Written by Ron Skrehot, Former Board Member:
It's time that the general public becomes informed about what the current Martinez Unified School District board is doing with your Measure K Bond money.
Under the leadership of board president John Fuller, the board has authorized over $25,000 to hire an architect to create "A Conceptual Master Plan" for Alhambra High School.
Really, a school which was 80 percent rebuilt 15 years ago has more needs than other schools in the district which have had no major construction in well over 50 years. What world is this board living in?
The intent of Measure K was to provide funding for all of the schools in this district equitably.
[Previous: School Board Approves List Of Measure K Projects.]
To date Alhambra High has received a very large share of the $25 million from phase one, and much of that took care of items needed because of poor construction or budget shortfalls for the original high school bond.
But it is becoming abundantly more clear that John Fuller is now hoping to throw up into the air all the funding from phase two bond sales and hope most of it lands at Alhambra again.
This is completely unfair to all the other sites that still have serious environmental, safety and security issues.[Previous: School Board Will Hold Special Meeting Tonight On Measure K Projects.]
Here is a copy of text taken directly from the presentation of the April 28th meeting for the "Alhambra Conceptual Plan":
"The goal of the conceptual drawings are to help us determine how we can best meet our current educational needs while developing a long-range plan for the future.
How can we best leverage the dollars of Measure K to support 21st century teaching and learning at Alhambra High School?"
Please keep in mind, the district did not make this request of the board, the board requested this of the district.
The following text was copied from item 16.3 of the April 14th board meeting:
“Prior to finalizing the phase 2 project list, the Board requested a conceptual master plan for Alhambra High School.”
Where is the board's vision for 21 century teaching and learning for all of our schools? Where does the language in Measure K say that long range future plans for one school have priority over current safety needs of all our schools?
It doesn't, and this plan falls well outside of the intent of Measure K.
I know, I was on the board when Measure K was first discussed and all of the way through approval to put it on the ballot.
The public needs to know that the one person leading the direction of phase 2 bond spending never supported Measure K from the very beginning. That's correct, if you don't believe me look at the records.
Not one time through the entire discussion and process of putting the measure on the ballot did John Fuller give a yes vote. Now he wants to spend the remaining $16 million dollars carrying out only his vision, not the vision of the people who authored Measure K, got it on the ballot and got it approved by the generous voters of Martinez.
He wants to spend the remaining money ignoring the stated needs by current school administrators, which Fuller asked for in preparation of the special meeting of January 6th, 2014, but now has completely blown off.
Fuller is also ignoring a growing segment of the public that is increasingly concerned over safety and environmental issues that are being given a lower priority than Fuller's conceptual plan for Alhambra.
Fuller singlehandedly is leaving many of our schools behind with his poor direction. I say singlehandedly because it seems he has no opposition by any of the other board members.
Board members don't seem to be interested in looking at the original intent of the bond measure which was to take care of the current needs of the district infrastructure, not the personal future pie in the sky wishes of board members. And there are some board members that believe that it is the state's responsibility to take care of old school infrastructure.
With the current love affair the state has with "high speed rail" and other money guzzling projects it is not likely that this community, or any other for that matter, will get state funding to rebuild old schools.
And if we did, who pays for that funding in the first place? We do.
The other new piece that affects Measure K is the new state mandated "Local Control and Accountability Plan" which will hold districts accountable for student performance where one of the measures is physical environment.
But the current board majority doesn't seem to be interested in that either. The community has plenty of opportunity to weigh in on those mandates and decide how they will be taken care of.
Now Fuller feels (along with other board members) that if enough concerned citizens become distracted by starting a movement for a future bond measure (which will be needed if we want to bring all of our schools up to the same standards enjoyed by Alhambra High School) he can continue to ignore the intent of Measure K.
He feels he can continue to ignore what was promised to the voters of Martinez as well as the students of all of our schools, not just the Alhambra community.
It's time the public knows the truth, it's your money!
Signed: Ron Skrehot
Former Board Member