Dear Editor – California Schools are Underfunded

Dear Editor,
My three sons had the benefit of being educated in Culver City at no cost to me and my husband Ed. California’s Education Code does not allow charging for most K-12 expenses. We were not obligated to join any of the organizations we chose to support or mandated to fund any particular program, though we happily and regularly donated to PTA, CCEF, booster clubs, and our various athletic teams. We chose public schools rather than private, which may have saved us well over $390,000 for their 39 years of education.
A quick Internet search makes it obvious that Californians are at a deficit from the get-go. Back in 1879 our legislature made public schools free. Not so across the country. Many states allow fees for registering at a school. And, if you don’t pay some of those fees, your child will not have equal access. Imagine if we had to pay for field trips? How about those instruments or uniforms? The services our schools provide is a topic worthy of a separate article.
I look at where my sons are today and the benefit of having attended Culver City Unified. The boys were well prepared for their unique paths after graduation. We were and are quite pleased with the education they received and the opportunities it opened up for them. We continue to support our schools.
Our community is asking excellent and thoughtful questions related to the upcoming Measure K Parcel Tax on the November ballot. What was funded by all of the previous initiatives? How do you show that you can be fiscally conservative and balance your budget three years out AND meet the obligation of retiree benefits? Why do you have to keep asking for new money so often? I found most of the answers on the school district’s website. There are even email addresses on the website to write for more information.
I support our schools, our school community and those that benefit by working and living in Culver City. I urge a YES vote on Measure K Parcel Tax, not because I want to pay more taxes, but because I want to continue bragging about the Culver City schools in the present, not in the past, tense and I want you to do the same.

Marla Wolkowitz
Former CCUSD Board of Education President/Member
1999-2007

www.culvercitysymphony.org

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