Grossmont-Alpine litigation ends, no high school for commuting students

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After a three-year legal battle and two decades of effort to build a high school for Alpine students, the Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) and Alpine Union School District (AUSD), in conjunction with the Alpine Taxpayers for Bond Accountability (ATBA), have dropped litigation. No high school will be built in the foreseeable future. 

After a three-year legal battle and two decades of effort to build a high school for Alpine students, the Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) and Alpine Union School District (AUSD), in conjunction with the Alpine Taxpayers for Bond Accountability (ATBA), have dropped litigation. No high school will be built in the foreseeable future. 

In a joint statement released on Feb. 28 by the GUHSD and AUSD announced that AUSD will not be appealing the California Court of Appeal’s decision to that GUHSD is not obligated to build a high school for Alpine residents, and GUHSD will not be seeking recovery for their legal expenses.

Litigation has been expensive, with ATBA reportedly spending more than $120,000 and GUHSD forking over almost $3 million. 

AUSD Superintendent Dr. Richard Newman said in the February statement that the truce is aimed at improving the welfare of the district’s students and refocusing resources on their success.

“Dr. Glover and I strongly believe it is essential for our districts to work collaboratively to forge positive relationships dedicated to improving student outcomes and preparing all students to achieve their potential for success in life, career and as contributing members of society,” he said in the statement.

Dr. Tim Glover, Grossmont Superintendent said the agreement was an indicator of a strengthened relationship between the districts. 

“This settlement is yet another sign of improved relations between our districts and another example of the two districts’ dedication and focus on serving our East County students, families and communities,” said Glover.

The release stated that all parties remain committed to building a high school when conditions are appropriate.

Bond measures passed in the 2000s stipulated that student enrollment must reach 23,245 for the Alpine high school to be built, but numbers have been steadily decreasing since 2010. 

Proposition H in 2004 and Proposition U in 2008 garnered nearly $700 million for the Alpine high school effort, but the Alpine groups contend that Grossmont strategically prioritized other district-wide projects.

Until further notice, students will continue to be sent to Granite Hills and Steele Canyon once they promote out of the K-8 system.

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