Grossmont High School District
Breaks Promise to Alpine
After 2 school bonds and state matching funds totaling over $800 Million Grossmont continues to ignore the contract made with Alpine to build a local high school.
“…now they can reap the results of their “all or nothing” approach. Which based on my read of the situation will be “nothing” Ron Nehring, Former Grossmont Board Member, California and San Diego Republican Party Chair, and Lt. Governor candidate - In a response to Alpine regarding his desire to name the school Ronald Reagan High School without consulting with the community.
For over 30 years Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) has promised Alpine that it would build a high school to serve its community. During that time two schools promised to Alpine were built in other GUHSD communities.
Alpine students face a long and dangerous trek “down the hill” to attend high school as acknowledged by former GUHSD Board member Ted Crooks who commented that “…on average, one child per year dies as a result of the commute to and from Alpine…”. For this and a variety of other reasons, the Alpine community and its school district (AUSD) decided to move toward unification in 2002.
Sufficient Alpine signatures were gathered and certified by the San Diego County Registrar of Voters. In 2003, at the hearing before the San Diego County Board of Education (SDCBOE), representatives of GUHSD asked Alpine if they would be willing to drop their unification effort and work with Grossmont to pass a bond if the bond contained language promising to build a high school in Alpine. Alpine agreed to this proposal and a binding deal was struck between GUHSD and Alpine.
Subsequently all three Boards, SDCBOE, GUHSD, and AUSD passed resolutions acknowledging this agreement. Alpine proceeded to drop its unification effort and cooperate with GUHSD to pass a school bond (Prop H) that included the funding and promise to build a high school in Alpine.
Alpine worked very hard with GUHSD to pass Prop H by chairing and participating on commissions and committees, actively getting out the vote. All three area Indian Tribes (Viejas, Sycuan & Barona) also lent their financial support to the effort to pass Prop H.
Prop H passed but the new high school was not built. According to the San Diego Tax Payer Association, GUHSD mismanaged the bond program and did not set aside sufficient funds to build the promised Alpine high school.
Alpine again agreed to work with and help Grossmont straighten out their mess. The result was the formation of the Bond Advisory Commission (BAC). The BAC made many recommendations to help GUHSD better manage and control their bond program, the most important of which was the recommendation for a new bond to complete all of the promised Prop H projects, including the new high school. The new bond, Prop U, was passed and it again promised a high school for Alpine.
The one difference between Prop H and Prop U was the addition of conditional language.
At the insistence of Board Member Jim Kelly, GUHSD inserted language creating a district-wide enrollment threshold that had to be met prior to the building of the new school.
This “trigger” clause, characterized by GUHSD Board Member Dick Hoy as a “poison pill”, was never part of the agreement when Alpine agreed to stop their unification effort. It was simply a last minute attempt to thwart the building of the new school and did not impact any other bond expenditure except the Alpine high school.
As it turned out, the enrollment trigger was satisfied not once but three consecutive years. After the 3rd year GUHSD passed a resolution acknowledging that the trigger was satisfied, but then added a new hurdle that school construction would commence only after State funding levels were restored to what they were in 2008. This new hurdle was only applied to the Alpine school and was a clear violation of the intent of Props H and U and the agreement between the two school districts. Ironically, GUHSD’s own consultant reported that the new high school was the ONLY bond project that would actually improve district finances by bringing in new students to GUHSD.
Why did GUHSD take such retaliatory action? The GUHSD board deviated from their established naming policy and announced their intent to name the new Alpine high school “Ronald Reagan High School”. The community of Alpine objected to this departure, especially since there had been no public hearings regarding the naming of the school. This objection from Alpine infuriated GUHSD board members and it is evident from their subsequent actions that from that point forward GUHSD would not build a high school. It became clear that Ron Nehring was right; Alpine would reap nothing.
The Grand Jury Investigates
In 2014, the San Diego Grand Jury investigated GUHSD’s refusal to build the Alpine school and wrote a scathing report entitled “Grossmont – Fool Us Once, Fool Us Twice”. The Report called for GUHSD to:
+ Set Aside an Escrow Fund
+ Build the School on a Credible Timeline, or Cooperate with Alpine’s Unification Effort.
GUHSD has refused to do either recommendation and has ignored the report.
