Got transparency? As we head into the final days before the Compton Unified (CUSD) elections, voters are being asked to elect three board trustees and consider approving Measure S. Measure S is a $350 million dollar school bond, that could very well double in cost, by the time Compton property owners pay the final payment. Both sides have made mediocre arguments as to why you should vote yes or no, but the real question becomes, who will oversee the bond expenditures, if approved?
It is true that CUSD has received millions in grant money, but that money is designated for certain expenditures, that have already been identified. Those grant dollars can’t be used on issues directly related to the classrooms, which is why CUSD is proposing this bond measure to rebuild Compton High School.
On November 6, 2012, nearly 25,000 Inglewood voters passed school bond Measure GG. The bond was for $90 million dollars. Unbeknownst to voters, Inglewood Unified School District (IUSD) was taken over by the state, the prior month. The caveat to the bond was an oversight committee was required, by Proposition 39, to be seated, prior to disbursing any payments. The same applies to Measure S in Compton.
Related document: Inglewood Unified Measure GG Oversight Committee bylaws
The duties of the committee are to: inform the public of meeting dates, which fall under the Brown Act, review expenditures and provide an annual report to the school board members/trustees. In the case of IUSD, previous bond monies related to Measure K, expenditures nearly doubled due to “change orders”. Requirements also include the oversight committee’s meeting dates, agenda and minutes, be posted for public review.
2 Urban Girls has initiated a public records request to Compton Unified School District, asking Superintendent Darin Brawley, to confirm that Measure S would require an oversight committee and more importantly, all email communication between him and CUSD Board President Micah Ali, concerning the selection process of oversight committee members and what qualifications they are looking for committee members to have.
Will they respond? Election is Tuesday, November 3rd.