Reality check time. At last night’s School Board meeting the District’s Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Ali Delawalla, clearly spelled out the dire economic future facing our school district. The State is running out of money and they are spending less and less of it on education. The picture ain’t pretty folks, in fact it is downright scary. Time and time again Ali referred to the $1.2 million a year promised to the district by the Parcel Tax aka Measure EE. That money is the only secure funding the District can count on.
There is an unintended consequence to the current controversy over the role and independence of parent-funded services. The consequence: the Parcel Tax may fail in the next election. (* Background information)
Measure EE, the Parcel Tax brings in $1.2 million each year for our schools. Through the brilliant crafting of its proponents, Scott Zeidman, and Madeline Erlich, that money is limited to teachers’ salaries; promoting math, science, technology, and art; smaller class sizes; libraries; and keeping our campuses clean, safe and well-maintained. What does that $1.2 million pay for? About 20 teacher positions OR 30 classified positions OR the equivalent of 6 furlough days for EVERYONE.
News for you, it’s coming up for renewal and it needs a 2/3 supermajority to pass. Culver City was the only district to pass a parcel tax in 2009. Can we do it again?
In the School Board elections in 2007 around 3,000 people voted. In 2011 it was around 4,000. In 2009, a whopping 6,000 people voted!
Why? Simple: EE the Parcel Tax was on the ballot. A whole bunch of us parents and community members got out there, knocked on doors, distributed fliers, made phone calls, wore shirts. We got the parents out to vote. Newsflash, the majority of parents don’t normally vote, yet WE as a community passed it.
I am truly concerned, and I am not the only one. If ACE or any other Union persists in filing grievances compromising our ability as parents and as a community to support and enhance student education… If, current or future parent-funded programs are compromised or removed from parent control…If either or both of these happen will the parents be there to work for the Parcel Tax? I am worried that disenchanted, disenfranchised parents who have worked so hard, donated what they could, volunteered countless hours to fundraise, will not work hard or support a new Parcel Tax.
In twenty short months Measure EE, the Parcel Tax comes up for renewal. Remember, that’s $1.2 million dollars a year. Is it really worth it to anyone in our district, whether they are Union members or not to risk a stable source of funding for a “clarification” of the employee status of parent-funded services at our schools?
Please find a solution to this issue quickly.
Full disclosure. I am a frequent volunteer at CCMS which my child attends. I served on the board of ALLEM for 5 years, the last 4 as VP, then President.
* Background in a nutshell, ACE (the Associated Classified Employee Union) has filled a grievance demanding that the District do “something” about the parent-funded, and parent controlled program at El Marino. What that “something” is has not been made clear since the details of the ACE actual demands have not been made public. Parents from ALL of the schools have voiced their alarm. A huge number of justifiably concerned parents have spoken, written, phoned all saying the same thing, let us parents fund raise to provide services in the form of adjuncts, aides, or assistants for our kids. Don’t do anything that requires us to hand over control over our funding and where that money goes.