The County Board of Education Recommends Unification
Alpine decided that if they were ever going to get the needed high school they would need to do it themselves. They again began the unification process. Signatures were again gathered and certified. In 2014, the County Board held the hearings and voted unanimously to support Alpine’s Unification effort. They found that Alpine met all 9 State requirements for unification and unanimously recommended the following:
+ A local, Alpine only, Unification Election and
+ An equitable division of assets and liabilities based on Alpine’s approximate 6% assessed valuation share of GUHSD’s total assets.
The County recommendations were forwarded to the State Board of Education.
Judge Orders Grossmont to set Aside $42 million Dollars
In 2015, a Superior Court Judge concluded GUHSD failed to follow the bond language to build the Alpine school and was spending bond funds at the rate of $250,000.00 per day. The Judge ordered that GUHSD set aside $42 Million to ensure GUHSD had funds available for construction of the school should Alpine prevail at the state level. Alpine is seeking $90MM ($70MM in cash + existing land) as part of its unification settlement. This equates to Alpine’s 6% share of total GUHSD assets and liabilities and would provide Alpine the means to build their high school.
Alpine needs your help!
We need letters of support as well as introductions and direct intervention with California education decision makers.
We would like an expedited process with the State Board of Education.
We are supported by local teachers, local tribes and local families.
Please visit our website for more information.
To Download ou Unification Flier/Handout - CLICK HERE
To volunteer or get more information - CLICK HERE.
For FAQ's - Frequently Asked Questions - CLICK HERE.
ALPINE PASSES CRUCIAL FIRST THRESHOLD IN UNIFICATION EFFORT - CLICK HERE
GRAND JURY SPANKS GROSSMONT - GRAND JURY REPORT - CLICK HERE
GUHSD RESPONSE TO THE GRAND JURY REPORT - CLICK HERE
AHSCC REBUTTAL TO GUHSD RESPONSE - CLICK HERE
PETITIONERS BRIEF - CLICK HERE(For attachments see History page - History of Documents and Articles)
GUHSD PASSES RESOLUTION AGAINST UNIFICATION - CLICK HERE
ALPINE UNIFICATION HEARING - October 20 - CLICK HERE
ALPINE FILES LAW SUITS AGAINST GUHSD - CLICK HERE
THE COMPLAINT (LAWSUIT) - CLICK HERE
JUDGE PRESSMAN RULES (AGAIN) IN ALPINE'S FAVOR - CLICK HERE
GUHSD Board Discussion and vote on Prop U Trigger Language (10 minute video). From meeting July 14, 2011. CLICK HERE
GUHSD Board Discussion and vote on 12th high school Resolution 2012-05 (60 minute video). From meeting July 14, 2011. CLICK HERE
Sal Casamassima was deposed by the lawyers for Grossmont on August 14, 2015.
Mark Price was deposed by the lawyers for Grossmont on August 12, 2015. The attached is a narrative Mark prepared which outlines his involvement with this issue. - CLICK HERE
This is the timeline Mark used to draft his narrative. - CLICK HERE
How GUHSD Bond Overseers Are Being Snookered - Times of San Diego - CLICK HERE
PDF Version - CLICK HERE
Judge upholds ruling for Alpine vs. Grossmont - UT Article - CLICK HERE
PDF Version - CLICK HERE
GUHSD Media Statement in Response to Court’s Decision on Motion to Dismiss Alpine Injunction - CLICK HERE
Demurrer Issue Decided - CLICK HERE
GUHSD BOARD VOTES TO APPEAL ALPINE HIGH SCHOOL RULING; LEGAL BILLS COULD COST TAXPAYERS A QUARTER OF A MILLION DOLLARS - CLICK HERE
PDF - CLICK HERE
READER'S EDITORIAL: THREE STRIKES AND YOU'RE OUT! - CLICK HERE
PDF - CLICK HERE
Jim Kelly and Rob Shield compete for the East County BRIAN WILLIAM'S AWARD for Deception and Falsification. Watch the most recent GUHSD Board Meeting to see them vie for the award. The meeting video can be found: https://vimeo.com/119602127
If you don't have time for the entire meeting the Resolution discussion begins at 1:27:09.
