SCSQUARED halfBy Laura Ferguson, San Clemente

In response to the June 30-July 6 article in the San Clemente Times, “CUSD Leans Toward Districtwide Bond Rather than Separate Regional Bonds,” I, too, attended this June 22 meeting where the Capistrano Unified School District Board of Trustees held yet another lengthy bond discussion. The reason for the third meeting, which included a special workshop, is because CUSD has yet to justify why it needs $1 billion for deferred maintenance.

As a property owner in San Clemente’s Mello-Roos district who experienced CUSD’s over-taxation and misuse of Talega’s special taxes and as someone who fought alongside fellow taxpayers to remedy major abuses, allow me to share my top 10 reasons why taxpayers should vote “no” on CUSD’s billion-dollar bailout this November.

  1. Mismanagement of public funds.
  2. History of over-taxation/mishandling of Mello-Roos.
  3. Failure to be transparent.
  4. Lack of trust.
  5. No accountability.
  6. Inadequate public outreach.
  7. Rushing its bond proposal.
  8. Increased salaries/pension costs for four consecutive years at the expense of facilities repairs, smaller class sizes and programs for the children.
  9. Little is known on what facilities improvements will actually cost because no bids were sought for “sample” projects.
  10. CUSD receives funding for its $430 million budget every year. Why hasn’t any of this money been set aside to fix facilities?
  11. Lying to taxpayers to minimize the size of the bond by not admitting the interest charges. When CUSD says the bond is $889 million—the real cost of the bond, including the interest you have to pay is double the face value—$1.778 billion.

That’s more than 10, which shows how the reasons for not trusting CUSD with more of our tax dollars are vast. Please beware of the district’s bond campaign about to get underway. At the last board meeting one of the trustees talked about how the district would need to drop some serious money on mailers. The money, the manpower, the messaging—it will take the form of door knocks, phone calls and mail pieces. Don’t be fooled. Vote “no” this November on the billion dollar bailout of failed leadership at CUSD.

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comments (4)

  • How about the state stop taking lottery money by diverting to the general fund. If money was a solution, our kids would be at the top of all global measurement tests. They’re far from it. Private schools are packed fir good reason.

  • While I don’t really want to pay any more in taxes for this bond. My son’s school is a dump. I like the staff and administration but the school itself is in terrible condition. Not sure how all of these regular maintenance and improvements have been delayed for so long but ignoring them has not been working. With the amount of affluence in our town the idea that we send kids to school in trailers is beyond pathetic.

  • The state has been underfunding education for years, so it is understandable that there is so much deferred maintenance.

    High quality schools are one of the reasons our property values remain high. If we want to keep up our property values, we need to keep up the infrastructure of our schools.

  • Over half of California’s state income tax goes to education (25% K-12, 16% CHIP, 13% higher education). It’s not about the money, but how it’s allocated. If your kid goes to school in temporary buildings that are 50 years old (as mine do), meander over to the administrative campus in San Juan Capistrano and take in a high-tech CUSD public meeting there. Then you’ll see where all the money goes. Kids first, then teachers, then administration somewhere down the line.

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