Sonoma Valley Sun


Pools over teachers?

Posted on February 14, 2024 by Sonoma Valley Sun

Pools are important. A good education is more important.

But that’s not the way SVUSD has managed for many years.  Appearances over substance: banners on streets, building, building, building.  Athletics over education. A SVUSD board member described how the school board hid $32,000,000 in swimming pools and a second in town stadium during a bond vote with “the broadest language possible.”
I, along with thousands of other voters, was duped.
Now, due to chronic mismanagement, the district needs to close schools and fire educators because SVUSD’s board ignored trends and forecasts.  These cuts will be announced in the next board meeting.  But rest assured, though they cost a minimum of $230,000 annually to operate, the pools will remain open. Lifeguards will be paid, and some educators will lose their jobs and be forced to move their families.  The second stadium will remain lit, and constantly maintained.
Students with the best educational opportunities will get their education elsewhere. Downward trends in SVUSD academics continue, making it an undesirable education option.  Downward spiraling statistics tell the tale.
I coach at a high school known for its academics, not athletics.  If they had a cheer, it might be like Northwestern University or Georgia Tech, top notch academic institutions, during their many losing games over the decades, “That’s alright, that’s ok, we’re gonna be your boss one day”.  It’s accurate.
This continued approach by SVUSD will keep producing diminishing academic results. SVHS graduate opportunities continue to evaporate (57% testing not ready for a job or college). Currently, there is no end in sight.
Go Dragons. Everybody in the pool.
— Stewart Saunders, Sonoma

Sonoma Sun | Sonoma, CA