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    « Maddox, err, Lopez, is Back ... | Main | Trustees Expected to Deal with Patton Situation Tonight »

    February 23, 2012


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    Well, where are all the comments in support of this?

    I support supporting my schools, my community, my fellow man, and a slow, steady economic recovery. These tax changes reflect Christian values: that many hands make light work and that we should turn away from the seven deadly sins: wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, gluttony, and envy and do what is right. The tax changes above reflect a realization that we are fortunate to live in such a beautiful, diverse place, and that it is a luxury to allow the elderly, the ill, the enlisted, the ordained, and the civil servant to live in relative comfort among us. Our diversity is protected by tax laws - whether it is Prop 13 or those above.

    I value my money as much as the next guy, but I have much to be thankful for, including a safe, healthy, happy existence. I also believe that those with off-the-chart incomes (not amassed wealth) should be grateful for their blessings and happy to share as much as my middle income family does. After all, it is usually the success of the masses (and their disposable income) that allows those with talent, connections, education, luck, and/or a product to sell to become successful. To starve the many will make feeding the few unsustainable.

    That being said, I doubt there are many people excited about increased taxes. And, in my experience, the most resistance often comes from those most able.

    I absolutely hate tax increases. However, when I look at the money we spent on the wars over the past 10 years, I find myself ashamed that we have not invested the same amount of money and energy in our children. I believe we have a responsibility to educate our children. I also believe the schools have a responsbility to show us how they plan to improve education and make it more effective and relavent to all children. Offering programs is one thing; showing how effective the programs are is an entirely different - and necessary - change that needs to take place. Finally, families and students should also be held accountable for their part in the learning proess. If my taxes will be used to hold school districts,teachers, and parents accountable, I will pay more taxes. Money itself won't make our schools better. However, data-driven programs that show results - that's something worth investing our tax money into!

    So how will this benefit our district? Will it be used for salaries or for programs parents want like art, music, help for struggling students, physical improvements on campuses, etc?

    Are you juxtaposing salaries with programs, or with what parents want? Neither would make sense. Any program requires talented personnel to implement it with success. CUSD has both programs and personnel at risk in the general funds budget. If these statewide initiatives pass, it would be the locally elected trustees who determine how to avoid further cuts.

    What's the difference between salaries and the programs you're talking about, PS Supporter? Art programs require salaries. Music programs require salaries. Tutoring requires salaries. Campus improvements require salaries.

    Do you think teachers and construction workers should work free? Do you think schools should be staffed entirely by volunteers?

    Tutoring does not require salaries. Many upper classman need service hours for college. Even campus improvement can be adopted by the community without cost to the district. We did this up in Anaheim. Parents, business leaders, teachers, and students gave up one Saturday a week for six weeks to paint the school, improve the grounds, and do minor maintenance.

    And, therefore, tutoring and community service will not be paid for with additional tax monies. Therefore, I assume, we will forego the need for data and accountability, as well, since we would relinquish control over what is accomplished, purchased, and completed. I imagine we would need to provide insurance for community members for liability, injury, etc. or pay attorneys to draw up waivers. And at the end of the "program," we will have saved nothing, since maintenance staff and teachers are still paid for their services. I'm not sure I see the relationship here with "thoughtful spending."

    Thoughtful spending: I have a friend who runs a free tutoring program for CUSD students. It's staffed entirely by volunteers. My friend is desperate for additional volunteers, as the program has many students who can't be matched with tutors. Demand greatly outstrips supply.

    How many hours do YOU volunteer each week in a CUSD school?

    Actually, I found the answer I was really looking for on the website for this initiative. It states that the funds cannot be used for salary increases or increases in benefits. Not quite sure if the CTA will put its stamp of approval on this one. My money bets that they will go for one of Brown's measures instead.

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