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Can the Middle School at Creekside use Measure P School Bond Money?

Back in January a lawsuit was filed against the San Juan Unified School District asserting that construction of a new middle school at the Creekside Elementary School site was not identified in the list of projects in the Measure P school bond of 2016 and was not stipulated in the District's Facilities Master Plan as linked to that bond. Nor, the suit claims, was the public told that either Measure P or the Facilities Plan spoke of modifying the Encina HS campus by relocating the middle school grades from Encina to a new middle school away from the Encina Campus. The school district has tried to weasel its way out of the mess by saying that Measure P and the Facilities Plan  used the word "Creekside" in a paragraph or two. Unfortunately, those paragraphs weren't about building a new middle school, they was about the deterioration of the old elemenetary school buildings.

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Construction has been going on as though no one has a right to question the school board about anything.

As you can imagine, the wheels of justice grind away very slowly. By proceding with its construction project at Creekside, the school district has taken a risk that the court will let it get away with failing to fulfill its constitutional school bond obligations to the taxpayers. The district is hoping the judge will look the other way, because it really doesn't have a valid source of funds for the project. The district seems to believe that, in California, a school board's chutzpah is supposed to be tolerated and safeguards on use of tax money for schools are paper tigers.

Note: the people who filed the suit have not sued to stop construction. Rather, they have sued to ensure the school district is properly managing the public's money. We have already reported in some depth that the school district pulled a fast one on the public, ignored citizen input, refused to modify its cookie-cutter campus design to better fit a large new middle school into the small, skimpy former elementary school site, showed no concern over toxic soil contamination, and performed construction work at night despite rules against doing that. The suit isn't about those kinds of problems. It is only about how to pay for them. Last time we looked, that was supposed to be an issue that mattered to people. We have yet to hear a politician successfully run for office on a platform of spending public money without accountability. According to papers filed with the court (see below), the issue could be decided next month.

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