Ouch! BUSD approves $242,000 in design work and Attempt #6, a $38 million bond to build one-third of a huge high school in Fallbrook's Gird Valley!

Thanks to everyone who showed up at the Aoril and May Bonsall Unified School District (BUSD) board meetings. The next meeting is June 14, 6 PM. Hope to see you there. 

In May, BUSD affirmed a site in Fallbrook's Gird Valley as their preferred site because they own it. It approved $242,000 in design work and a $38 million bond measure (property tax/debt) on the ballot this fall for one third of a 1,500-student high school in Fallbrook's Gird Valley. Ouch! 

What are they thinking? After seven years of deficit spending, BUSD's reserves are dangerously low, below the legal limit. BUSD's 2018 graduating class is just 56 students, down 30% from 80 in 2014. BUSD's high school programs are competing against 32 public high schools and 15 private ones in the area. With over built high schools stealing students from each other, Fallbrook Union High School's enrollment is down 30%. 

So will district residents (from Oceanside to Pala) vote in November to tax themselves for 30 years to pay for one-third of another massive high school, a school their children will never use because it's located just one mile south of the District's northern line? Probably not. 

BUSD's Board approved moving forward (off the cliff) anyway. The ignored the fact that the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) has not been completed. The community has submitted lengthy and detailed comments but BUSD has not yet responded to them. 

SaveGirdValley.com incurred legal fees as we engaged in the Environmental Impact Report's public comment period so we need your help! Please mail your checks for SaveGirdValley.com, c/o Teresa Platt (2915 Lakemont Drive) or drop off at the homes of Dolly Harty (3502 Oakcliff Drive) or Mary Polopolus (2239 Gird Road). Whatever you can give is most appreciated! 

BUSD covers 88 sq. miles from Oceanside to Pala so the State and County recommended (during unification) that BUSD sell the Gird Road site and build in the core of Bonsall, a location convenient for district residents. BUSD ignored this advice and ignored a 2017 Community Report which recommended building out slowly as needed on the 1,400-acre Ocean Breeze Ranch property located next door to its existing campus in the center of the District. It ignored the Fallbrook Community Planning Group's comments that BUSD's huge high school proposed for Fallbrook's Gird Valley would "devastate" Gird Valley and that a " major egregious error" is "the fact that the property is not centrally located  where a high school should be so folks can feed in from all around. This is the very extreme edge of the school district," "on the very extreme edge, the northern edge, of the district and ... is not an appropriate place for a high school." 

BUSD ignored the will of the voters and the fact that attempts to build a high school in Fallbrook's Gird Valley have lost five times at the ballot box, starting way back in 1978. BUSD's 2018's $38 million bond measure will be Attempt #6. If BUSD loses again, in 2018, will it ignore the voters' wishes again, continue to spend money on folly and try again in 2020, for Attempt #7? Seriously, this is becoming absurd. 

Mark Jackson, who helped defeat (with 64% voting NO) the massive Lilac Hills Ranch (LHR) proposal in 2016, spoke recently at the Fallbrook Library. He reported that LHR financially supported  BUSD'S failed Measure DD ($58 million bond) in 2016 to build a Walmart-sized high school in Fallbrook's Gird Valley. Jackson noted that LHR-related interests contributed  $27,000 of the $29,000 spent on  BUSD's unification campaign in 2012. Out of sync with District residents, BUSD Board member (Lou Riddle) and BUSD's Superintendent urged the SD County Board of Supervisors to approve LHR, a huge development of 1,700 units proposed for rural land zoned for a maximum of 110 houses.   

BUSD is "influencing land use," said Mark Jackson. "The Bonsall School District is warmly embracing increased sprawl development, any development, because it, they, need revenue. They've made a decision that they can't fund. It's that simple. For sure."

The Village News also published a commentary detailing the very strong relationship between BUSD and Lilac Hills Ranch development interests. We reviewed LHR references compiled in our lengthy History section and organized them into one BUSD/LHR document.  We hope you find it useful. 

Should developers want to offer their home buyers shiny new schools, they shouldn't pass these costs on to District residents. Instead, Mello-Roos fees on residential development are the preferred way to finance new infrastructure like roads, fire stations, schools and parks.  

It is important to save Gird Valley, rural North County and endangered species via engaging in the EIR process. It is important to stop wasteful spending (Attempt #6 for a bond for one third of a high school most District residents will never use). But we also recognize that BUSD badly needs new leadership. This November, four BUSD Board member seats (Coen, Ortega, Riddle and Tucker) are up for election. So, if you're interested in helping kids get a great education while protecting their future from wasteful spending, more debt and North County sprawl, you really should consider running for a seat! 


Teresa Platt
Steering Committee Member

  • If you are a slow growth advocate who loves North County and are considering running in the Fall of 2018 for one of the four BUSD open board seats, we'd like to hear from you! 
  • Visit our website, sign up for emails, attend the June 14 BUSD meeting, spread the word!
  • Volunteer your time for our Projects and/or donate to help with expenses
  • Submit comments on the Draft EIR and news articles  about Gird Valley. 
  • Please send a financial contribution to SaveGirdValley.com to help with legal fees related to the Draft Environmental Impact Report's public comment period. Thank you!

Protect Fallbrook's rural character! Gird Valley looking south to Monserate Hill
and the San Luis Rey River Valley. April 2017
 BUSD Board Meeting, Thursday, June 14, 6 PM
Bonsall Community Center, 31505 Old River Road, Bonsall. 

A BIG THANK YOU to everyone! 
Working together we can save Fallbrook's Gird Valley!