Commentary: On School Funding and Budget Crises–This is About Educating Your Kids

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The pace at which events occur in this community is sometimes overwhelming and there are times it is difficult to pause for reflection. When in Sacramento two nights ago covering the Democratic Pre-Endorsement Conference a friend of mine and a fellow blogger who lives up in the foothills made the comment that Davis and Yolo County are interesting places to live where there is a large amount of action.

And sometimes it is simply too much action. There are things that I have wanted to cover that I have simply not had enough time to cover because the pace of events is so rapid.

It was a call last night that got me thinking about something. At the March 6, 2008 school board meeting–packed to the brink with students from DaVinci High School who were trying to save their school–the board was discussing options and mentioned that the deadline for putting another parcel tax on the ballot was March 7, 2008. So that option was not on the table. Their plan is to hope that the Governor’s cuts are not quite as deep–a reasonable hope at this point, I’ll add. But the Governor’s cuts are only 40% of the cuts. Then they are hoping that fundraising will cut into the needed cuts as well and in November 2008 they can put another parcel tax on the ballot.

At the time it made some sense to me, now after another discussion it no longer makes sense to me. The budget problem did not suddenly emerge on March 6, 2008. In fact, it did not seem on our radar at all until early January, but it had to be on someone’s mind even at that point.

Clearly by early January when they were talking $4 million in budget cuts, why wasn’t one of the items immediately on the table dealing with instead of the spending side, the revenue side?

There is a perception out there by some that school districts in general are bloated masses of bureaucracy that are easy to cut. And yet when it comes down to it, when we actually look at the system in place, it becomes obvious that to cut real money, you have to cut programs that people (especially kids) like. Our system, inefficient as it is, even with a good degree of past fiscal mismanagement still operates in such a way that the only way to cut real money, not talking $10,000 but in the millions, is to close a school, cut music, cut language, cut programs people want and care about.

Fine, I get it. So why not put a contingent parcel tax on the ballot that kicks in given revenue problems? Why not have it as a temporary item, for one year, for two years, to ensure that we don’t cut these programs. And then be honest and forthright with the public and tell them that we need this so that we don’t have to close Emerson, we don’t have to fire three-quarters of the teachers at DaVinci, so that we can still have music, and GATE, and programs that help the disadvantaged, and programs that help the smart kids, and programs that help the kids that don’t quite fit in elsewhere…

Why did we not just lay all out on the line and tell people that if they want their great schools that they pay twice as much in property value so their kids can attend, then we all have to pitch in an additional $50 to $100 per year and save them right now?

Instead, I have high school students writing me asking me to come to their high school so I can see all the great programs that they have.

Instead, we have parents and teachers looking for ways to fundraise so that we can put enough money together to land a bit softer.

They have a blog now that is focused on saving Emerson Junior High. They have a rally on Tuesday at 4 PM at Central Park in Davis.

I want to talk about Emerson because I live just two blocks away.

First their message is simple:

“We can not allow the School District to take rushed decisions without an in depth task force study. The proposal to close one Jr. High will have deep negative repercussions across the whole Davis community and the environment! Laying off 20% of our teachers, librarians, psychologists, etc. guts our wonderful schools, reduces our quality of life, lowers our property values and decreases the city’s tax revenue.”

I agree and I also understand the school district’s dilemma. But now I want to talk about the City of Davis’ dilemma. You have Valley Oak that is closing down pending a miracle from the County Board of Education. You have a shopping center where there is no longer a grocery store.

Now you have West Davis. West Lake Shopping Center is without its grocery store. Now they are talking about closing down Emerson Junior High.

Huge swaths of Davis are now becoming without grocery store and without school.

Tim Wallace who lives across the street from Emerson in Village Homes writes into the Enterprise:

It’s not hard to imagine that the property where Emerson Junior High School is sited being worth tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars to real estate developers, even in the current market. Upon visiting the Davis JointUnified School District Web site, I couldn’t find anything even remotely resembling a cost-benefit analysis, or any analysis whatsoever justifying what seems to be the foregone conclusion, apparently advanced by the school board, that “Emerson will be closed.”

He continues:

The only problem I can see with this plan, if that’s what it is, is that it assumes the forbearance and apathy of West Davis parents and homeowners who will lose big in their quality of life and home values if it’s enacted. Further, it makes assumptions about our willingness to suffer disproportionately to the rest of Davis , based on no evidence and little to no meaningful public discussion.

While I found it impossible to tell from their Web site whether the closure of Emerson is on the agenda of the next DJUSD board meeting, I believe it’s on for March 20. West Davis might think about waking up before it’s too late to engage the board in a discussion.”

I think this is a good point and I think we have all been asleep for too long on this.

Don’t get me wrong, I like most of the board members, I think they are good people who have a real passion for education–even ones that I disagree with on substantive policy issues. I think we hired a good man in James Hammond to be the Superintendent. But I think we got blindsided on this.

Here is my suggestion. Meet with County Clerk Freddie Oakley. Figure out how to get a ballot measure on the ballot before November. Figure out how to cut costs by making it vote by mail only. I do not think we can wait until November to save our schools. And I do not think we can afford to cut what is being proposed. Let’s all come together and fix the problem. Maybe that’s a crazy idea, but we have to do something for our community and for the kids.

—Doug Paul Davis reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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116 thoughts on “Commentary: On School Funding and Budget Crises–This is About Educating Your Kids”

  1. Richard Livingston

    I have several comments in response to your thoughtful article. 1. Disadvantaged kids are smart kids. There is no category “smart kids.” 2. District budgets ares supposed to have contingency funds that can be used for difficult situations. They are always too small for serious shortfalls. 3. Property taxes punish seniors and folks on fixed inciomes. Many of these people’s incomes become stagnant. 4. A tax measure such as you advocate demonstrates the advantage of “wealthy community districts” over poorer districts, thus heightening the gap between the rich and poor. The challenge is for the state to develop a contingency plan to protect schools. 5. Wealthy citizens and large corporations benefit most from successful education therefore that group should bare a greater tax burden. 6. The format of paying districts based strictly upon ADA is wrong. Districts must know what monies they have long before the previous year. The income to districts must be fixed like pensions and must contain cost of living increases to assure continuity and it must be guaranteed. Any reductions should be equal throughout the state. 6. Districts should not be forced into cutting by popularity polls or squeeking wheel demonstrations. This tactic never favors the disadvantaged. For example, GATE partents arte often squeeking wheels as they represent the advantaged getting extra funding whereas poorer students seldom have such strong lobbys. 7. I oppose the closing of Emerson and Valley Oak. To take a whole school from West Davis and/or central Davis and send those students packing from their neighborhoods is wrong and does not represent across the board reductions. Neither does cutting any one program such as music or math or English. Fairness both regionally and program-wise is the only fair game. 8. Program cuts that result in internal struggling between teachers and school administrators results in a lowering of the solidarity and support we should want from our school professionals. Favoritism promotes disunity. Teachers have collective bargaining contracts that spell out the process for dismissals. These are agreements are made between the board of education and workers and are and should be binding and honored. To avoid blaming and infighting such contracts must not be used negatively.

  2. Richard Livingston

    I have several comments in response to your thoughtful article. 1. Disadvantaged kids are smart kids. There is no category “smart kids.” 2. District budgets ares supposed to have contingency funds that can be used for difficult situations. They are always too small for serious shortfalls. 3. Property taxes punish seniors and folks on fixed inciomes. Many of these people’s incomes become stagnant. 4. A tax measure such as you advocate demonstrates the advantage of “wealthy community districts” over poorer districts, thus heightening the gap between the rich and poor. The challenge is for the state to develop a contingency plan to protect schools. 5. Wealthy citizens and large corporations benefit most from successful education therefore that group should bare a greater tax burden. 6. The format of paying districts based strictly upon ADA is wrong. Districts must know what monies they have long before the previous year. The income to districts must be fixed like pensions and must contain cost of living increases to assure continuity and it must be guaranteed. Any reductions should be equal throughout the state. 6. Districts should not be forced into cutting by popularity polls or squeeking wheel demonstrations. This tactic never favors the disadvantaged. For example, GATE partents arte often squeeking wheels as they represent the advantaged getting extra funding whereas poorer students seldom have such strong lobbys. 7. I oppose the closing of Emerson and Valley Oak. To take a whole school from West Davis and/or central Davis and send those students packing from their neighborhoods is wrong and does not represent across the board reductions. Neither does cutting any one program such as music or math or English. Fairness both regionally and program-wise is the only fair game. 8. Program cuts that result in internal struggling between teachers and school administrators results in a lowering of the solidarity and support we should want from our school professionals. Favoritism promotes disunity. Teachers have collective bargaining contracts that spell out the process for dismissals. These are agreements are made between the board of education and workers and are and should be binding and honored. To avoid blaming and infighting such contracts must not be used negatively.

  3. Richard Livingston

    I have several comments in response to your thoughtful article. 1. Disadvantaged kids are smart kids. There is no category “smart kids.” 2. District budgets ares supposed to have contingency funds that can be used for difficult situations. They are always too small for serious shortfalls. 3. Property taxes punish seniors and folks on fixed inciomes. Many of these people’s incomes become stagnant. 4. A tax measure such as you advocate demonstrates the advantage of “wealthy community districts” over poorer districts, thus heightening the gap between the rich and poor. The challenge is for the state to develop a contingency plan to protect schools. 5. Wealthy citizens and large corporations benefit most from successful education therefore that group should bare a greater tax burden. 6. The format of paying districts based strictly upon ADA is wrong. Districts must know what monies they have long before the previous year. The income to districts must be fixed like pensions and must contain cost of living increases to assure continuity and it must be guaranteed. Any reductions should be equal throughout the state. 6. Districts should not be forced into cutting by popularity polls or squeeking wheel demonstrations. This tactic never favors the disadvantaged. For example, GATE partents arte often squeeking wheels as they represent the advantaged getting extra funding whereas poorer students seldom have such strong lobbys. 7. I oppose the closing of Emerson and Valley Oak. To take a whole school from West Davis and/or central Davis and send those students packing from their neighborhoods is wrong and does not represent across the board reductions. Neither does cutting any one program such as music or math or English. Fairness both regionally and program-wise is the only fair game. 8. Program cuts that result in internal struggling between teachers and school administrators results in a lowering of the solidarity and support we should want from our school professionals. Favoritism promotes disunity. Teachers have collective bargaining contracts that spell out the process for dismissals. These are agreements are made between the board of education and workers and are and should be binding and honored. To avoid blaming and infighting such contracts must not be used negatively.

  4. Richard Livingston

    I have several comments in response to your thoughtful article. 1. Disadvantaged kids are smart kids. There is no category “smart kids.” 2. District budgets ares supposed to have contingency funds that can be used for difficult situations. They are always too small for serious shortfalls. 3. Property taxes punish seniors and folks on fixed inciomes. Many of these people’s incomes become stagnant. 4. A tax measure such as you advocate demonstrates the advantage of “wealthy community districts” over poorer districts, thus heightening the gap between the rich and poor. The challenge is for the state to develop a contingency plan to protect schools. 5. Wealthy citizens and large corporations benefit most from successful education therefore that group should bare a greater tax burden. 6. The format of paying districts based strictly upon ADA is wrong. Districts must know what monies they have long before the previous year. The income to districts must be fixed like pensions and must contain cost of living increases to assure continuity and it must be guaranteed. Any reductions should be equal throughout the state. 6. Districts should not be forced into cutting by popularity polls or squeeking wheel demonstrations. This tactic never favors the disadvantaged. For example, GATE partents arte often squeeking wheels as they represent the advantaged getting extra funding whereas poorer students seldom have such strong lobbys. 7. I oppose the closing of Emerson and Valley Oak. To take a whole school from West Davis and/or central Davis and send those students packing from their neighborhoods is wrong and does not represent across the board reductions. Neither does cutting any one program such as music or math or English. Fairness both regionally and program-wise is the only fair game. 8. Program cuts that result in internal struggling between teachers and school administrators results in a lowering of the solidarity and support we should want from our school professionals. Favoritism promotes disunity. Teachers have collective bargaining contracts that spell out the process for dismissals. These are agreements are made between the board of education and workers and are and should be binding and honored. To avoid blaming and infighting such contracts must not be used negatively.

