Bond rejected by district voters

Sarah Markiewicz, Asst. Opinion Editor

To the disappointment of the staff and administration of Diamond Bar High School and other Walnut Valley Unified School District schools, a bond that would have given the school funds for new classrooms and technology did not pass.

On Nov. 3, Measure O failed to reach the 55 percent majority needed for it to pull through.

“This community has supported school bonds by and large in the past, and that was part of my disappointment and shock that it did not pass this time. We came within sixty-six votes of it passing,” Interim Principal Denis Paul said.

Although 53 percent of the voters chose to support the bond over the 46 percent of voters who did not, the bond needed to have 55 percent of votes in order to succeed.

“There were certainly some concerns over the difficulty of voting,” Paul said. “Some voting polls were difficult to access, and the rain didn’t do us any favors. We had a very low voter turnout, and that didn’t help us.”

Included in the bond were promises of new technology, an update to classrooms and utilities, and even a new music building.

“I think the staff was counting on the upgraded facilities, especially the teachers in the 500 and 400 buildings, and certainly the staff in the performing arts,” Paul said.
The 500 and 400 buildings, home to social science and science classrooms respectively, were highlighted in the bond due to its promises of new equipment and its focus on enhancing the instruction of science, technology, engineering, and math subjects. The music program could also have received a new music facility.

“Any time this community has been asked in the past to support education, they’ve been very generous,” Paul said. “I hope they will be in the future, because this school needs a huge revitalization.”

Only voters from within the boundaries of the school district were able to vote on the measure and for a new Governing Board member, in which Phillip Chen received the most votes.

“There are some teachers who were still disappointed about the 2007/2008 bond not delivering all that it could, but in general the majority of the staff is disappointed that this bond did not pass,” Paul said.

The previous 2007/2008 bond is what paid for the new aquatic center.

“Hopefully he and the Board of Education will come up with a good plan to help us.”

As of now, there are no solid plans to raise funds to support the school’s causes, although there is a possibility that the measure will be resubmitted for another ballot in the future.