DUBLIN — Parents are planning to come out in droves next week when the school board is expected to discuss school capacity, and how to spend bond money to alleviate it.
Public outcry over construction of a second high school has been growing as the Dublin Unified School District continues to grapple with increased enrollment. The district is expected to grow by about 6,300 students by fall 2023.On Tuesday, the board is expected to discuss how much and where to allocate remaining funds from the June 2016 Measure H bond money.
Of the $283 million bond, $22 million has been allocated so far, including $7 million to complete Dublin High’s science and engineering building and $15 million to complete Cottonwood Creek, a K-8 school expected to open next fall.
How much of the bond funds will be used to build another high school remains to be seen. In May the school board decided to ax a potential site for a high school near the Santa Rita Jail, forcing the district to regroup.
The board agreed to form a committee that will meet beginning in September for three to six months with the goal of identifying three sites for a high school, said district spokeswoman Michelle McDonald.
McDonald said the committee, which will meet the first week of September, could look at sites previously discussed by the board or new ones.
In addition to building another high school, board members in the past have suggested building out Dublin High School, having a 10-12 grade school only on one site and separate freshman academy, or even a year-round school that would stagger when students are in classes throughout the year.
“The committee has to sort through a lot of information that the board has been looking at for more than a year,” she said.
But community members, including Ramya Ramakrishnan, said little has been done since the board’s May decision. She and others met with board members this summer, who told them that progress would be quick.
Forming a committee, which will have at least 18 members (one from each school), several at-large members as well as a school administrator, is only going to delay the process further, Ramakrishnan said.
“People are really fed up and upset,” she said. “This is not what they said they were going to do.”
She and others, such as those from the community group Dubliners United and Dublin For Better Education Planning plan on passing out 5,000 postcards to encourage people to attend Tuesday’s meeting.
Groups of parents and other organizers have been consistently protesting on weekends in Dublin in an effort to draw attention to school overcrowding.
“Our focus now is to hold the board accountable,” said resident Hitendra Mishra.
Once on the list of potential sites for a second high school, the Di Manto property is now off the table. The site, on Tassajara Road and Central Parkway, is being planned for an entertainment complex called At Dublin that could include a movie theater, restaurants, hotels and 700 residential units.
Mishra said that many more houses would only exacerbate school overcrowding.
The Dublin school board is scheduled to meet at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at 7471 Larkdale Ave.