  5. Robin

    People can view the agenda for the upcoming School Board meeting by going to the school district website, clicking on “Board” at the upper left, clicking on “agendas” on the drop-down menu, then clicking on 2007-2008 and following the further instructions there. They will eventually get to the agenda, which has links to download any documents in support of a particular agenda item.

    The potential closing of Emerson and potential reconfiguration of Davis High School is on the agenda for the upcoming meeting. A cost-benefit analysis of various alternative scenarios can be accessed by clicking on that agenda item.

    Keep in mind that district office staff wrote the cost-benefit analysis, not the School Board, so that document does not tell you what the School Board members are thinking or how they might vote.

    It is also important to note that some of the identified financial costs of some of the proposals (such as relocating portables) would be paid out of facilities funds. This is money that cannot be used to pay for teacher salaries. The facilities fund currently has adequate assets.

    Note that closing Emerson yields $600,000 in annual savings. That would save the jobs of quite a number of teachers — music teachers, or Da Vinci teachers, or English or social studies teachers, etc. Another way of looking at it is that the district will have to lay off a lot more teachers to keep Emerson open.

    It is also important to note that Emerson has been complaining for years that it does not have enough students to offer as many electives (or as wide a range of music classes) as the other junior high schools. For two years, the Board has been subsidizing Emerson with one-time funds to allow Emerson to offer those classes even though the enrollment in those classes did not justify offering them.

    If Emerson is not closed, it is reasonable to assume that it will not receive that subsidy next year. Just the opposite — all the secondary schools will be offering many fewer electives if Emerson remains open, but Emerson has the smallest enrollment so it will have the fewest offerings. Keeping Emerson open may not be in the best interests of the students who are districted to go there.

  6. Robin

    People can view the agenda for the upcoming School Board meeting by going to the school district website, clicking on “Board” at the upper left, clicking on “agendas” on the drop-down menu, then clicking on 2007-2008 and following the further instructions there. They will eventually get to the agenda, which has links to download any documents in support of a particular agenda item.

    The potential closing of Emerson and potential reconfiguration of Davis High School is on the agenda for the upcoming meeting. A cost-benefit analysis of various alternative scenarios can be accessed by clicking on that agenda item.

    Keep in mind that district office staff wrote the cost-benefit analysis, not the School Board, so that document does not tell you what the School Board members are thinking or how they might vote.

    It is also important to note that some of the identified financial costs of some of the proposals (such as relocating portables) would be paid out of facilities funds. This is money that cannot be used to pay for teacher salaries. The facilities fund currently has adequate assets.

    Note that closing Emerson yields $600,000 in annual savings. That would save the jobs of quite a number of teachers — music teachers, or Da Vinci teachers, or English or social studies teachers, etc. Another way of looking at it is that the district will have to lay off a lot more teachers to keep Emerson open.

    It is also important to note that Emerson has been complaining for years that it does not have enough students to offer as many electives (or as wide a range of music classes) as the other junior high schools. For two years, the Board has been subsidizing Emerson with one-time funds to allow Emerson to offer those classes even though the enrollment in those classes did not justify offering them.

    If Emerson is not closed, it is reasonable to assume that it will not receive that subsidy next year. Just the opposite — all the secondary schools will be offering many fewer electives if Emerson remains open, but Emerson has the smallest enrollment so it will have the fewest offerings. Keeping Emerson open may not be in the best interests of the students who are districted to go there.

  7. Robin

    People can view the agenda for the upcoming School Board meeting by going to the school district website, clicking on “Board” at the upper left, clicking on “agendas” on the drop-down menu, then clicking on 2007-2008 and following the further instructions there. They will eventually get to the agenda, which has links to download any documents in support of a particular agenda item.

    The potential closing of Emerson and potential reconfiguration of Davis High School is on the agenda for the upcoming meeting. A cost-benefit analysis of various alternative scenarios can be accessed by clicking on that agenda item.

    Keep in mind that district office staff wrote the cost-benefit analysis, not the School Board, so that document does not tell you what the School Board members are thinking or how they might vote.

    It is also important to note that some of the identified financial costs of some of the proposals (such as relocating portables) would be paid out of facilities funds. This is money that cannot be used to pay for teacher salaries. The facilities fund currently has adequate assets.

    Note that closing Emerson yields $600,000 in annual savings. That would save the jobs of quite a number of teachers — music teachers, or Da Vinci teachers, or English or social studies teachers, etc. Another way of looking at it is that the district will have to lay off a lot more teachers to keep Emerson open.

    It is also important to note that Emerson has been complaining for years that it does not have enough students to offer as many electives (or as wide a range of music classes) as the other junior high schools. For two years, the Board has been subsidizing Emerson with one-time funds to allow Emerson to offer those classes even though the enrollment in those classes did not justify offering them.

    If Emerson is not closed, it is reasonable to assume that it will not receive that subsidy next year. Just the opposite — all the secondary schools will be offering many fewer electives if Emerson remains open, but Emerson has the smallest enrollment so it will have the fewest offerings. Keeping Emerson open may not be in the best interests of the students who are districted to go there.

  8. Robin

    People can view the agenda for the upcoming School Board meeting by going to the school district website, clicking on “Board” at the upper left, clicking on “agendas” on the drop-down menu, then clicking on 2007-2008 and following the further instructions there. They will eventually get to the agenda, which has links to download any documents in support of a particular agenda item.

    The potential closing of Emerson and potential reconfiguration of Davis High School is on the agenda for the upcoming meeting. A cost-benefit analysis of various alternative scenarios can be accessed by clicking on that agenda item.

    Keep in mind that district office staff wrote the cost-benefit analysis, not the School Board, so that document does not tell you what the School Board members are thinking or how they might vote.

    It is also important to note that some of the identified financial costs of some of the proposals (such as relocating portables) would be paid out of facilities funds. This is money that cannot be used to pay for teacher salaries. The facilities fund currently has adequate assets.

    Note that closing Emerson yields $600,000 in annual savings. That would save the jobs of quite a number of teachers — music teachers, or Da Vinci teachers, or English or social studies teachers, etc. Another way of looking at it is that the district will have to lay off a lot more teachers to keep Emerson open.

    It is also important to note that Emerson has been complaining for years that it does not have enough students to offer as many electives (or as wide a range of music classes) as the other junior high schools. For two years, the Board has been subsidizing Emerson with one-time funds to allow Emerson to offer those classes even though the enrollment in those classes did not justify offering them.

    If Emerson is not closed, it is reasonable to assume that it will not receive that subsidy next year. Just the opposite — all the secondary schools will be offering many fewer electives if Emerson remains open, but Emerson has the smallest enrollment so it will have the fewest offerings. Keeping Emerson open may not be in the best interests of the students who are districted to go there.

  9. Samantha McCarthy

    Dick is correct on may things and this is a state issue. But we need a parcel tax.
    Why was the surplus of a few years ago not put into a reserve instead of being refunded as auto registration rebates? That was ridiculous then and unspeakably stupid now. But we in Davis can’t fix it statewide just now. We maybe able to pass a parcel tax and save school programs for kids. Yes it obviously hurts the wealthy far less, but everyone benefits from education. Just because it is not the best solution in good times does not mean it should not be undertaken now. Sliding scale on value of home (no that is not always fair either) but something has to be done and a parcel tax seems like the best option now. Maybe fundraisers could also have a rebate system to fixed income people that could have donations cover the portion for those who really can’t pay and increased tax and would be hurt. I have no idea and I do not pretend to say it is fair across the board, but I think it is necessary.

    But how about a Prop 98 with no budget crisis loophole. education gets funding period, flat out no cuts no matte what. California is ranked 47th for education last year down from 46th. THAT IS BEFORE THE CUTS!!!!!!!! This is nuts California’s population is huge to be at the bottom like that for so many kids is like slowly killing society. We are in effect saying uneducated masses go forth and suffer we have other priorities today and could give a crap about the adults of tomorrow who will have no education or skills to manage their lives or society. Education needs funding and the state is screwed up, but we should and hopefully will fix what we can for DJUSD. GO PARCEL TAX!!!!!!! In whatever way it can be done the fastest!

  10. Samantha McCarthy

    Dick is correct on may things and this is a state issue. But we need a parcel tax.
    Why was the surplus of a few years ago not put into a reserve instead of being refunded as auto registration rebates? That was ridiculous then and unspeakably stupid now. But we in Davis can’t fix it statewide just now. We maybe able to pass a parcel tax and save school programs for kids. Yes it obviously hurts the wealthy far less, but everyone benefits from education. Just because it is not the best solution in good times does not mean it should not be undertaken now. Sliding scale on value of home (no that is not always fair either) but something has to be done and a parcel tax seems like the best option now. Maybe fundraisers could also have a rebate system to fixed income people that could have donations cover the portion for those who really can’t pay and increased tax and would be hurt. I have no idea and I do not pretend to say it is fair across the board, but I think it is necessary.

    But how about a Prop 98 with no budget crisis loophole. education gets funding period, flat out no cuts no matte what. California is ranked 47th for education last year down from 46th. THAT IS BEFORE THE CUTS!!!!!!!! This is nuts California’s population is huge to be at the bottom like that for so many kids is like slowly killing society. We are in effect saying uneducated masses go forth and suffer we have other priorities today and could give a crap about the adults of tomorrow who will have no education or skills to manage their lives or society. Education needs funding and the state is screwed up, but we should and hopefully will fix what we can for DJUSD. GO PARCEL TAX!!!!!!! In whatever way it can be done the fastest!

  11. Samantha McCarthy

    Dick is correct on may things and this is a state issue. But we need a parcel tax.
    Why was the surplus of a few years ago not put into a reserve instead of being refunded as auto registration rebates? That was ridiculous then and unspeakably stupid now. But we in Davis can’t fix it statewide just now. We maybe able to pass a parcel tax and save school programs for kids. Yes it obviously hurts the wealthy far less, but everyone benefits from education. Just because it is not the best solution in good times does not mean it should not be undertaken now. Sliding scale on value of home (no that is not always fair either) but something has to be done and a parcel tax seems like the best option now. Maybe fundraisers could also have a rebate system to fixed income people that could have donations cover the portion for those who really can’t pay and increased tax and would be hurt. I have no idea and I do not pretend to say it is fair across the board, but I think it is necessary.

    But how about a Prop 98 with no budget crisis loophole. education gets funding period, flat out no cuts no matte what. California is ranked 47th for education last year down from 46th. THAT IS BEFORE THE CUTS!!!!!!!! This is nuts California’s population is huge to be at the bottom like that for so many kids is like slowly killing society. We are in effect saying uneducated masses go forth and suffer we have other priorities today and could give a crap about the adults of tomorrow who will have no education or skills to manage their lives or society. Education needs funding and the state is screwed up, but we should and hopefully will fix what we can for DJUSD. GO PARCEL TAX!!!!!!! In whatever way it can be done the fastest!

