span. This reduced enrollment will slowly articulate [SIC] up through the District over time. ” (page 12 ) BUSD told the San Diego County Taxpayers Association that its first 9th grade class in 2014 consisted of 80 students but the 2018 graduating class is just 56 students, down 30% in four years.
Since this report was issued in June 2017, reserves have dropped even more and BUSD projects them to drop of 0.4% by 2019/20:
None of the reports include notes or reserves for paying off capital appreciation bonds ($5M borrowed in 2007 which will cost district residents $18.4M in principal and compounded interest).
The Bonsall Unified School District covers 88 square miles from Oceanside to Pala and is surrounded by 32 public and 15 private high schools. Many believe large scale developers should use Mello-Roos fees (taxes on new development) to pay for required infrastructure (including fire stations and schools). So, will district residents vote this November for a 30-year property tax for $38 million (plus interest) for building a third of a high school most of their children will never use? Probably not.