The Importance Of Measure G.

I felt compelled to publish a final word on Measure G before Super Tuesday but I figured everyone has had enough of me and my blizzard of facts that have been circulating in recent weeks.

So I invited to Kelly Kennedy to do a guest blog. For the few of you who may not know Kelly, she has lived in Brea for over 40 years, graduated BOHS (2 years at the old high school and 2 years at new). Kelly taught at Arovista for 6 years, was Principal at Olinda Elementary School for 13 years and has been the Principal at Brea Junior High for the past 6 years.

Kelly Kennedy’s Views on Measure G.

Brea is my hometown, my heart, and my hope for the future! I am truly proud to say that I grew up here in Brea, attended Brea schools, raised my son here in Brea, and have proudly served as an educator in our schools for over 24 years. This town has truly captured my heart, and each and every day, I am honored to serve and give back to this incredible community!

As the current principal of Brea Junior High School, I have the privilege of working with teachers and students every day, and I see firsthand the passion and dedication in providing our students with every opportunity to explore, learn, and reach their full potential.

Sadly, as the principal of a school that is over 104 years old, I also witness the limitations and struggles our lacking and aging facilities have on truly providing those 21st century learning opportunities for our kids.

A simple explanation of a complex problem.

How can we inspire our students to become scientists, when we don’t have science labs to conduct experiments, or become marine biologists when they don’t have lab space to properly dissect fish and sharks in our marine biology classes?

How can we inspire our students to become future engineers, architects, or programmers when we don’t have classrooms equipped to build machines, systems, or structures to solve real world problems?

How can we inspire future musicians when we don’t have a stage big enough for them to showcase their talents?

As an administrator, I question how can we expect our students to see their education as a priority when they are learning in aging classrooms? I question how we can successfully teach our students 21st century skills when they are learning in classrooms built in the early 1900’s?

Yes, it is true that teachers are the foundation behind a great education, but it’s also true that because the state no longer funds maintenance, repairs or infrastructure… it leaves us on our own to figure out how to find the money to do these things.

Without help from the community, sadly, the current conditions of the learning spaces and facilities in our schools is hindering their abilities to truly set the tone for developing the creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking skills in all of our students.

Our kids deserve every opportunity to learn in an environment that challenges them to want to design, build, innovate, and create a better future for our society and our world.

Our kids deserve safe, secure environments that allow them to discover their strengths and what they are truly passionate about in life.

Today is the day we must invest in the future of our kids and our schools!

Today is the day that we revive a strategically planned and sustainable infrastructure for the next 100 years.

Today is the day we invest in Brea!

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to openly share my hopes for our kids, our schools, and their future, knowing that as a united community, we will stand together to Vote YES on Measure G.

chamber

BOUSD Mailer Is A Pack Of Lies.

An oversized BOUSD mailer hit Brea Friday, courtesy of the “Yes on K” PAC and it failed to contain a shred of truth. Instead it leaned heavily on scare tactics. Let’s parse the language one false statement after another.

BOUSD MailerFalse: “Fanning Elementary sustained significant damage requiring over a one year closure and almost $7 million in repairs and updates.”

Truth: Only a portion of Fanning Elementary underwent asbestos mitigation and repair. The total cost was closer to $4 million of which $2 million was reimbursed by the state.

Months passed without the board approving or initiating any work. We’d would have fared better had we called FEMA.

2015 SARC (School Accountability Report Card) states that Safety (Fire & Hazardous Materials), Structural (Damage & Roofs) and External (Playground, School Grounds, Windows, Doors, Gates & Fences) are in good condition and facility is given an overall rating of “Exemplary.”

Facility Improvement Needs list for Fanning lists these “to do” items: Seismic Upgrades for Kindergarten Wing and Main Office – $1 million; Asbestos Abatement – $500,000; School Facility Repairs & Upgrades $12.85 million. Total: $14.35 million

BOUSD MailerFalse: “The Orange County Grand Jury made a ruling requiring mandatory asbestos removal at all schools in O.C.”

Truth: The grand Jury has no authority to mandate anything, they review and recommend. Their 2015-16 report “Dealing With Asbestos In Orange County Public Schools” cited 12 findings and 20 recommendations.

gjury_aNot all of which were applicable to all schools/districts. The 27 OC school districts were required to respond (in writing) to only those findings and recommendations applicable to them. I checked the Grand Jury website and discovered that the BOUSD response is missing for some reason. Looking into it.

There was no mandatory mitigation required, this was a county wide assessment.

False: “Measure K will fund critical projects throughout the BOUSD… Earthquake Retrofit, Restore Leaking Roofs, Plumbing Repairs/Replacement, Installation and/or Repair of Fencing, Asbestos Abatement, Fireproofing, ADA Accessibility/Code Updates, Install Shade Structures, Electrical Repairs, Construct/Renovate Classrooms, Cafeteria & Multi Purpose Buildings, Installation and Upgrades to Campus Security Systems, Replace Outdated Heating/Ventilation/AC Systems, Repair Hardcourt Surfaces.”

BOUSD MailerTruth: This is not the official legal language of Measure K and is therefore excluded from consideration when holding the district accountable.

However, Measure K fine print does say, “… certain construction funds expected from non-bond sources have not yet been secured. Therefore, the Board cannot guarantee that the bonds will provide sufficient funds to allow completion of all listed projects.”

Following consultant recommendations, the district turned to generic terminology, proven via focus group study to elicit a supportive response to school bond measures. It is so nonspecific that it renders bond revenues into nothing more than a slush fund.

The process leading to Measure K has, from it’s outset, relied on total fabrication. It’s genesis can be found in the district’s failure to actually do the work as promised from the 1999 bond issue, in the dismal failures of 2012 and 2014 bond issues, in the mishandled asbestos mitigation projects at Fanning Elementary and the Junior High.

Liars, damned liars and statistics.

Stephen King once said, “The trust of the innocent is the liar’s most useful tool.”

The BOUSD and Board are relying on conscripting faculty to work the phones day and night, scaring the hell out of parents and convincing them that Measure K is the mother load of solutions.

It is not. It is a straight line to creating a massive debt from here to 2056, the preponderance to be paid off by those it is supposed to serve… our children. All with no guarantee provided that anything of real educational value will be created, upgraded, mended or mitigated.

BOUSD Mailer

ADDENDUM:

Measure K