  12. Samantha McCarthy

    Dick is correct on may things and this is a state issue. But we need a parcel tax.
    Why was the surplus of a few years ago not put into a reserve instead of being refunded as auto registration rebates? That was ridiculous then and unspeakably stupid now. But we in Davis can’t fix it statewide just now. We maybe able to pass a parcel tax and save school programs for kids. Yes it obviously hurts the wealthy far less, but everyone benefits from education. Just because it is not the best solution in good times does not mean it should not be undertaken now. Sliding scale on value of home (no that is not always fair either) but something has to be done and a parcel tax seems like the best option now. Maybe fundraisers could also have a rebate system to fixed income people that could have donations cover the portion for those who really can’t pay and increased tax and would be hurt. I have no idea and I do not pretend to say it is fair across the board, but I think it is necessary.

    But how about a Prop 98 with no budget crisis loophole. education gets funding period, flat out no cuts no matte what. California is ranked 47th for education last year down from 46th. THAT IS BEFORE THE CUTS!!!!!!!! This is nuts California’s population is huge to be at the bottom like that for so many kids is like slowly killing society. We are in effect saying uneducated masses go forth and suffer we have other priorities today and could give a crap about the adults of tomorrow who will have no education or skills to manage their lives or society. Education needs funding and the state is screwed up, but we should and hopefully will fix what we can for DJUSD. GO PARCEL TAX!!!!!!! In whatever way it can be done the fastest!

  13. Anonymous

    To put it bluntly,Davis voters were lied to by the District and Board, by omission, when they pitched their recently approved educational parcel tax. If these “special” programs need funds to weather the hopefully temporary District financial crisis, let them be funded by those parents who utilize them with ample waivers for those families at the lower income levels. To tax everyone to maintain them while refusing to do the same to keep Valley Oak Elementary open is unconscionable. What is good for the goose,…. etc.

  14. Anonymous

    To put it bluntly,Davis voters were lied to by the District and Board, by omission, when they pitched their recently approved educational parcel tax. If these “special” programs need funds to weather the hopefully temporary District financial crisis, let them be funded by those parents who utilize them with ample waivers for those families at the lower income levels. To tax everyone to maintain them while refusing to do the same to keep Valley Oak Elementary open is unconscionable. What is good for the goose,…. etc.

  15. Anonymous

    To put it bluntly,Davis voters were lied to by the District and Board, by omission, when they pitched their recently approved educational parcel tax. If these “special” programs need funds to weather the hopefully temporary District financial crisis, let them be funded by those parents who utilize them with ample waivers for those families at the lower income levels. To tax everyone to maintain them while refusing to do the same to keep Valley Oak Elementary open is unconscionable. What is good for the goose,…. etc.

  16. Anonymous

    To put it bluntly,Davis voters were lied to by the District and Board, by omission, when they pitched their recently approved educational parcel tax. If these “special” programs need funds to weather the hopefully temporary District financial crisis, let them be funded by those parents who utilize them with ample waivers for those families at the lower income levels. To tax everyone to maintain them while refusing to do the same to keep Valley Oak Elementary open is unconscionable. What is good for the goose,…. etc.

  17. Samantha McCarthy

    In reply to anymous8:46.

    Teachers, facilities and staff are not special programs. Special programs benefit all kids and should be part of every child’s education. Music, art etc… should be at every school. Because the board messed up on Valley Oak and closed it NO REASON TO PUNISH THE KIDS by saying no to a parcel tax. Boot the board meembers, recall them whatever over their idiocy on Valley Oak. This is a separate issue. DO NOT out of spite allow others to suffer that same fate of school closure and all kids those from Valley Oak now going to other locations will suffer when teachers and programs are no longer available. Do Valley Oak kids deserve to get hit twice and have their school and community taken away and now face overcroweded facilities, portable classsrooms and no music or art, GATE etc… Isn’t that slappig the kids twice for the State and school Board’s screw ups?

    As adults and parents we fix what we can for the kids and do not hold school yard grudges at their expense.

  18. Samantha McCarthy

    In reply to anymous8:46.

    Teachers, facilities and staff are not special programs. Special programs benefit all kids and should be part of every child’s education. Music, art etc… should be at every school. Because the board messed up on Valley Oak and closed it NO REASON TO PUNISH THE KIDS by saying no to a parcel tax. Boot the board meembers, recall them whatever over their idiocy on Valley Oak. This is a separate issue. DO NOT out of spite allow others to suffer that same fate of school closure and all kids those from Valley Oak now going to other locations will suffer when teachers and programs are no longer available. Do Valley Oak kids deserve to get hit twice and have their school and community taken away and now face overcroweded facilities, portable classsrooms and no music or art, GATE etc… Isn’t that slappig the kids twice for the State and school Board’s screw ups?

    As adults and parents we fix what we can for the kids and do not hold school yard grudges at their expense.

  19. Samantha McCarthy

    In reply to anymous8:46.

    Teachers, facilities and staff are not special programs. Special programs benefit all kids and should be part of every child’s education. Music, art etc… should be at every school. Because the board messed up on Valley Oak and closed it NO REASON TO PUNISH THE KIDS by saying no to a parcel tax. Boot the board meembers, recall them whatever over their idiocy on Valley Oak. This is a separate issue. DO NOT out of spite allow others to suffer that same fate of school closure and all kids those from Valley Oak now going to other locations will suffer when teachers and programs are no longer available. Do Valley Oak kids deserve to get hit twice and have their school and community taken away and now face overcroweded facilities, portable classsrooms and no music or art, GATE etc… Isn’t that slappig the kids twice for the State and school Board’s screw ups?

    As adults and parents we fix what we can for the kids and do not hold school yard grudges at their expense.

  20. Samantha McCarthy

    In reply to anymous8:46.

    Teachers, facilities and staff are not special programs. Special programs benefit all kids and should be part of every child’s education. Music, art etc… should be at every school. Because the board messed up on Valley Oak and closed it NO REASON TO PUNISH THE KIDS by saying no to a parcel tax. Boot the board meembers, recall them whatever over their idiocy on Valley Oak. This is a separate issue. DO NOT out of spite allow others to suffer that same fate of school closure and all kids those from Valley Oak now going to other locations will suffer when teachers and programs are no longer available. Do Valley Oak kids deserve to get hit twice and have their school and community taken away and now face overcroweded facilities, portable classsrooms and no music or art, GATE etc… Isn’t that slappig the kids twice for the State and school Board’s screw ups?

    As adults and parents we fix what we can for the kids and do not hold school yard grudges at their expense.

  21. Anonymous

    The public schools are the root of all societies problems, period. They should be abolished now. The Constitution should be amended to provide for the “separation of school and state.”

  22. Anonymous

    The public schools are the root of all societies problems, period. They should be abolished now. The Constitution should be amended to provide for the “separation of school and state.”

  23. Anonymous

    The public schools are the root of all societies problems, period. They should be abolished now. The Constitution should be amended to provide for the “separation of school and state.”

  24. Anonymous

    The public schools are the root of all societies problems, period. They should be abolished now. The Constitution should be amended to provide for the “separation of school and state.”

  25. Vincente

    That’s pretty absurd. What was the literacy rate prior to the inception of mandatory public schooling for all citizens in this country–what is it now? You are entitled to your opinion, but that one is absurd.

  26. Vincente

    That’s pretty absurd. What was the literacy rate prior to the inception of mandatory public schooling for all citizens in this country–what is it now? You are entitled to your opinion, but that one is absurd.

  27. Vincente

    That’s pretty absurd. What was the literacy rate prior to the inception of mandatory public schooling for all citizens in this country–what is it now? You are entitled to your opinion, but that one is absurd.

  28. Vincente

    That’s pretty absurd. What was the literacy rate prior to the inception of mandatory public schooling for all citizens in this country–what is it now? You are entitled to your opinion, but that one is absurd.

  29. Anonymous

    Even on the night the legislature passed the budget in September last year, the Capitol buzz was that 2008 was going to be an even bigger nightmare. But no one really thought about the effect on education, since Arnold had deemed 2008 the year of education….

  30. Anonymous

    Even on the night the legislature passed the budget in September last year, the Capitol buzz was that 2008 was going to be an even bigger nightmare. But no one really thought about the effect on education, since Arnold had deemed 2008 the year of education….

  31. Anonymous

    Even on the night the legislature passed the budget in September last year, the Capitol buzz was that 2008 was going to be an even bigger nightmare. But no one really thought about the effect on education, since Arnold had deemed 2008 the year of education….

  32. Anonymous

    Even on the night the legislature passed the budget in September last year, the Capitol buzz was that 2008 was going to be an even bigger nightmare. But no one really thought about the effect on education, since Arnold had deemed 2008 the year of education….

  33. Anonymous

    I still can’t figure out exactly WHY those of you who advocate so strongly for a parcel tax(another!) don’t just send in, directly to the school district, an amount you feel comfortable sending in. Try this: Double the cost of all the cell phone plans in your household and write a check for that amount. This should make you FEEL better!

  34. Anonymous

    I still can’t figure out exactly WHY those of you who advocate so strongly for a parcel tax(another!) don’t just send in, directly to the school district, an amount you feel comfortable sending in. Try this: Double the cost of all the cell phone plans in your household and write a check for that amount. This should make you FEEL better!

  35. Anonymous

    I still can’t figure out exactly WHY those of you who advocate so strongly for a parcel tax(another!) don’t just send in, directly to the school district, an amount you feel comfortable sending in. Try this: Double the cost of all the cell phone plans in your household and write a check for that amount. This should make you FEEL better!

  36. Anonymous

    I still can’t figure out exactly WHY those of you who advocate so strongly for a parcel tax(another!) don’t just send in, directly to the school district, an amount you feel comfortable sending in. Try this: Double the cost of all the cell phone plans in your household and write a check for that amount. This should make you FEEL better!

  37. Black Bart

    It is good to see people finally thinking about addressing increasing revenue instead of just cutting. Still people are not talking about the easiest solution, interdistrict transfers. DPD’s column was about the slowness to get a parcel tax on the ballot but what about their failure to fill the excess capacity in the schools with students. This is the most absurd thing of all. Instead of filling the schools with children they are going to kill the programs and close the schools. How dumb is that?

  38. Black Bart

    It is good to see people finally thinking about addressing increasing revenue instead of just cutting. Still people are not talking about the easiest solution, interdistrict transfers. DPD’s column was about the slowness to get a parcel tax on the ballot but what about their failure to fill the excess capacity in the schools with students. This is the most absurd thing of all. Instead of filling the schools with children they are going to kill the programs and close the schools. How dumb is that?

  39. Black Bart

    It is good to see people finally thinking about addressing increasing revenue instead of just cutting. Still people are not talking about the easiest solution, interdistrict transfers. DPD’s column was about the slowness to get a parcel tax on the ballot but what about their failure to fill the excess capacity in the schools with students. This is the most absurd thing of all. Instead of filling the schools with children they are going to kill the programs and close the schools. How dumb is that?

  40. Black Bart

    It is good to see people finally thinking about addressing increasing revenue instead of just cutting. Still people are not talking about the easiest solution, interdistrict transfers. DPD’s column was about the slowness to get a parcel tax on the ballot but what about their failure to fill the excess capacity in the schools with students. This is the most absurd thing of all. Instead of filling the schools with children they are going to kill the programs and close the schools. How dumb is that?

  41. looking at reality

    Inter-district transfers have to gain the approval from the district that they come FROM in addition to the district that they want to go TO.

    With all districts facing cuts, districts are going to be hanging on to the students that they have.

    Your solution may seem simple, but it is not that simple. Local neighborhood kids have to have a chance to settle into classes before out of district kids are placed, etc. You can’t just place an order for kids of a certain grades or have an interest in certain programs, etc. at the last minute to fill in the open slots at each school.

