California school district builds brand new high school it doesn't need and can't afford

San Diego Union-Tribune:
A number of teachers and parents are asking the Carlsbad Unified School District to delay the planned August opening of Sage Creek High School, arguing that it will strain resources and isn’t needed at this time.

“This new high school is just going to be a ruination of the district,” said Sheila DeKosky, a Carlsbad High teacher who created the website www.delaysagecreek.com last month.


Moors and board President Elisa Williamson said the district’s plan to open Sage Creek follows through with the commitment it made to build a second school when voters passed the $198 million Proposition P bond initiative in 2006.

But DeKosky — along with several people who have spoken to the board and posted comments on her site and a Facebook page — argue that the new school is unnecessary and too costly to open at this time.

“Most of us are all for a new high school when and if we need it, and when we can afford it,” she said. “But we are certainly not in that situation now.”
They truly don't need a new high school for capacity. Enrollment is actually declining in this area as young families can't afford the cost of living.

This situation arises because Carlsbad, like almost all California school districts, has an unsustainable operating budget because of bloated pension and administration costs. However, the capital budget is quite another story. California's voters almost never reject bond issuance "for the children," no matter how obscene the amount or absurd the intended use. But these bonds can only legally be used for construction, not to help with the operating budget. So you get what we had here in Carlsbad: ridiculous, unnecessary, unaffordable construction, and no operating budget to run the place.

Happy Super Tuesday!