July 12 2002

Editorial

Critical Conditions at Sweetwater Union High School District Calls for State Investigation

There are red flags everywhere at Sweetwater Union High School District signifying big trouble for that district.

Recently, Mary Anne Weegar, an employee of the District, won a settlement of $687,000, after she was forced to retire for blowing the whistle on spending improprieties – Red Flag.

Sweetwater Unified signed an exclusive contract with Jostens, Inc., to sell school rings, caps and gowns. Jostens was the highest bidder adding $50 to the cost over the next highest bidder. In exchange for the contract Jostens paid an upfront donation of $50,000.00 – Red Flag.

Sweetwater used the monies from the Jostens upfront donation to fund Blurb a slick self serving magazine that adds nothing to the educational purpose and is nothing less than a self promotion vehicle for the administration and Michael Inzunza, a part time employee of the district. – Red Flag.

Mar Vista High School uses its portion of Prop BB funds, that were voted on to be used for “repairs and renovation so critical to the safety and well being of Sweetwater students” to build a 75,000 square foot Taj Mahl gymnasium instead of classrooms! All under the direction of the Board of Trustees and approval of the Superintendent – Red Flag.

Sweetwater High School is using a large portion of the $16 million dollars of Prop BB funds to build a new gymnasium as well! This from a school with the greatest need of repairs to modernize classrooms, add science lads, and upgrade teacher work areas. The Board of Trustees as well as the Superintendent derided the original intent of PROP BB. – Red Flag.

Sweetwater schools do not have enough money for school supplies, yet the District is squandering school district funds to entertain students rather than educate them! – Red Flag.

East Chula Vista area does not have a school or space for the students of this large development area – Red Flag.

High school SAT scores are not meeting the standards of the state – Red Flag.

All of these Red Flags indicate that this school district is out of control. The elected officials, members of the Board of Trustees who are there to protect and represent the public’s interest, have failed in their responsibilities and abrogated the public trust.

The failure of the elected officials, the Board of Trustees, and of the Superintendent and his administrators, calls for a State investigation into the financial irregularities and failures to carry out the intent of Proposition BB, as voted on by the taxpayers of the school district, and of the failure of the District to comply with State and Board of Education policies to improve the students achievement and educational standards and prevent the continuous of the complete failure to provide an education to the 35,000 students who have put their faith and trust into the Sweetwater Union High School District to prepare them for a successful future. Our children deserve better!!

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