IMPORTANT: If you love North County, 
please attend Thursday  April 12th BUSD board meeting!
Should Bonsall Unified School District (BUSD) go to the voters in November 2018 asking for permission to tax them (a bond measure) to build a huge 1,500-student high school at the northern edge of the district in Fallbrook's Gird Valley? 

That's the million-dollar question. 

To ascertain whether, or not, there is community support for another multi-million-dollar high school in North County, or at least enough votes to pass the first in a series of bonds to build one, BUSD hired a company to do a telephone poll of 400 BUSD voters

Jason List of Urban Futures will share the results of this poll at BUSD's April 12 board meeting (Thursday, 6 PM, Bonsall Community Center). The agenda will be posted soon and you need to be at this meeting! Please bring a neighbor and spread the word! 

Fallbrook Union High School attempted (and failed four times) to pass a bond to build a high school on this same site in Gird Valley. Then it transferred the site, the Great Gird Money Pit, to BUSD and BUSD experienced its first failed bond measure in November 2016. That was Attempt #5. 
BUSD is now considering Attempt #6. 

The board meeting on April 12 will decide if BUSD is moving forward or reevaluating. You need to be there! 

While it is a given that, due to development within BUSD's borders, housing units will increase in the future. However, BUSD is projecting its high school student population will more than double, a whopping 120% increase in four years (328 to 722 students). If our math is correct, that's 21.81% (compounded) per year.   

Here is what BUSD promised the taxpayers just a few years ago when it asked the voters to approve its plans (unification) to offer high school programs: 

Upon unification, the district's plan for the high school facility is to convert the existing Sullivan Middle School site into a high school over a 4 year period. The current enrollment at the middle school is 533 students. At this time, the site has 10 excess capacity classrooms for additional students if needed. This would provide ample space for the projected enrollment of 513 students for all four grades of high school. In addition, the site has a special education classroom and regional program currently housed on site." 

After this, BUSD built a high school for 350 students and kept the 10 "excess capacity" classrooms. When asked, repeatedly, for enrollment capacity details on the campus, BUSD ignored the question. But we do know that BUSD's 2017 middle school enrollment was 581, up 48 students from 533 in 2011, or about 9% over 7 years, that's just 1.24% (compounded) per year.

Clearly BUSD is overstating its projections to make its case. Based on BUSD's own statements, plus a bit of b asic math, it appears BUSD can accommodate at least 815 high school students (513+350-48) at the Sullivan campus in Bonsall. Current high school enrollment: 328. 

Beyond trying to hammer down BUSD's enrollment capacity, there are 32 publicly-funded high schools ringing BUSD and another 15 private high schools. What is their enrollment capacity? Since all these buildings need to be maintained, the question we should be asking in North County is:  are we overbuilt? 

Nearby districts, Valley Center and San Marcos, recently notified teachers of layoffs Fallbrook High School's enrollment is down 20% and B USD's K-8 enrollment is declining too.  But, oddly,  BUSD states it will buck this trend and projects massive growth at its high school over the next four years. They must build, build, build! Fast, fast, fast! 

Wild projections and crisis campaigning aside, the owners of the Ocean Breeze property, adjacent to the Sullivan Campus in Bonsall, have offered BUSD over 70 acres, no money down, to expand as needed when necessary. Thank you, Ocean Breeze! And h ow convenient! It makes so much sense to keep the high school centrally located  in Bonsall.

BUSD boundary map with Sullivan campus in center. Gird Road is north of the 76 in Fallbrook, 2 miles west of the 15, in the northern edge of the district. Along the 76, taxpayers have built Fallbrook High School just a few miles to the west of the Gird Road property, located up South Mission Road. Taxpayers also built Mission Vista High, a few more miles west, up Melrose Drive. To the east is Valley Center High and, to the south is San Marcos high. In all, we counted 32 publicly-funded high schools (plus 15 private ones) in and around BUSD. We'd like to see them all on one map and with enrollment capacity and enrollment.

After reviewing the Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for BUSD's high school development proposed for Fallbrook's Gird Valley in Fallbrook, Fallbrook Community Planning Group Chairman Jim Russell stated
"I think a major egregious error in this EIR is the fact 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 in my opinion is not an appropriate place for a high school."

The Urban Futures telephone survey will determine if BUSD should go for Attempt #6 in November and try to pass a bond to tax the district residents so it can build another high school, a huge one, in Fallbrook's Gird Valley. 

Urban Futures will tell us, on  Thursday night, if the community supports or opposes BUSD's plans. 

We will learn, Thursday night, if  North County residents, who love relaxing in rural Gird Valley, support or oppose a huge school development so close to residences, a golf course and a wedding/event venue.  We will learn, Thursday night, if community members worry that a high school (with its traffic and school bells ringing all day long) will doom this golf course, a key concern when we have lost too many North County golf courses in the last decade. 

Should BUSD sell the site (as the County and State both advised it to do) and build, when needed, in the center of the district so it is convenient for all and does not compete with the other high schools in the area?  Should BUSD cancel Attempt #6 to pass a bond to build in Gird Valley? Should BUSD expand, slowly, as needed, next door on the Ocean Breeze property? 

Should be interesting! See you Thursday 6 PM  at the BUSD board meeting! 


Teresa Platt
Steering Committee Member

P.S.  We engaged in the Draft Environmental Impact Report's public comment period THANK YOU to those who helped with legal fees and, to those who have not yet contributed, we need you!  Please mail your checks for, 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).  In the meantime, there is still time for you  to submit your comments

Protect Fallbrook's rural character! Gird Valley looking south to Monserate Hill
and the San Luis Rey River Valley. April 2017
REMINDER! BE THERE!: BUSD Board Meeting, Thursday, April 12, 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!