  42. looking at reality

    Inter-district transfers have to gain the approval from the district that they come FROM in addition to the district that they want to go TO.

    With all districts facing cuts, districts are going to be hanging on to the students that they have.

    Your solution may seem simple, but it is not that simple. Local neighborhood kids have to have a chance to settle into classes before out of district kids are placed, etc. You can’t just place an order for kids of a certain grades or have an interest in certain programs, etc. at the last minute to fill in the open slots at each school.

  43. looking at reality

    Inter-district transfers have to gain the approval from the district that they come FROM in addition to the district that they want to go TO.

    With all districts facing cuts, districts are going to be hanging on to the students that they have.

    Your solution may seem simple, but it is not that simple. Local neighborhood kids have to have a chance to settle into classes before out of district kids are placed, etc. You can’t just place an order for kids of a certain grades or have an interest in certain programs, etc. at the last minute to fill in the open slots at each school.

  44. looking at reality

    Inter-district transfers have to gain the approval from the district that they come FROM in addition to the district that they want to go TO.

    With all districts facing cuts, districts are going to be hanging on to the students that they have.

    Your solution may seem simple, but it is not that simple. Local neighborhood kids have to have a chance to settle into classes before out of district kids are placed, etc. You can’t just place an order for kids of a certain grades or have an interest in certain programs, etc. at the last minute to fill in the open slots at each school.

  45. Anonymous

    Education costs money and you need a certain baseline to get returns and then after that the returns per dollar spent are phenomenal. You get capable, educated, and engaged adults. You cut funding a for education and you are funneling kids through a broken system and you get unprepared, uninterested and apathetic adults. Education is an investment in the future that cannot be skimped on or rearranged every budget cycle. It needs a far greater commitment than this state has been making. Donations may make you feel good, but they won’t educate educate a kid.

    Did anyone ever stop to think that just maybe one of these kids we are failing to educate would be the one to discover a cure for stupidity and shortsightedness?

  46. Anonymous

    Education costs money and you need a certain baseline to get returns and then after that the returns per dollar spent are phenomenal. You get capable, educated, and engaged adults. You cut funding a for education and you are funneling kids through a broken system and you get unprepared, uninterested and apathetic adults. Education is an investment in the future that cannot be skimped on or rearranged every budget cycle. It needs a far greater commitment than this state has been making. Donations may make you feel good, but they won’t educate educate a kid.

    Did anyone ever stop to think that just maybe one of these kids we are failing to educate would be the one to discover a cure for stupidity and shortsightedness?

  47. Anonymous

    Education costs money and you need a certain baseline to get returns and then after that the returns per dollar spent are phenomenal. You get capable, educated, and engaged adults. You cut funding a for education and you are funneling kids through a broken system and you get unprepared, uninterested and apathetic adults. Education is an investment in the future that cannot be skimped on or rearranged every budget cycle. It needs a far greater commitment than this state has been making. Donations may make you feel good, but they won’t educate educate a kid.

    Did anyone ever stop to think that just maybe one of these kids we are failing to educate would be the one to discover a cure for stupidity and shortsightedness?

  48. Anonymous

    Education costs money and you need a certain baseline to get returns and then after that the returns per dollar spent are phenomenal. You get capable, educated, and engaged adults. You cut funding a for education and you are funneling kids through a broken system and you get unprepared, uninterested and apathetic adults. Education is an investment in the future that cannot be skimped on or rearranged every budget cycle. It needs a far greater commitment than this state has been making. Donations may make you feel good, but they won’t educate educate a kid.

    Did anyone ever stop to think that just maybe one of these kids we are failing to educate would be the one to discover a cure for stupidity and shortsightedness?

  49. FRW

    The governor’s budget is a proposed budget, just that. We could wait for the actual budget to be passed and then see what we have to work with.
    There are “one time carry-over funds” from the previous year’s budget every year. Davis prides itself on a conservative budgeting process, hence the yearly carry-over. The amount of those funds will be available after the close of this fiscal year.
    The board could reinstate the admin cuts the board before last instituted in anticipation of the end of the fat years. The previous board immediately undid those cuts while closing a school.
    There will be a natural reduction in forces as some teachers and classifieds leave or retire. Pink slipping sixty teachers with tentative RIFs does nothing but unnecessarily demoralize our teaching force. Laying off sixty teachers alone would cut over $5 million from a budget that at most will need to be cut $4 million.
    And, for the record, one of the posts referred to me as an obvious “district insider.” Unfortunately, I am just a regular citizen whose children have gone through the DJUSD and who still has an interest in keeping excellence in education. And I have cable. The board meetings come right into my livingroom.

  50. FRW

    The governor’s budget is a proposed budget, just that. We could wait for the actual budget to be passed and then see what we have to work with.
    There are “one time carry-over funds” from the previous year’s budget every year. Davis prides itself on a conservative budgeting process, hence the yearly carry-over. The amount of those funds will be available after the close of this fiscal year.
    The board could reinstate the admin cuts the board before last instituted in anticipation of the end of the fat years. The previous board immediately undid those cuts while closing a school.
    There will be a natural reduction in forces as some teachers and classifieds leave or retire. Pink slipping sixty teachers with tentative RIFs does nothing but unnecessarily demoralize our teaching force. Laying off sixty teachers alone would cut over $5 million from a budget that at most will need to be cut $4 million.
    And, for the record, one of the posts referred to me as an obvious “district insider.” Unfortunately, I am just a regular citizen whose children have gone through the DJUSD and who still has an interest in keeping excellence in education. And I have cable. The board meetings come right into my livingroom.

  51. FRW

    The governor’s budget is a proposed budget, just that. We could wait for the actual budget to be passed and then see what we have to work with.
    There are “one time carry-over funds” from the previous year’s budget every year. Davis prides itself on a conservative budgeting process, hence the yearly carry-over. The amount of those funds will be available after the close of this fiscal year.
    The board could reinstate the admin cuts the board before last instituted in anticipation of the end of the fat years. The previous board immediately undid those cuts while closing a school.
    There will be a natural reduction in forces as some teachers and classifieds leave or retire. Pink slipping sixty teachers with tentative RIFs does nothing but unnecessarily demoralize our teaching force. Laying off sixty teachers alone would cut over $5 million from a budget that at most will need to be cut $4 million.
    And, for the record, one of the posts referred to me as an obvious “district insider.” Unfortunately, I am just a regular citizen whose children have gone through the DJUSD and who still has an interest in keeping excellence in education. And I have cable. The board meetings come right into my livingroom.

  52. FRW

    The governor’s budget is a proposed budget, just that. We could wait for the actual budget to be passed and then see what we have to work with.
    There are “one time carry-over funds” from the previous year’s budget every year. Davis prides itself on a conservative budgeting process, hence the yearly carry-over. The amount of those funds will be available after the close of this fiscal year.
    The board could reinstate the admin cuts the board before last instituted in anticipation of the end of the fat years. The previous board immediately undid those cuts while closing a school.
    There will be a natural reduction in forces as some teachers and classifieds leave or retire. Pink slipping sixty teachers with tentative RIFs does nothing but unnecessarily demoralize our teaching force. Laying off sixty teachers alone would cut over $5 million from a budget that at most will need to be cut $4 million.
    And, for the record, one of the posts referred to me as an obvious “district insider.” Unfortunately, I am just a regular citizen whose children have gone through the DJUSD and who still has an interest in keeping excellence in education. And I have cable. The board meetings come right into my livingroom.

  53. Anonymous

    Who is the “WE” you are talking about? NO MORE TAXES! Efficient use of funding and honesty by the school board would have prevented this panic.

  54. Anonymous

    Who is the “WE” you are talking about? NO MORE TAXES! Efficient use of funding and honesty by the school board would have prevented this panic.

  55. Anonymous

    Who is the “WE” you are talking about? NO MORE TAXES! Efficient use of funding and honesty by the school board would have prevented this panic.

  56. Anonymous

    Who is the “WE” you are talking about? NO MORE TAXES! Efficient use of funding and honesty by the school board would have prevented this panic.

  57. anonymous 8:46

    Samantha: The parents of Davis were polled as to whether they would support a SMALL additional tax to keep Valley Oak open. Reportedly, the answer was a resounding NO but YES to special language and, as publicly pitched by Keltie Jones, FREE music lessions! So be it! The “don’t punish the kids!” mantra is definitely wearing thin.

  58. anonymous 8:46

    Samantha: The parents of Davis were polled as to whether they would support a SMALL additional tax to keep Valley Oak open. Reportedly, the answer was a resounding NO but YES to special language and, as publicly pitched by Keltie Jones, FREE music lessions! So be it! The “don’t punish the kids!” mantra is definitely wearing thin.

  59. anonymous 8:46

    Samantha: The parents of Davis were polled as to whether they would support a SMALL additional tax to keep Valley Oak open. Reportedly, the answer was a resounding NO but YES to special language and, as publicly pitched by Keltie Jones, FREE music lessions! So be it! The “don’t punish the kids!” mantra is definitely wearing thin.

  60. anonymous 8:46

    Samantha: The parents of Davis were polled as to whether they would support a SMALL additional tax to keep Valley Oak open. Reportedly, the answer was a resounding NO but YES to special language and, as publicly pitched by Keltie Jones, FREE music lessions! So be it! The “don’t punish the kids!” mantra is definitely wearing thin.

  61. don shor

    looking at reality said…

    “Inter-district transfers have to gain the approval from the district that they come FROM in addition to the district that they want to go TO.

    With all districts facing cuts, districts are going to be hanging on to the students that they have.”

    Approval of ID requests is routine. I have never heard of a district refusing a request for interdistrict transfer (out) for fiscal reasons. If parents want their kids out of the district, they’re not going to be held hostage just for the ADA.

  62. don shor

    looking at reality said…

    “Inter-district transfers have to gain the approval from the district that they come FROM in addition to the district that they want to go TO.

    With all districts facing cuts, districts are going to be hanging on to the students that they have.”

    Approval of ID requests is routine. I have never heard of a district refusing a request for interdistrict transfer (out) for fiscal reasons. If parents want their kids out of the district, they’re not going to be held hostage just for the ADA.

  63. don shor

    looking at reality said…

    “Inter-district transfers have to gain the approval from the district that they come FROM in addition to the district that they want to go TO.

    With all districts facing cuts, districts are going to be hanging on to the students that they have.”

    Approval of ID requests is routine. I have never heard of a district refusing a request for interdistrict transfer (out) for fiscal reasons. If parents want their kids out of the district, they’re not going to be held hostage just for the ADA.

  64. don shor

    looking at reality said…

    “Inter-district transfers have to gain the approval from the district that they come FROM in addition to the district that they want to go TO.

    With all districts facing cuts, districts are going to be hanging on to the students that they have.”

    Approval of ID requests is routine. I have never heard of a district refusing a request for interdistrict transfer (out) for fiscal reasons. If parents want their kids out of the district, they’re not going to be held hostage just for the ADA.

  65. Anonymous

    I have been around all of these parcel tax and local political campaigns, and I have serious doubts about a new parcel tax under the circumstances. The school district has been grossly negligent for years, and I frankly am not interested in another bailout.

  66. Anonymous

    I have been around all of these parcel tax and local political campaigns, and I have serious doubts about a new parcel tax under the circumstances. The school district has been grossly negligent for years, and I frankly am not interested in another bailout.

  67. Anonymous

    I have been around all of these parcel tax and local political campaigns, and I have serious doubts about a new parcel tax under the circumstances. The school district has been grossly negligent for years, and I frankly am not interested in another bailout.

