|Should Richmond Get More School Construction Bond Funds?
June 22, 2012
The WCCUSD Board is reevaluating which schools should be modernized or reconstructed using bond funds. There is a compelling argument that more funds should be targeted to Richmond schools.
The graphs below show the assessed valuation and the bonding capacity (actually the WCCUSD Board approved bonding amount) for each of the West County cities and unincorporated areas. Click here for a table that compares expenditures to the approved bonding amount. Click here for the source documents. El Cerrito, Pinole and San Pablo schools have received more than their proportional amount, while Richmond, Hercules and unincorporated areas have received less than their proportional amount.
Richmond, however, is the most out of proportion, with a shortfall of nearly $112 million. A case can be made that this is an over simplification because attendance areas cross jurisdictional lines. For example, Pinole might argue that while Pinole Valley High School is in Pinole, many Richmond residents attend school there. On the other hand, an argument could be made that more Richmond kids would attend Richmond high schools, such as Kennedy, if they were rebuilt like El Cerrito High School and DeAnza.
Another argument is that the southern part of the WCCUSD have been much more supportive than the northern area in supporting the bond issues, and in fact, Richmond and El Cerrito have carried the elections while Pinole and Hercules have typically not mustered enough votes if they had to go it alone.
I don’t want to encourage an intra-district over bond funds, but on the other hand, my job is to make sure Richmond gets its fair proportion of bond funded school reconstruction.