These are rough times in schools and for elected school boards.
Teachers , and incumbent school board members, are the subject of a campaign heavily funded and driven from the top down to take a profession that has long been respected by the public at large and make the people in the profession villains. The goal is to drive down the pestige and working conditions of people working in the professions. (for example, the film Won’t Back Down).
Natomas district is under funded as are almost all schools districts in the state. The district was forced to cut over $31 million in prior years. These cuts were imposed upon the district by the economic crisis and the failure of the legislature to respond to the needs of all the schools. The result is almost $525 per child less money for the district. This makes California rank 47th. out of the 50 states in per pupil spending.
The cuts were imposed by the economic crisis- not the school board and not the teachers and the cuts hurt children. Most California school budgets are in crisis and they will continue in crisis for several years as a consequence of the economic collapse of the housing market and the financial heist of Wall Street. The crisis will get worse if Prop. 30 fails on the November ballot. Readers can do something positive about this crisis by voting Yes. On Prop. 30, the Millionaires Tax this fall.
In this time of very difficult budget decisions, districts benefit from a well informed school board, one that looks at the entire budget and makes the necessary decisions. Well informed board members are an asset in these difficult times. Recognizing this value of experience and professional preparation, the Sacramento Progressive Alliance endorses Dr. Sue Heredia for re-election.
During this crisis, the teachers and the board in Natomas have increased graduation rates, re-lowered class size, decreased drop-out rates, and instituted new fiscal accountability procedures, to establish a district that is financially stable.
The Progressive Alliance takes the position that all children need a good education to participate in our democracy and prepare for life in the rapidly changing economy. Making schooling valuable and useful is vital to prosperity for all. Lack of education is a ticket to economic hardship. When we fail to educate all of our children, the high costs of this failure come back to hurt us in unemployment, drugs, crime, incarceration, violence and social conflict.
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