  68. Anonymous

    I have been around all of these parcel tax and local political campaigns, and I have serious doubts about a new parcel tax under the circumstances. The school district has been grossly negligent for years, and I frankly am not interested in another bailout.

  69. wdf

    frw said…
    “There will be a natural reduction in forces as some teachers and classifieds leave or retire. Pink slipping sixty teachers with tentative RIFs does nothing but unnecessarily demoralize our teaching force. Laying off sixty teachers alone would cut over $5 million from a budget that at most will need to be cut $4 million.”

    How do you get that figure? I usually hear the district say that 1 FTE = ~$60K. As best I figure, 60 teachers x $60K gets me $3.6M.

    What I don’t quite understand is that the PKS list (“particular kinds of services”) of cuts was up to at least 90 FTE when they passed the list at the last school board meeting. So 90 teachers x $60K is $5.4M.

    Aren’t they already over what they need to cut this year? If cuts for closing Emerson are on that list, then deduct $600K and you are at $4.8M and still well over what you need to cut.

    Then why is this cutting exercise still going on?

  70. wdf

    frw said…
    “There will be a natural reduction in forces as some teachers and classifieds leave or retire. Pink slipping sixty teachers with tentative RIFs does nothing but unnecessarily demoralize our teaching force. Laying off sixty teachers alone would cut over $5 million from a budget that at most will need to be cut $4 million.”

    How do you get that figure? I usually hear the district say that 1 FTE = ~$60K. As best I figure, 60 teachers x $60K gets me $3.6M.

    What I don’t quite understand is that the PKS list (“particular kinds of services”) of cuts was up to at least 90 FTE when they passed the list at the last school board meeting. So 90 teachers x $60K is $5.4M.

    Aren’t they already over what they need to cut this year? If cuts for closing Emerson are on that list, then deduct $600K and you are at $4.8M and still well over what you need to cut.

    Then why is this cutting exercise still going on?

  71. wdf

    frw said…
    “There will be a natural reduction in forces as some teachers and classifieds leave or retire. Pink slipping sixty teachers with tentative RIFs does nothing but unnecessarily demoralize our teaching force. Laying off sixty teachers alone would cut over $5 million from a budget that at most will need to be cut $4 million.”

    How do you get that figure? I usually hear the district say that 1 FTE = ~$60K. As best I figure, 60 teachers x $60K gets me $3.6M.

    What I don’t quite understand is that the PKS list (“particular kinds of services”) of cuts was up to at least 90 FTE when they passed the list at the last school board meeting. So 90 teachers x $60K is $5.4M.

    Aren’t they already over what they need to cut this year? If cuts for closing Emerson are on that list, then deduct $600K and you are at $4.8M and still well over what you need to cut.

    Then why is this cutting exercise still going on?

  72. wdf

    frw said…
    “There will be a natural reduction in forces as some teachers and classifieds leave or retire. Pink slipping sixty teachers with tentative RIFs does nothing but unnecessarily demoralize our teaching force. Laying off sixty teachers alone would cut over $5 million from a budget that at most will need to be cut $4 million.”

    How do you get that figure? I usually hear the district say that 1 FTE = ~$60K. As best I figure, 60 teachers x $60K gets me $3.6M.

    What I don’t quite understand is that the PKS list (“particular kinds of services”) of cuts was up to at least 90 FTE when they passed the list at the last school board meeting. So 90 teachers x $60K is $5.4M.

    Aren’t they already over what they need to cut this year? If cuts for closing Emerson are on that list, then deduct $600K and you are at $4.8M and still well over what you need to cut.

    Then why is this cutting exercise still going on?

  73. frw

    The $5 million figure I used was based on the information I got from a teacher and former DTA rep. a few years ago. I’m sure those amounts have increased in the last few years. He explained that the benefits/retirement costs increase the cost of one FTE teacher(full time employee) at a minimum of $40,000 a year to the district. Senior teachers, who make over $60,000 a year in salary, actually cost the district $100,000 a year. Teachers with less seniority, on the lay off lists, cost the district somewhat less. Generally, teachers can only take six or seven years seniority with them if they move to another, better paying district. Senior teachers will stay put, rather than start anew but sacrificing all but six or seven years of seniority.
    Again, my figures are a few years old. I asked this person during a contentious negotiating process between the district and the DTA a couple of years ago. And then, upon hearing that Davis’ pay scale for teachers started at ten thousand below other area districts, and capped out ten thousand below other area districts, I asked why don’t teachers just leave the district. Wouldn’t a steady loss of good teachers force the district to re evaluate the pay scale and benefits package?

  74. frw

    The $5 million figure I used was based on the information I got from a teacher and former DTA rep. a few years ago. I’m sure those amounts have increased in the last few years. He explained that the benefits/retirement costs increase the cost of one FTE teacher(full time employee) at a minimum of $40,000 a year to the district. Senior teachers, who make over $60,000 a year in salary, actually cost the district $100,000 a year. Teachers with less seniority, on the lay off lists, cost the district somewhat less. Generally, teachers can only take six or seven years seniority with them if they move to another, better paying district. Senior teachers will stay put, rather than start anew but sacrificing all but six or seven years of seniority.
    Again, my figures are a few years old. I asked this person during a contentious negotiating process between the district and the DTA a couple of years ago. And then, upon hearing that Davis’ pay scale for teachers started at ten thousand below other area districts, and capped out ten thousand below other area districts, I asked why don’t teachers just leave the district. Wouldn’t a steady loss of good teachers force the district to re evaluate the pay scale and benefits package?

  75. frw

    The $5 million figure I used was based on the information I got from a teacher and former DTA rep. a few years ago. I’m sure those amounts have increased in the last few years. He explained that the benefits/retirement costs increase the cost of one FTE teacher(full time employee) at a minimum of $40,000 a year to the district. Senior teachers, who make over $60,000 a year in salary, actually cost the district $100,000 a year. Teachers with less seniority, on the lay off lists, cost the district somewhat less. Generally, teachers can only take six or seven years seniority with them if they move to another, better paying district. Senior teachers will stay put, rather than start anew but sacrificing all but six or seven years of seniority.
    Again, my figures are a few years old. I asked this person during a contentious negotiating process between the district and the DTA a couple of years ago. And then, upon hearing that Davis’ pay scale for teachers started at ten thousand below other area districts, and capped out ten thousand below other area districts, I asked why don’t teachers just leave the district. Wouldn’t a steady loss of good teachers force the district to re evaluate the pay scale and benefits package?

  76. frw

    The $5 million figure I used was based on the information I got from a teacher and former DTA rep. a few years ago. I’m sure those amounts have increased in the last few years. He explained that the benefits/retirement costs increase the cost of one FTE teacher(full time employee) at a minimum of $40,000 a year to the district. Senior teachers, who make over $60,000 a year in salary, actually cost the district $100,000 a year. Teachers with less seniority, on the lay off lists, cost the district somewhat less. Generally, teachers can only take six or seven years seniority with them if they move to another, better paying district. Senior teachers will stay put, rather than start anew but sacrificing all but six or seven years of seniority.
    Again, my figures are a few years old. I asked this person during a contentious negotiating process between the district and the DTA a couple of years ago. And then, upon hearing that Davis’ pay scale for teachers started at ten thousand below other area districts, and capped out ten thousand below other area districts, I asked why don’t teachers just leave the district. Wouldn’t a steady loss of good teachers force the district to re evaluate the pay scale and benefits package?

  77. Robin

    wdf —

    I think the point is to find ways to increase revenue and decrease expenses so that all of the teachers who received pink slips (notice of POTENTIAL lay off) do not actually have to be laid off.

  78. Robin

    wdf —

    I think the point is to find ways to increase revenue and decrease expenses so that all of the teachers who received pink slips (notice of POTENTIAL lay off) do not actually have to be laid off.

  79. Robin

    wdf —

    I think the point is to find ways to increase revenue and decrease expenses so that all of the teachers who received pink slips (notice of POTENTIAL lay off) do not actually have to be laid off.

  80. Robin

    wdf —

    I think the point is to find ways to increase revenue and decrease expenses so that all of the teachers who received pink slips (notice of POTENTIAL lay off) do not actually have to be laid off.

  81. Anon

    I’m a little tired of hearing about “special programs” being cut. The bulk of the cuts are in classroom teachers. Fourteen English teachers in 7-12? That means an end to 20:1 English classes in 9th and 10th grade. Twenty K-6 classroom teachers? That means an end to class size reduction in at least one grade. Six math teachers in 7-12? That means an end to lower class sizes in Algebra. Just listing the teachers isn’t giving us a real picture of what’s going on here. Our kids will be losing the supportive classroom environment in these critical classes that make it possible for them to succeed.

  82. Anon

    I’m a little tired of hearing about “special programs” being cut. The bulk of the cuts are in classroom teachers. Fourteen English teachers in 7-12? That means an end to 20:1 English classes in 9th and 10th grade. Twenty K-6 classroom teachers? That means an end to class size reduction in at least one grade. Six math teachers in 7-12? That means an end to lower class sizes in Algebra. Just listing the teachers isn’t giving us a real picture of what’s going on here. Our kids will be losing the supportive classroom environment in these critical classes that make it possible for them to succeed.

  83. Anon

    I’m a little tired of hearing about “special programs” being cut. The bulk of the cuts are in classroom teachers. Fourteen English teachers in 7-12? That means an end to 20:1 English classes in 9th and 10th grade. Twenty K-6 classroom teachers? That means an end to class size reduction in at least one grade. Six math teachers in 7-12? That means an end to lower class sizes in Algebra. Just listing the teachers isn’t giving us a real picture of what’s going on here. Our kids will be losing the supportive classroom environment in these critical classes that make it possible for them to succeed.

  84. Anon

    I’m a little tired of hearing about “special programs” being cut. The bulk of the cuts are in classroom teachers. Fourteen English teachers in 7-12? That means an end to 20:1 English classes in 9th and 10th grade. Twenty K-6 classroom teachers? That means an end to class size reduction in at least one grade. Six math teachers in 7-12? That means an end to lower class sizes in Algebra. Just listing the teachers isn’t giving us a real picture of what’s going on here. Our kids will be losing the supportive classroom environment in these critical classes that make it possible for them to succeed.

