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Confusion surrounds proposed school bond

ENCINITAS — Opponents and supporters of the Encinitas Union School Board’s Proposition P have been vying for the attention of voters to clear the air over the facts of what the $44 million funds would pay for.
Some of the confusion surrounds the new community garden that will be installed on school-owned property along Quail Gardens Drive. Home Town Farms, a company that uses high technology vertical urban farming methods is in negotiations to lease approximately one to two acres of the land. In turn, the company will lease part of the site to the Encinitas Community Garden, a nonprofit that hopes to begin operations next year.
According to Sanford Shapiro, a local resident, the gardening by these two groups has been linked without any basis in fact to funds from the proposed school bond. “The gardening is not connected with nor dependent in any way on Proposition P,” he told the City Council on Oct. 13.
Superintendent Dr. Tim Baird suggested that misinformation was being spread about the community garden and the bond to sway voters from supporting the measure.
“EUSD has already publicly stated that no money will be used from Proposition P to support any components of farming or gardening,” Baird wrote in an e-mail to Gordon Smith, president of the Encinitas Community Garden board of directors. “Our arrangement with Home Town Farms and their arrangement with the Community Garden are completely separate from the Science Exploration and Design Center that we are putting on the Quail Garden property.”
Both Baird and Shapiro specifically named Mike Andreen as an opponent who has skewed the relationship between the garden leased from the school district and the use of funds from the bond. Andreen “has purposely misstated these facts to attack Proposition P,” Baird said in his e-mail.
Shapiro told the council the group was especially concerned about statements by Andreen and school board trustee Maureen Muir published in the Registrar of Voters information pamphlet. Muir states that she does not support the measure in part because “one of the most concerning items is $6.7 million to create a food garden and farming studies.”
“This is absolutely incorrect,” Shapiro said. He emphasized that the community garden will operate at no cost to the district or to the city, but will be funded entirely by grants, fundraisers and user fees.
Andreen said he had no knowledge of the plans to create a community garden on the site. He said he therefore did not mislead anyone. He said a community garden is a great idea, but he questioned the placement of the garden on the site because of specific land use requirements.
“At no time will EUSD pay for or have any costs connected with the project,” Shapiro said.
Muir did not respond to a request for comment.


Encinitas Parent November 1, 2010 at 9:39 am

At the Sept 21, 2010 EUSD Board meeting, the Board approved the payment of $33,897.00 for "installation of synthetic turf at El Camino Creek School".
If the District can afford $30K for synthetic turf, why are the Taxpayers of Encinitas being asked to pass Prop P, and cough up millions to "fix leaky roofs" – according to the flyers being sent out?"
Vote NO on Prop P.

Why are Encinitas schools significantly underperforming when compared to their neighbors in Solana Beach or Del Mar? Where is there any accountability in Encinitas schools? Name one, just one, new idea or policy that came from Marla Strich in the past 12 years.

Do Not re-elect Strich.

anonymous October 27, 2010 at 8:25 pm

Wouldn’t it make more sense for the school to spend money for our kids to have access to technology instead of buying expensive new systems for the convenience of Tim Baird. It seems like he is proposing a new system only because he is unable, or unwilling to learn the existing systems himself!! Adapting a large district system for the convenience of 1 administrator on borrowed money is a terrible idea!

EUSD Employees October 25, 2010 at 10:10 pm

The sheer nerve of Supt. Tim Baird and some of the school board members is unbelievable! First he gets the rubber-stamping school board to sign off on a GIGANTIC technology project that is not needed, then decides he wants a FARM, then decides to replace the BRAND NEW STUDENT INFORMATION SYSTEM that works just fine with his own preferred system, and then adds in other pet projects, only later determining that he’d better figure out a way to pay for it all. "Oh, hey, I know, let’s have a bond!" And four of the five board members, of course, rubber-stamped that as well (for the record they were: Strich, Skiljan, Parker, and Regan). As an employee of the district, I will absolutely be voting AGAINST MARLA STRICH and AGAINST PROP. P. I’ve always voted in favor of school bonds in the past, but I just can’t reward this idiot for his reckless and arrogant attitude. Also, I can’t really see Emily Andrade standing up to the Supt. or the other board members, so as much as I think she was an ok principal, I can’t see her as a board member. She will cave to the "old-girls club" that has been the hallmark of the board over the past 20 years (including Bill Parker).

EUSD parent October 25, 2010 at 8:40 pm

Plus, the students at my child’s prestigious elementary school spent the entire final month of last year without math. The last week of school is usually a waste of time.

Real Encinitas October 20, 2010 at 8:17 pm

I do not find the lack of money to be the root of the problems at EUSD. The fact that the city of Encinitas has one of the largest numbers of students enrolled in costly private schools in this area should tell people something. This is a community with highly educated parents, and it is nothing short of shocking to observe some of what happens in our District’s elementary classrooms.

When my child was a student at one of the more presitgious schools, I and many other parents complained that our kids were watching Disney movies, having parties, or were going on many field trips with dubious educational value many times each year.

I also was shocked to learn that the number of instruction hours that were taking place were at the bare minimum above losing accredidation from the state!! There is an entire day of contact time that has been stripped out of each week from when most of us were children! This means that every single contact hour at Encinitas schools had to be defined as an instruction hour, or the entire District is in jeopardy of losing its status.

So my question is, how does "Finding Nemo" fit into the 5th grade math standards for the State of California? Based upon the guidelines, those were instruction hours! Also, if the lack of money is such a huge problem, why are "professionals" who are paid upwards of $100 per hour being compensated to show Disney movies?

The last time that they asked for money for technology, the result was to purchase a tv for each classroom. Most in this community don’t allow their children to watch tv at home on school nights, yet the District has provided tv’s and a selection of Disney movies to play during class time!

Please know that not every teacher is guilty of this, and that I love the children in our community and I want to see them ignited with the love of learning–not shown movies or tv shows.

The parents in this community are passionate about education, but the suggestion that throwing money at a problem that seems to be a combination of a few lazy people with tenure, and some overall poor supervision from certain principals that the teachers ignore, will not improve the situation for our children. Leave the same ineffective teachers and principals in place, and nothing will change at all.

Maybe since Oprah and Bill Gates are also now making the same points that kids need a full school week and hard-working teachers who are excited about their jobs, the group of parents who have been trying to tell EUSD the same thing for the past 10 years will be getting more attention. No child can reach his or her full potential with a 20% decrease in contact hours, instruction hours that are spent watching videos, nor with people who seemingly have little passion for their jobs and may not even like children.

EUSD parents, don’t give up on your kids because the junior high schools and the high schools here are great!

anonymous October 20, 2010 at 10:20 am

"Superintendent Dr. Tim Baird suggested that misinformation was being spread about…"
Baird is correct, misinformation IS being spread about, by Baird. And NOW there’s proof!
Read this morning’s Editorial on Prop P in the North County Times…"the (EUSD) district’s own facility accountability report in 2009-10 said every (EUSD) school was "good" and "no repairs were needed."
Baird tells the State of California one thing, but the Encinitas/La Costa taxpayer’s another…

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