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Parents tell Del Mar Union School District board they would back bond initiative

Some Del Mar Union School District parents expressed support for a potential November 2016 general obligation bond at the board’s March 23 meeting.

The district is currently surveying its voters on a possible bond via a telephone and online survey. The board will make a decision on whether or not to move forward with a bond pending the results of the survey.

During public comment, several parents provided encouragement for a bond that would help the district fulfill its comprehensive long-term facilities master plan, which would include creating modern learning studios at all schools, modernizing the district’s oldest campuses of Del Mar Hills, Del Mar Heights and Carmel Del Mar and replacing 25-year-old portables with permanent classroom buildings.

Carmel Del Mar parent Allison Healy-Poe helped with the previous bond effort in 2012 and said she is prepared to be supportive of a “carefully thought-out” bond program.

“Carmel Del Mar has been around a long time and it needs a little TLC,” Healy-Poe said. “I’ve seen directly the impact the bond San Dieguito Union High School District passed (Prop AA) has had on learning for those kids, the things like new science labs at Torrey Pines. It is a fantastic example of what improved learning environments have done to energize those kids about learning.”

Carmel Del Mar parent David Wojtkowski echoed Healy-Poe’s comments about the need to improve the aging campus and said that he is confident that “this time around” parents can generate positive support to pass the bond.

Parents at the district’s other oldest campus, Del Mar Hills, also view the prospect of a bond favorably to help bring much-needed improvements to the campus.

“The Del Mar Hills community very strongly supports the district going with a general obligation bond or a SFID (school facilities improvement district),” said Brooke Beros, the Del Mar Hills PTA president.

Beros said in an informal poll conducted by the PTA, only 9.5 percent of Del Mar Hills parents said they did not want a bond.

Beros told the board that while the school is supportive of a bond, more than 50 percent of Del Mar Hills parents said they wanted more clarity on how the funds would be used before they voted. She encouraged the board to provide as much information as possible on potential projects and to implement a bond oversight committee to provide accountability on how taxpayer funds are spent.