  85. Anonymous

    I sense a great deal of looking back in anger here, but the fact is the district is doing its best under extremely difficult circumstances. As a teacher in this district, one who was pinked slipped, I undertsand the fear and frustration in the voices of those I speak to daily about this, but like it or not, cuts have to be made, and drastic ones at that, in order to keep Yolo County from assuming control of the district. If that happens, watch out! The cuts they will make are more than likely to be even more severe and heartbreaking.
    Everyone loves their pet programs, but the district simply cannot afford them. Further, many of the suggestions being bandied about will not work.
    Valley Oak Charter? It is not going to happen. Sorry, but the district can’t do it given the current finacial situation.
    GATE decentralization? It is the only finacially viable alternative right now to cutting the program outright. And, just to point out to those who have bias against GATE: you have no idea what you are talking about. GATE costs almost nothing to run, comparatively, and is required by laws under special education. Cutting it wil solve nothing.
    Inter-district transfers? Give it a rest, it is NEVER.GOING.TO. HAPPEN. Ordering up more kids will not work. First because the other districts won’t allow it, and also you can’t simply assume they will even want to come here.
    The Davis Foundation? It is a one-year bandaid, and is focused on saving programs like music and librarians, which, although nice to have and beneficial for kids, is NOT a necessity for the academic success of the students. Sorry, but it’s absolutely true.
    Music programs and extra library aides are a wonderful convenience, but they are a strong want masking as a justifiable need.
    The closing of Emerson? The West Side of Davis has resisted growth at every turn, while areas like Mace Ranch has embraced it. As a result, the majority school age poulation now resides on the East Side. Emerson’s population is shrinking year by year. They can no longer sustain a viable junior high school population. Is it unfortunate? Yes! But the district is not responsible for sustaining the West Side’s quality of life, and statements to the contray are not logical, they are emotional.
    And speaking of the emotional based arguments being strwen about…As a teacher, I am embarrassed by the cheap emotional appeals being made by my colleagues, and by their foisting of their problems onto the children, making them proxies in this scramble for dollars. Wearing pink to school is a perfect case in point, as well as the encouragement of DaVinci students to speak before the board. It is not the students place to save an adult’s job. It is even worse because the younger kids have no ability to comprehend the big picture, and they wind up confused, cynical, and devastated when their idealistic theatrics meet with the reality that Da Vinci teachers are eminently replacable, and cuts to their programs must be made, no matter what the emotional cost.
    A parcel tax? This will never fly with this community…My goodness, they just finished voting in an education tax a couple of months ago. What are you going to do, the same thing next year? Again it simply doesn’t solve the problem in any real way.
    My own bias in in the removal of the 20:1 ratio, which, as far as education goes, is the least expensive program to run (the state pays about 2/3rds of it) for the benefit it gives. The removal of this program has the most far reaching consequences for teaching staff, as it extends not just to Language Arts, but also Math. That is why only a few music teachers were let go compared to a quarter of the English teachers at the secondary level. It’s too bad that 20:1 is seen as a superficial convenience, and thus doesn’t have the emotional appeal as “Save the librarians!” or “Save the music!”, but if the district cannot come up with that initial 1/3rd of the cost, 20:1 also has to go. Sad but true.
    For myself, that means I may very likely be unemployed in the fall, and with very few districts hiring, I may be looking for work outside of teaching just to get by. This is unfortunate, but there is no way in h#$@ I am going to make my students suffer over it.
    I do not mean to sound nihilistic, but sometimes what must be must be.

  86. Anonymous

    I sense a great deal of looking back in anger here, but the fact is the district is doing its best under extremely difficult circumstances. As a teacher in this district, one who was pinked slipped, I undertsand the fear and frustration in the voices of those I speak to daily about this, but like it or not, cuts have to be made, and drastic ones at that, in order to keep Yolo County from assuming control of the district. If that happens, watch out! The cuts they will make are more than likely to be even more severe and heartbreaking.
    Everyone loves their pet programs, but the district simply cannot afford them. Further, many of the suggestions being bandied about will not work.
    Valley Oak Charter? It is not going to happen. Sorry, but the district can’t do it given the current finacial situation.
    GATE decentralization? It is the only finacially viable alternative right now to cutting the program outright. And, just to point out to those who have bias against GATE: you have no idea what you are talking about. GATE costs almost nothing to run, comparatively, and is required by laws under special education. Cutting it wil solve nothing.
    Inter-district transfers? Give it a rest, it is NEVER.GOING.TO. HAPPEN. Ordering up more kids will not work. First because the other districts won’t allow it, and also you can’t simply assume they will even want to come here.
    The Davis Foundation? It is a one-year bandaid, and is focused on saving programs like music and librarians, which, although nice to have and beneficial for kids, is NOT a necessity for the academic success of the students. Sorry, but it’s absolutely true.
    Music programs and extra library aides are a wonderful convenience, but they are a strong want masking as a justifiable need.
    The closing of Emerson? The West Side of Davis has resisted growth at every turn, while areas like Mace Ranch has embraced it. As a result, the majority school age poulation now resides on the East Side. Emerson’s population is shrinking year by year. They can no longer sustain a viable junior high school population. Is it unfortunate? Yes! But the district is not responsible for sustaining the West Side’s quality of life, and statements to the contray are not logical, they are emotional.
    And speaking of the emotional based arguments being strwen about…As a teacher, I am embarrassed by the cheap emotional appeals being made by my colleagues, and by their foisting of their problems onto the children, making them proxies in this scramble for dollars. Wearing pink to school is a perfect case in point, as well as the encouragement of DaVinci students to speak before the board. It is not the students place to save an adult’s job. It is even worse because the younger kids have no ability to comprehend the big picture, and they wind up confused, cynical, and devastated when their idealistic theatrics meet with the reality that Da Vinci teachers are eminently replacable, and cuts to their programs must be made, no matter what the emotional cost.
    A parcel tax? This will never fly with this community…My goodness, they just finished voting in an education tax a couple of months ago. What are you going to do, the same thing next year? Again it simply doesn’t solve the problem in any real way.
    My own bias in in the removal of the 20:1 ratio, which, as far as education goes, is the least expensive program to run (the state pays about 2/3rds of it) for the benefit it gives. The removal of this program has the most far reaching consequences for teaching staff, as it extends not just to Language Arts, but also Math. That is why only a few music teachers were let go compared to a quarter of the English teachers at the secondary level. It’s too bad that 20:1 is seen as a superficial convenience, and thus doesn’t have the emotional appeal as “Save the librarians!” or “Save the music!”, but if the district cannot come up with that initial 1/3rd of the cost, 20:1 also has to go. Sad but true.
    For myself, that means I may very likely be unemployed in the fall, and with very few districts hiring, I may be looking for work outside of teaching just to get by. This is unfortunate, but there is no way in h#$@ I am going to make my students suffer over it.
    I do not mean to sound nihilistic, but sometimes what must be must be.

  87. Anonymous

    I sense a great deal of looking back in anger here, but the fact is the district is doing its best under extremely difficult circumstances. As a teacher in this district, one who was pinked slipped, I undertsand the fear and frustration in the voices of those I speak to daily about this, but like it or not, cuts have to be made, and drastic ones at that, in order to keep Yolo County from assuming control of the district. If that happens, watch out! The cuts they will make are more than likely to be even more severe and heartbreaking.
    Everyone loves their pet programs, but the district simply cannot afford them. Further, many of the suggestions being bandied about will not work.
    Valley Oak Charter? It is not going to happen. Sorry, but the district can’t do it given the current finacial situation.
    GATE decentralization? It is the only finacially viable alternative right now to cutting the program outright. And, just to point out to those who have bias against GATE: you have no idea what you are talking about. GATE costs almost nothing to run, comparatively, and is required by laws under special education. Cutting it wil solve nothing.
    Inter-district transfers? Give it a rest, it is NEVER.GOING.TO. HAPPEN. Ordering up more kids will not work. First because the other districts won’t allow it, and also you can’t simply assume they will even want to come here.
    The Davis Foundation? It is a one-year bandaid, and is focused on saving programs like music and librarians, which, although nice to have and beneficial for kids, is NOT a necessity for the academic success of the students. Sorry, but it’s absolutely true.
    Music programs and extra library aides are a wonderful convenience, but they are a strong want masking as a justifiable need.
    The closing of Emerson? The West Side of Davis has resisted growth at every turn, while areas like Mace Ranch has embraced it. As a result, the majority school age poulation now resides on the East Side. Emerson’s population is shrinking year by year. They can no longer sustain a viable junior high school population. Is it unfortunate? Yes! But the district is not responsible for sustaining the West Side’s quality of life, and statements to the contray are not logical, they are emotional.
    And speaking of the emotional based arguments being strwen about…As a teacher, I am embarrassed by the cheap emotional appeals being made by my colleagues, and by their foisting of their problems onto the children, making them proxies in this scramble for dollars. Wearing pink to school is a perfect case in point, as well as the encouragement of DaVinci students to speak before the board. It is not the students place to save an adult’s job. It is even worse because the younger kids have no ability to comprehend the big picture, and they wind up confused, cynical, and devastated when their idealistic theatrics meet with the reality that Da Vinci teachers are eminently replacable, and cuts to their programs must be made, no matter what the emotional cost.
    A parcel tax? This will never fly with this community…My goodness, they just finished voting in an education tax a couple of months ago. What are you going to do, the same thing next year? Again it simply doesn’t solve the problem in any real way.
    My own bias in in the removal of the 20:1 ratio, which, as far as education goes, is the least expensive program to run (the state pays about 2/3rds of it) for the benefit it gives. The removal of this program has the most far reaching consequences for teaching staff, as it extends not just to Language Arts, but also Math. That is why only a few music teachers were let go compared to a quarter of the English teachers at the secondary level. It’s too bad that 20:1 is seen as a superficial convenience, and thus doesn’t have the emotional appeal as “Save the librarians!” or “Save the music!”, but if the district cannot come up with that initial 1/3rd of the cost, 20:1 also has to go. Sad but true.
    For myself, that means I may very likely be unemployed in the fall, and with very few districts hiring, I may be looking for work outside of teaching just to get by. This is unfortunate, but there is no way in h#$@ I am going to make my students suffer over it.
    I do not mean to sound nihilistic, but sometimes what must be must be.

  88. Anonymous

    I sense a great deal of looking back in anger here, but the fact is the district is doing its best under extremely difficult circumstances. As a teacher in this district, one who was pinked slipped, I undertsand the fear and frustration in the voices of those I speak to daily about this, but like it or not, cuts have to be made, and drastic ones at that, in order to keep Yolo County from assuming control of the district. If that happens, watch out! The cuts they will make are more than likely to be even more severe and heartbreaking.
    Everyone loves their pet programs, but the district simply cannot afford them. Further, many of the suggestions being bandied about will not work.
    Valley Oak Charter? It is not going to happen. Sorry, but the district can’t do it given the current finacial situation.
    GATE decentralization? It is the only finacially viable alternative right now to cutting the program outright. And, just to point out to those who have bias against GATE: you have no idea what you are talking about. GATE costs almost nothing to run, comparatively, and is required by laws under special education. Cutting it wil solve nothing.
    Inter-district transfers? Give it a rest, it is NEVER.GOING.TO. HAPPEN. Ordering up more kids will not work. First because the other districts won’t allow it, and also you can’t simply assume they will even want to come here.
    The Davis Foundation? It is a one-year bandaid, and is focused on saving programs like music and librarians, which, although nice to have and beneficial for kids, is NOT a necessity for the academic success of the students. Sorry, but it’s absolutely true.
    Music programs and extra library aides are a wonderful convenience, but they are a strong want masking as a justifiable need.
    The closing of Emerson? The West Side of Davis has resisted growth at every turn, while areas like Mace Ranch has embraced it. As a result, the majority school age poulation now resides on the East Side. Emerson’s population is shrinking year by year. They can no longer sustain a viable junior high school population. Is it unfortunate? Yes! But the district is not responsible for sustaining the West Side’s quality of life, and statements to the contray are not logical, they are emotional.
    And speaking of the emotional based arguments being strwen about…As a teacher, I am embarrassed by the cheap emotional appeals being made by my colleagues, and by their foisting of their problems onto the children, making them proxies in this scramble for dollars. Wearing pink to school is a perfect case in point, as well as the encouragement of DaVinci students to speak before the board. It is not the students place to save an adult’s job. It is even worse because the younger kids have no ability to comprehend the big picture, and they wind up confused, cynical, and devastated when their idealistic theatrics meet with the reality that Da Vinci teachers are eminently replacable, and cuts to their programs must be made, no matter what the emotional cost.
    A parcel tax? This will never fly with this community…My goodness, they just finished voting in an education tax a couple of months ago. What are you going to do, the same thing next year? Again it simply doesn’t solve the problem in any real way.
    My own bias in in the removal of the 20:1 ratio, which, as far as education goes, is the least expensive program to run (the state pays about 2/3rds of it) for the benefit it gives. The removal of this program has the most far reaching consequences for teaching staff, as it extends not just to Language Arts, but also Math. That is why only a few music teachers were let go compared to a quarter of the English teachers at the secondary level. It’s too bad that 20:1 is seen as a superficial convenience, and thus doesn’t have the emotional appeal as “Save the librarians!” or “Save the music!”, but if the district cannot come up with that initial 1/3rd of the cost, 20:1 also has to go. Sad but true.
    For myself, that means I may very likely be unemployed in the fall, and with very few districts hiring, I may be looking for work outside of teaching just to get by. This is unfortunate, but there is no way in h#$@ I am going to make my students suffer over it.
    I do not mean to sound nihilistic, but sometimes what must be must be.