SHOULD CRIMINAL CHARGES BE FILED AGAINST THE GUHSD? - CLICK HERE
For PDF version - CLICK HERE
Regulators Way Too Easy On Muni Bond Fraudsters - FORBES - CLICK HERE
Article for Newspapers on Recent Unification Lawsuit - CLICK HERE
GUHSD Update on the legal process regarding Alpine - CLICK HERE
Alpine Unification Flier/Handout - CLICK HERE
Judge favors Alpine over Grossmont - UTSanDiego.com - CLICK HERE
GUHSD's Superintendent Update on the legal process regarding Alpine - CLICK HERE
GUHSD's Media Statement in Response to Court’s Decision on Alpine Injunction - CLICK HERE
Judge Tentatively Rules in Alpine's Favor - UTSanDiego.com - CLICK HERE
Alpine, Grossmont to meet again Dec. 18 - UTSanDiego.com - CLICK HERE
Injunction Documents filed with the court:
San Diego UT Article - Alpine-Grossmont school districts' row to be heard Friday - CLICK HERE
Unification Committee's Response to GUHSD Board Member UT Op-Ed - CLICK HERE
Grossmont continues to mislead and misrepresent the facts;
GUHSD Superintendent Flier - CLICK HERE
GUHSD Board Member UT Op-Ed - CLICK HERE
East County Magazine - CLICK HERE
Powerpoint presented at the Community Forum - Click Here
San Diego UT Article - 10-15-14 - Alpine Files Injunction Against Grossmont Union High School District - Click Here
PDF Copy - Click Here
San Diego UT Article - 9-11-14 -Grossmont school board reaffirms dislike of Alpine unification | UTSanDiego.com - Click Here
San Diego UT Editorial - 9-4-14 - Alpine deserves high school Grossmont district promised - Click Here
San Diego UT Article - 8-13-14 - Alpine school district closer to unification - Click Here
Petitioners Response - Click Here
San Diego County Board - Consultant's Report - Click Here
The following is an OPED which was sent to the Alpine Sun - June 10, 2014:
HOW IS THE GROSSMONT UHS DISTRICT DOING ON GOVERNANCE & TRANSPARENCY? - Click Here
The following is an article which ran in the Alpine Sun written by Chuck Taylor - May 16, 2014:
Overwhelming support for Alpine High School
The following is an article which ran in the San Diego Union Tribune - May 8, 2014:
Second Alpine unification hearing draws more emotion
The following is a link to a news story on KGTV Channel 10 in San Diego - 4-29-2014:
Alpine taxpayers petition for unified district with its own high school. Group wants 'divorce' from GUHSD
The following is an article which ran in the San Diego Union Tribune - November 22, 2013:
Alpine still trying to get a high school in town - Click Here
The following is the Flier & PowerPoint Presentation used at the Unification Update Meeting (A Community Forum) November 20, 2013:
AHSCC hosts a Unification Update Meeting at 6:30pm at Alpine Elementary School Auditorium.
For Forum Flier - Click Here
For Power Point Presentation - Click Here
The following is a September 4, 2012 Unification Update:
"This is a quick update on where we stand on the unification effort and what needs to be done going forward. The unification group has been meeting every other Tuesday under the AHSCC umbrella..." MORE
The following is a recent e-mail (August 2012) summarizing our current efforts:
"Greetings everyone. It’s been a long time and I hope everyone is enjoying their summer. First, a shout out to Bill Weaver who’s celebrating his birthday today. Happy birthday Bill and many more!!!
Things are beginning to happen and I wanted to bring our core group of leaders on the high school matter up to speed. At the outset,..." MORE
Resolution for Unification of Alpine This is the approved Resolution for the unification of Alpine. The Resolution is being distributed to groups, organizations, businesses, tribes, etc for their consideration, endorsement and support. CLICK HERE. Bonsall School District Unification Bonsall is a District in the final stages of their unification effort. For detailed information on their status - CLICK HERE. Wiseburn School District Unification The Wiseburn School District in Hawthorne California, is in the process of Unification. The following link will take you to their Facebook page - CLICK HERE. Unification Process The unification process is neither fast nor easy. The following graph should give you some idea of the complexities. CLICK HERE. Alpine High School Presentation This presentation was made by Grossmont Union High School District May 13, 2010. CLICK HERE. Unification Petition This is the petition needed to be signed. We require a minimum of 2,500 registered voters from the Alpine area. CLICK HERE. The is a link to Tips for Petition Volunteers - CLICK HERE. Articles 2012-09-04 - Divorcing Grossmont - CLICK HERE Meeting Minutes 2012-08-21 - Meeting Minutes - CLICK HERE 2012-07-11 - Organizational Meeting Minutes - CLICK HERE.