Is NVUSD coming back for more ðŸ’°?

I received a nice letter in the mail from the Napa Junction principal yesterday. I skimmed it, not really paying attention because: 1. My youngest is now at ACMS; and 2. I thought that they were just talking about the new Family Resource Center. Then I read an email from NVUSD last night that was meant to go along with note, and I realized that maybe I should have paid more attention.

It’s looking a lot like NVUSD will be coming back to the voters for a facilities bond. NVUSD residents are still paying on 2002, 2006, and 2016 facility bonds. In fact, I remember quite well when the district came with hat in hand in 2016. I sat on the Measure H steering committee as an American Canyon representative. I walked 🚶🏻‍♂️precincts with teachers, helped to organize phone banks…I was an evangelist for the measure. Along with scores of other volunteers, I promised residents a new middle school, a second gym for ACMS, a new elementary school for Watson Ranch, and significant upgrades to the DWES campus (my son’s home school at the time). Of course Napa Junction would be rebuilt. It sat on a fault line, so it had to. Napa schools got their fare share, too. It was a total no-brainer.

But maybe I was the one without a brain. Maybe I should have understood what was going on a bit better. Shortly after Measure H passed, then-Superintendent Patrick Sweeney announced his retirement. Why not? This was his coup de grace – one final crowning achievement of an otherwise unremarkable time as the head of NVUSD.

Enter a new administration with a different view of the district’s financial situation. 7 periods at ACHS? Gone. New middle school? Gone. Improvements at DWES and other AC schools? Not exactly…

American Canyon residents have been justifiably frustrated with the current administration as they see nominal returns on their investment. Measure H passed ✅ with 55.9% of the vote. A super majority of American Canyon voters inched the measure over the finish line after the final voter canvass. We were ecstatic.

Unfortunately, it soon became clear that even if there was money 💸 to build a new middle school there wasn’t enough to run it. How come this wasn’t known before?

Every time American Canyon raised an objection to how the money was being spent, the answer was – essentially – the language in the measure is ambiguous and we have some discretion to spend it as we see fit. Supporting American Canyon schools wasn’t exactly at the top of the list.

And so now NVUSD is floating the possibility of another bond measure. They’re working on trying to convince voters who don’t have kids in school (i.e. Napa residents). They should be working on their base, first – American Canyon residents with school age kids. I am a died-in-the-wool, Berkeley, tax-and-spend liberal. I want to give governments money. I want to make sure that we have lift up every student. But NVUSD has a long way to go to convince me.

I think that it’s sad that I have so much antipathy towards the current administration that I’m writing this the day after a bond is even floated. However, given how things panned out with Measure H, there’s almost no chance that I’d vote for another NVUSD bond unless there’s specific language for specific projects within the bond measure. Fool me once, right?

One thought on “Is NVUSD coming back for more ðŸ’°?

  1. Pingback: Deep thoughts…for the week of January 14, 2022 | Richard Peterson, Realtor

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