  89. incredibly dissapointed but still hopeful

    It is hard for me to comment on much of what has been posted here because the facts are scarce. I simply want my kids to be able to go to very good public schools for their education, and I thought that was possible in Davis, but maybe not. Perhaps private school will be the only way for kids in Davis to get a quality education.

    Regardless, I think we all must conclude, that this often touted “second most educated” city in the US has done a remarkably poor job of managing its public schools in the last few years. Citizens, parents and past school boards share in this inexcusable result. Lets hope that we can turn this around quickly.

  90. incredibly dissapointed but st

    It is hard for me to comment on much of what has been posted here because the facts are scarce. I simply want my kids to be able to go to very good public schools for their education, and I thought that was possible in Davis, but maybe not. Perhaps private school will be the only way for kids in Davis to get a quality education.

    Regardless, I think we all must conclude, that this often touted “second most educated” city in the US has done a remarkably poor job of managing its public schools in the last few years. Citizens, parents and past school boards share in this inexcusable result. Lets hope that we can turn this around quickly.

  91. incredibly dissapointed but st

    It is hard for me to comment on much of what has been posted here because the facts are scarce. I simply want my kids to be able to go to very good public schools for their education, and I thought that was possible in Davis, but maybe not. Perhaps private school will be the only way for kids in Davis to get a quality education.

    Regardless, I think we all must conclude, that this often touted “second most educated” city in the US has done a remarkably poor job of managing its public schools in the last few years. Citizens, parents and past school boards share in this inexcusable result. Lets hope that we can turn this around quickly.

  92. incredibly dissapointed but st

    It is hard for me to comment on much of what has been posted here because the facts are scarce. I simply want my kids to be able to go to very good public schools for their education, and I thought that was possible in Davis, but maybe not. Perhaps private school will be the only way for kids in Davis to get a quality education.

    Regardless, I think we all must conclude, that this often touted “second most educated” city in the US has done a remarkably poor job of managing its public schools in the last few years. Citizens, parents and past school boards share in this inexcusable result. Lets hope that we can turn this around quickly.

  93. Black Bart

    Why do so many people just assume that interdistrict transfers are out of the question when it hasn’t even been tried? I have asked two extrustees who don’t usually agree with each other and they both essentially said it is a no brainer. I know something about school systems having spent the last 20 years working in them and like Don Shor I don’t see what’s the problem. Anonymous pink slipped teacher you seem so resigned so panglossian. I am sorry about your situation but disagree that there are not other solutions.

  94. Black Bart

    Why do so many people just assume that interdistrict transfers are out of the question when it hasn’t even been tried? I have asked two extrustees who don’t usually agree with each other and they both essentially said it is a no brainer. I know something about school systems having spent the last 20 years working in them and like Don Shor I don’t see what’s the problem. Anonymous pink slipped teacher you seem so resigned so panglossian. I am sorry about your situation but disagree that there are not other solutions.

  95. Black Bart

    Why do so many people just assume that interdistrict transfers are out of the question when it hasn’t even been tried? I have asked two extrustees who don’t usually agree with each other and they both essentially said it is a no brainer. I know something about school systems having spent the last 20 years working in them and like Don Shor I don’t see what’s the problem. Anonymous pink slipped teacher you seem so resigned so panglossian. I am sorry about your situation but disagree that there are not other solutions.

  96. Black Bart

    Why do so many people just assume that interdistrict transfers are out of the question when it hasn’t even been tried? I have asked two extrustees who don’t usually agree with each other and they both essentially said it is a no brainer. I know something about school systems having spent the last 20 years working in them and like Don Shor I don’t see what’s the problem. Anonymous pink slipped teacher you seem so resigned so panglossian. I am sorry about your situation but disagree that there are not other solutions.

  97. Ive Had It

    “I sense a great deal of looking back in anger here, but the fact is the district is doing its best under extremely difficult circumstances. As a teacher in this district, one who was pinked slipped, I undertsand the fear and frustration in the voices of those I speak to daily about this, but like it or not, cuts have to be made, and drastic ones at that, in order to keep Yolo County from assuming control of the district.”

    Who are you – an apologist for the current School Board? The fact of the matter is the schools are being built based on new developments, not on what current students need. A new housing development is built along with accompanying school, when there is not enough money to fund this new school. So to rectify the situation after the fact, an old school is closed to ensure the brand new school is now fully funded. Valley Oak was closed to fund King High School, that had its funding pulled by both Karamatsu & Marguerite Montgomery Elementary Schools. Elementary schools that never should have been built according to a 1996 task force study.

    What an atrocious way to fund our schools. Build too many, then close some, depending on which ones might squeak the least. Then as it turns out, closing schools and reconfiguring has extra significant costs of its own. The entire mess is fiscal planning at its worst. Furthermore, John Q. Public was promised if they voted for the Measure Q parcel tax, all sorts of programs would be saved, and new ones implemented. John Q. Public was lied to, period. And you want to excuse the School Boards, past and present? Not me. I want to hold them accountable – just not sure how. Maybe a recall would be good.

    All of this makes charter schools that much more attractive, no matter how hard it is to get them off the ground. If parents want to truly fight for their schools and programs, they need to put their efforts towards going charter. Until they do, nothing is going to change, and the School Boards will continue to make horrible decisions for the wrong reasons.

  98. Ive Had It

    “I sense a great deal of looking back in anger here, but the fact is the district is doing its best under extremely difficult circumstances. As a teacher in this district, one who was pinked slipped, I undertsand the fear and frustration in the voices of those I speak to daily about this, but like it or not, cuts have to be made, and drastic ones at that, in order to keep Yolo County from assuming control of the district.”

    Who are you – an apologist for the current School Board? The fact of the matter is the schools are being built based on new developments, not on what current students need. A new housing development is built along with accompanying school, when there is not enough money to fund this new school. So to rectify the situation after the fact, an old school is closed to ensure the brand new school is now fully funded. Valley Oak was closed to fund King High School, that had its funding pulled by both Karamatsu & Marguerite Montgomery Elementary Schools. Elementary schools that never should have been built according to a 1996 task force study.

    What an atrocious way to fund our schools. Build too many, then close some, depending on which ones might squeak the least. Then as it turns out, closing schools and reconfiguring has extra significant costs of its own. The entire mess is fiscal planning at its worst. Furthermore, John Q. Public was promised if they voted for the Measure Q parcel tax, all sorts of programs would be saved, and new ones implemented. John Q. Public was lied to, period. And you want to excuse the School Boards, past and present? Not me. I want to hold them accountable – just not sure how. Maybe a recall would be good.

    All of this makes charter schools that much more attractive, no matter how hard it is to get them off the ground. If parents want to truly fight for their schools and programs, they need to put their efforts towards going charter. Until they do, nothing is going to change, and the School Boards will continue to make horrible decisions for the wrong reasons.

  99. Ive Had It

    “I sense a great deal of looking back in anger here, but the fact is the district is doing its best under extremely difficult circumstances. As a teacher in this district, one who was pinked slipped, I undertsand the fear and frustration in the voices of those I speak to daily about this, but like it or not, cuts have to be made, and drastic ones at that, in order to keep Yolo County from assuming control of the district.”

    Who are you – an apologist for the current School Board? The fact of the matter is the schools are being built based on new developments, not on what current students need. A new housing development is built along with accompanying school, when there is not enough money to fund this new school. So to rectify the situation after the fact, an old school is closed to ensure the brand new school is now fully funded. Valley Oak was closed to fund King High School, that had its funding pulled by both Karamatsu & Marguerite Montgomery Elementary Schools. Elementary schools that never should have been built according to a 1996 task force study.

    What an atrocious way to fund our schools. Build too many, then close some, depending on which ones might squeak the least. Then as it turns out, closing schools and reconfiguring has extra significant costs of its own. The entire mess is fiscal planning at its worst. Furthermore, John Q. Public was promised if they voted for the Measure Q parcel tax, all sorts of programs would be saved, and new ones implemented. John Q. Public was lied to, period. And you want to excuse the School Boards, past and present? Not me. I want to hold them accountable – just not sure how. Maybe a recall would be good.

    All of this makes charter schools that much more attractive, no matter how hard it is to get them off the ground. If parents want to truly fight for their schools and programs, they need to put their efforts towards going charter. Until they do, nothing is going to change, and the School Boards will continue to make horrible decisions for the wrong reasons.

  100. Ive Had It

    “I sense a great deal of looking back in anger here, but the fact is the district is doing its best under extremely difficult circumstances. As a teacher in this district, one who was pinked slipped, I undertsand the fear and frustration in the voices of those I speak to daily about this, but like it or not, cuts have to be made, and drastic ones at that, in order to keep Yolo County from assuming control of the district.”

    Who are you – an apologist for the current School Board? The fact of the matter is the schools are being built based on new developments, not on what current students need. A new housing development is built along with accompanying school, when there is not enough money to fund this new school. So to rectify the situation after the fact, an old school is closed to ensure the brand new school is now fully funded. Valley Oak was closed to fund King High School, that had its funding pulled by both Karamatsu & Marguerite Montgomery Elementary Schools. Elementary schools that never should have been built according to a 1996 task force study.

    What an atrocious way to fund our schools. Build too many, then close some, depending on which ones might squeak the least. Then as it turns out, closing schools and reconfiguring has extra significant costs of its own. The entire mess is fiscal planning at its worst. Furthermore, John Q. Public was promised if they voted for the Measure Q parcel tax, all sorts of programs would be saved, and new ones implemented. John Q. Public was lied to, period. And you want to excuse the School Boards, past and present? Not me. I want to hold them accountable – just not sure how. Maybe a recall would be good.

    All of this makes charter schools that much more attractive, no matter how hard it is to get them off the ground. If parents want to truly fight for their schools and programs, they need to put their efforts towards going charter. Until they do, nothing is going to change, and the School Boards will continue to make horrible decisions for the wrong reasons.

  101. music parent

    response to Anon 9:07

    I didn’t know anyone was talking about cutting the GATE program. Why do you suggest that?

    Many other districts don’t have a DSF. I don’t see the point in being dissmissive of their efforts. They are also focused on saving English teachers, foreign language teachers, science teachers, math teachers among others. I haven’t seen anything in their language to indicate that they are focused on music and librarians over others.

    Music falls into the category of the arts, and the arts are defined by NCLB as a core subject. Arts classes are a also a college prep requirement at DHS.

    For some students, music is the only thing that gets them excited to go to school. And while they’re going to school to attend their music class, they are also attending math, English, and all the other classes that they are supposed to be attending. For others, it might be athletics. It all cuts down on truancy and dropouts.

    W/o programs like that, school for some has the feel of a lockdown environment.

    Music is a relatively cheap program to staff. If you have 60 students, one music teacher maybe enough for them all. It costs you the salaries of 3 teachers if you are trying to keep class sizes of 20, or 2 teachers if you go for a more standard size of 30 per class.

    Your comments about Emerson and W Davis population and politics seem off to me for one who has lived in that part of town for about 10 years.

