Measure K was a bond
measure, passed in June 1996, to help finance facilities improvements
for all the schools in the Cabrillo Unified School District (CUSD).
extends from Montara to San Gregorio along the coast, and up to
Skyline Drive. Our schools include Half Moon Bay High School,
Cunha Intermediate (middle) School (HMB), and four elementary
schools: Hatch (HMB), El Granada, Farallon View (Montara) and
Kings Mountain (Skyline).
Here's what Measure K said:
"To repair or replace
leaky roofs, deteriorating plumbing, sewers, heating, and electrical
systems, expand the high school, construct a new middle school
to relieve existing overcrowded conditions and provide adequate
classrooms for students already enrolled in district elementary
schools, renovate libraries, upgrade science and computer labs,
remove harmful asbestos, acquire and construct classrooms and
school sites, shall Cabrillo Unified School District issue $35
million of bonds at an interest rate within the legal limit?"
Some have argued that because
the Facilities Master Plan (FMP),
also approved in 1996, envisioned a new middle school at a different
site, we're forbidden to take new circumstances into account that
make Cunha the best site for our middle school.
are those new circumstances? There are three important
ones. First, the FMP assumed that our middle school enrollment
would continue to grow at a rapid rate, and that we would both
outgrow the Cunha middle school, and also need that site for a
new elementary school.
district enrollment overall, including both middle school and
elementary enrollment, has steadily declined for the last five
or six years, and is projected by the state to continue
to decline for at least the rest of the decade.
not only has our elementary enrollment declined, but so has our
budget. It's fortunate that we don't need another elementary
school, because we couldn't afford to build and operate it.
the district has not been able to find another site to build the
middle school. Despite spending large amounts on expensive
architectural plans for a middle school that will never be built
(even if we eventually build at Wavecrest), and despite campaign
promises in 2000 from the school board, we're no closer to having
a new middle school now than we were in 1996 after Measure K passed.
entirely within the power of the school district to review and
update the Facilities Master Plan,
using a public process. In fact, it's the duty of the school
board to do so, to make the best use of district funds to provide
the best possible education for our children.
It's also been objected that Measure
K requires us to "acquire ... school sites". But that's
not how the language should be read. Rather, the
measure lists the kinds of thing that the bond proceeds may be
spent on, including (but not necessarily mandating) new sites.
You'll note that nobody is complaining that the district is only
proposing to buy a single site, not the "sites" that
the measure "requires", nor that it's giving up one
of its existing sites to do so.
Read the opinion of noted bond
counsel Jerry Laster.
summary, Measure K does not stand in the way of doing the right
thing, and building our new middle school at Cunha. We
encourage making this a public process, with a comprehensive review
and update of the Facilities Master
Plan, and are confident that Cunha will emerge as the obvious
choice for a new middle school.