Scott Ellis 9:46 p.m., April 22
- Community Blog
- South Bay Education Issues
Is the Sweetwater Union High School District Buying Property in Eastlake?
On March 11, 2013, the Sweetwater Trustees will discuss an agenda item in Closed Session, item C6 - Conference with Real Property Negotiator. The agenda item lists property at 2300 Boswell Rd Chula Vista CA 91914. This is the site of the old North Island Federal Credit Union headquarters in Eastlake, and is seen in the attached photo. A second property located at 2387-2389 Faivre St Chula Vista CA 91911, is also listed on this Agenda item. It lists negotiating parties and Under Negotiation Price and Terms of Payment.
The question is, why is the district apparently looking at buying additional property? The Reader has run a series of stories documenting the numerous questions surrounding the Districts purchase and ownership of properties and land on L St and 3rd Ave in Chula Vista. Yet, in spite of the secrecy, lack of transparency and questions surrounding those purchases, it appears the District is set to move forward with additional purchases.
What is most puzzling is that the district is set to discuss the issuance of layoff notices to teachers and staff at this Board meeting, as well as the reduction of the Career Technical Education (CTE) program, which was recently touted by the District as a unique, first of a kind model program.
In addition, there remain numerous concerns with the Districts use of Mello Roos and Prop O Bond monies outside of their legally required purposes. There are also questions about the districts liquidity, and the recently released audit of the Prop O Bond Program found numerous violations and irregularities.
There appears to be a serious lack of oversight and control by the Trustees of District leadership, particularly of Ed Brand. Many in the community see his leadership as a failure with no focus on the core business of the District, which is education. Although more than 50% of the middle and high schools in the district are in Program Improvement, Ed Brand has not started any educational programs that have positively impacted this poor showing. He has, in fact, made decisions that will seriously impact district schools, such as Open Boundaries, which allow any student in the district to attend any school. This has caused serious overcrowding at numerous schools, and impacted class sizes, student services, transportation and safety at those schools.
This apparent decision to purchase additional property once again defies common sense and logic for a school district struggling financially and educationally.