    The Da Vinci school definitely has value as an alternative way of teaching. Have you attended a presentation day for student projects over there? I think you’d be impressed. I wish I could feel as optimistic as you that those teachers are replaceable. I don’t see how just any teacher walks in and teaches in that style.

    I too, am a teacher, and I think it would take me a serious couple of years to adjust.

    If you feel down about the public schools in Davis, if really checked out many neighboring districts, you would see that Davis really has it pretty good.

  102. music parent

    response to Anon 9:07

    I didn’t know anyone was talking about cutting the GATE program. Why do you suggest that?

    Many other districts don’t have a DSF. I don’t see the point in being dissmissive of their efforts. They are also focused on saving English teachers, foreign language teachers, science teachers, math teachers among others. I haven’t seen anything in their language to indicate that they are focused on music and librarians over others.

    Music falls into the category of the arts, and the arts are defined by NCLB as a core subject. Arts classes are a also a college prep requirement at DHS.

    For some students, music is the only thing that gets them excited to go to school. And while they’re going to school to attend their music class, they are also attending math, English, and all the other classes that they are supposed to be attending. For others, it might be athletics. It all cuts down on truancy and dropouts.

    W/o programs like that, school for some has the feel of a lockdown environment.

    Music is a relatively cheap program to staff. If you have 60 students, one music teacher maybe enough for them all. It costs you the salaries of 3 teachers if you are trying to keep class sizes of 20, or 2 teachers if you go for a more standard size of 30 per class.

    Your comments about Emerson and W Davis population and politics seem off to me for one who has lived in that part of town for about 10 years.

    The Da Vinci school definitely has value as an alternative way of teaching. Have you attended a presentation day for student projects over there? I think you’d be impressed. I wish I could feel as optimistic as you that those teachers are replaceable. I don’t see how just any teacher walks in and teaches in that style.

    I too, am a teacher, and I think it would take me a serious couple of years to adjust.

    If you feel down about the public schools in Davis, if really checked out many neighboring districts, you would see that Davis really has it pretty good.

  103. music parent

    response to Anon 9:07

    I didn’t know anyone was talking about cutting the GATE program. Why do you suggest that?

    Many other districts don’t have a DSF. I don’t see the point in being dissmissive of their efforts. They are also focused on saving English teachers, foreign language teachers, science teachers, math teachers among others. I haven’t seen anything in their language to indicate that they are focused on music and librarians over others.

    Music falls into the category of the arts, and the arts are defined by NCLB as a core subject. Arts classes are a also a college prep requirement at DHS.

    For some students, music is the only thing that gets them excited to go to school. And while they’re going to school to attend their music class, they are also attending math, English, and all the other classes that they are supposed to be attending. For others, it might be athletics. It all cuts down on truancy and dropouts.

    W/o programs like that, school for some has the feel of a lockdown environment.

    Music is a relatively cheap program to staff. If you have 60 students, one music teacher maybe enough for them all. It costs you the salaries of 3 teachers if you are trying to keep class sizes of 20, or 2 teachers if you go for a more standard size of 30 per class.

    Your comments about Emerson and W Davis population and politics seem off to me for one who has lived in that part of town for about 10 years.

    The Da Vinci school definitely has value as an alternative way of teaching. Have you attended a presentation day for student projects over there? I think you’d be impressed. I wish I could feel as optimistic as you that those teachers are replaceable. I don’t see how just any teacher walks in and teaches in that style.

    I too, am a teacher, and I think it would take me a serious couple of years to adjust.

    If you feel down about the public schools in Davis, if really checked out many neighboring districts, you would see that Davis really has it pretty good.

  104. music parent

    response to Anon 9:07

    I didn’t know anyone was talking about cutting the GATE program. Why do you suggest that?

    Many other districts don’t have a DSF. I don’t see the point in being dissmissive of their efforts. They are also focused on saving English teachers, foreign language teachers, science teachers, math teachers among others. I haven’t seen anything in their language to indicate that they are focused on music and librarians over others.

    Music falls into the category of the arts, and the arts are defined by NCLB as a core subject. Arts classes are a also a college prep requirement at DHS.

    For some students, music is the only thing that gets them excited to go to school. And while they’re going to school to attend their music class, they are also attending math, English, and all the other classes that they are supposed to be attending. For others, it might be athletics. It all cuts down on truancy and dropouts.

    W/o programs like that, school for some has the feel of a lockdown environment.

    Music is a relatively cheap program to staff. If you have 60 students, one music teacher maybe enough for them all. It costs you the salaries of 3 teachers if you are trying to keep class sizes of 20, or 2 teachers if you go for a more standard size of 30 per class.

    Your comments about Emerson and W Davis population and politics seem off to me for one who has lived in that part of town for about 10 years.

    The Da Vinci school definitely has value as an alternative way of teaching. Have you attended a presentation day for student projects over there? I think you’d be impressed. I wish I could feel as optimistic as you that those teachers are replaceable. I don’t see how just any teacher walks in and teaches in that style.

    I too, am a teacher, and I think it would take me a serious couple of years to adjust.

    If you feel down about the public schools in Davis, if really checked out many neighboring districts, you would see that Davis really has it pretty good.

  105. Anonymous

    GATE isn’t being cut because of how funds are allocated to the program and because it’s Gina Daleiden’s pet project. (Someone should see how much GATE eats in terms of the General Fund.)

    GATE was Gina Daleiden’s hidden agenda when she ran for the board, and it’s the underlying reason why she dislikes Marty West so much. GATE is Gina’s dirty little secret.

  106. Anonymous

    GATE isn’t being cut because of how funds are allocated to the program and because it’s Gina Daleiden’s pet project. (Someone should see how much GATE eats in terms of the General Fund.)

    GATE was Gina Daleiden’s hidden agenda when she ran for the board, and it’s the underlying reason why she dislikes Marty West so much. GATE is Gina’s dirty little secret.

  107. Anonymous

    GATE isn’t being cut because of how funds are allocated to the program and because it’s Gina Daleiden’s pet project. (Someone should see how much GATE eats in terms of the General Fund.)

    GATE was Gina Daleiden’s hidden agenda when she ran for the board, and it’s the underlying reason why she dislikes Marty West so much. GATE is Gina’s dirty little secret.

  108. Anonymous

    GATE isn’t being cut because of how funds are allocated to the program and because it’s Gina Daleiden’s pet project. (Someone should see how much GATE eats in terms of the General Fund.)

    GATE was Gina Daleiden’s hidden agenda when she ran for the board, and it’s the underlying reason why she dislikes Marty West so much. GATE is Gina’s dirty little secret.

  109. Doug Paul Davis

    I have two choices when an anonymous poster posts false information attacking an individual. I can either delete or respond.

    First, GATE is not Gina’s pet project. If it is, then she is one of the best actresses I have seen, because I have had extensive conversations with her and I never once recall her mentioning GATE. If anything, she was much more concerned with foreign language programs than with GATE.

    To my knowledge, the board has not really even examined GATE during her tenure other than the closure of Valley Oak which drew the ire of many hardcore GATE supporters.

    Second, I don’t believe she hates Marty West. Again, I interviewed her for over an hour in advance of the Tahir Ahad series, and I don’t recall Marty’s name coming up.

    Again, I do not know where you get this information, but in my view, it is completely false.

  110. Doug Paul Davis

    I have two choices when an anonymous poster posts false information attacking an individual. I can either delete or respond.

    First, GATE is not Gina’s pet project. If it is, then she is one of the best actresses I have seen, because I have had extensive conversations with her and I never once recall her mentioning GATE. If anything, she was much more concerned with foreign language programs than with GATE.

    To my knowledge, the board has not really even examined GATE during her tenure other than the closure of Valley Oak which drew the ire of many hardcore GATE supporters.

    Second, I don’t believe she hates Marty West. Again, I interviewed her for over an hour in advance of the Tahir Ahad series, and I don’t recall Marty’s name coming up.

    Again, I do not know where you get this information, but in my view, it is completely false.

  111. Doug Paul Davis

    I have two choices when an anonymous poster posts false information attacking an individual. I can either delete or respond.

    First, GATE is not Gina’s pet project. If it is, then she is one of the best actresses I have seen, because I have had extensive conversations with her and I never once recall her mentioning GATE. If anything, she was much more concerned with foreign language programs than with GATE.

    To my knowledge, the board has not really even examined GATE during her tenure other than the closure of Valley Oak which drew the ire of many hardcore GATE supporters.

    Second, I don’t believe she hates Marty West. Again, I interviewed her for over an hour in advance of the Tahir Ahad series, and I don’t recall Marty’s name coming up.

    Again, I do not know where you get this information, but in my view, it is completely false.

  112. Doug Paul Davis

    I have two choices when an anonymous poster posts false information attacking an individual. I can either delete or respond.

    First, GATE is not Gina’s pet project. If it is, then she is one of the best actresses I have seen, because I have had extensive conversations with her and I never once recall her mentioning GATE. If anything, she was much more concerned with foreign language programs than with GATE.

    To my knowledge, the board has not really even examined GATE during her tenure other than the closure of Valley Oak which drew the ire of many hardcore GATE supporters.

    Second, I don’t believe she hates Marty West. Again, I interviewed her for over an hour in advance of the Tahir Ahad series, and I don’t recall Marty’s name coming up.

    Again, I do not know where you get this information, but in my view, it is completely false.

  113. wdf

    “GATE isn’t being cut because of how funds are allocated to the program and because it’s Gina Daleiden’s pet project. (Someone should see how much GATE eats in terms of the General Fund.)

    GATE was Gina Daleiden’s hidden agenda when she ran for the board, and it’s the underlying reason why she dislikes Marty West so much. GATE is Gina’s dirty little secret.”

    I, too, have chatted at length w/ Gina, and think this comment is just weird and bears no relation to reality. If there’s some substantive evidence to share, please out w/ it. Otherwise it just strikes me as trying to be provocative and that’s all.

  114. wdf

    “GATE isn’t being cut because of how funds are allocated to the program and because it’s Gina Daleiden’s pet project. (Someone should see how much GATE eats in terms of the General Fund.)

    GATE was Gina Daleiden’s hidden agenda when she ran for the board, and it’s the underlying reason why she dislikes Marty West so much. GATE is Gina’s dirty little secret.”

    I, too, have chatted at length w/ Gina, and think this comment is just weird and bears no relation to reality. If there’s some substantive evidence to share, please out w/ it. Otherwise it just strikes me as trying to be provocative and that’s all.

  115. wdf

    “GATE isn’t being cut because of how funds are allocated to the program and because it’s Gina Daleiden’s pet project. (Someone should see how much GATE eats in terms of the General Fund.)

    GATE was Gina Daleiden’s hidden agenda when she ran for the board, and it’s the underlying reason why she dislikes Marty West so much. GATE is Gina’s dirty little secret.”

    I, too, have chatted at length w/ Gina, and think this comment is just weird and bears no relation to reality. If there’s some substantive evidence to share, please out w/ it. Otherwise it just strikes me as trying to be provocative and that’s all.

  116. wdf

    “GATE isn’t being cut because of how funds are allocated to the program and because it’s Gina Daleiden’s pet project. (Someone should see how much GATE eats in terms of the General Fund.)

    GATE was Gina Daleiden’s hidden agenda when she ran for the board, and it’s the underlying reason why she dislikes Marty West so much. GATE is Gina’s dirty little secret.”

    I, too, have chatted at length w/ Gina, and think this comment is just weird and bears no relation to reality. If there’s some substantive evidence to share, please out w/ it. Otherwise it just strikes me as trying to be provocative and that’s all.

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