Jul 30, 2014

Walnut Schools Received Unfair Share of School Bond Funds

In November 2007, voters in the cities of Diamond Bar and Walnut whose schools are served by the Walnut Unified School District (District) approved Bond Measures S and Y.  Approval of these bond measures gave the District authorization to issue bonds totaling $104,739,600 to finance specific construction and renovation projects to maintain the District’s high academic standards and to enhance the District’s co-curricular programs.


The Annual Report to the Board of Trustees dated June 6, 2012 provided a summary of how the District allocated the bond funds among its 15 campuses.  It reported that Diamond Bar High School received $39,700,000 and Chaparral Middle School (located in Diamond Bar) received $18,700,000 for a combined total allocation of $58,400,000 going to the two Diamond Bar schools which accounts to more than half of the total bond funds authorized.    Approximately $14.6 million of this amount was used to fund the construction of an $11 million aquatic center at Diamond Bar High School, and a $3.6 million gymnasium at Chaparral Middle School.  In addition, the bond funds were used to build a 20 classroom Math complex on the Diamond Bar High School campus and a 14 classroom Science wing on the Chaparral Middle School campus.


 In comparison, Walnut High School received $9,320,000 and Suzanne Middle School (located in Walnut) received $4,218,000.  The two Walnut Schools received a combined total allocation of $13,538,000 which is $44,862,000 less than what the two Diamond Bar schools received.


This huge disparity has some Walnut parents questioning the fairness in the way bond funds have been allocated.  Some parents feel that the fact that 4 out of the 5 current Board of Trustees are Diamond Bar residentshas had a direct impact on the District steering more funds to the Diamond Bar schools.   Walnut parents would like the District to explain the disparity and its justification as to why two Diamond Bar schools received more than half of the total bond funds authorized.

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