Schools Across the Region Still Face Budget Problems

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We learned a week and a half ago that the Davis Schools had adverted a catastrophe in terms of cutbacks of over a hundred teachers, and draconian cuts to programs and even the closure of schools.

The Davis Joint Unified School Board had achieved that based on the strong work that the Davis’ School Foundation had done in raising over $1.7 million in order to buy back teachers. In addition, the May revise to the Governor’s budget was far less harsh to education funding.

Nevertheless, there was a big article in Monday’s Sacramento Bee that schools have still come up short in the Governor’s latest budget.

“Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s May budget proposal gives more money to schools than he suggested in January, and meets the minimum guarantee schools are owed under state law. And his latest proposal increases school spending next year by $200 million over this year – but it’s an amount education advocates say is paltry compared with their needs.”

For example, the latest proposal does not take into account inflation–things like the rising cost of gasoline, health care, and teacher raises. As a result schools across the region are having to make cuts.

Reading the Sacramento Bee article, you see some of the same things happening across the region as happened in Davis. Programs are cut. Parents and students protest the cutting of programs. Teachers are put on the block to be cut. Classes are cut back on in an effort not to lay off as many teachers.

For instance Elk Grove:

Elk Grove Unified took another tack. Originally, the district proposed laying off kindergarten and high school teachers and making classes bigger. But after a firestorm of opposition from parents of kindergartners, it is keeping small classes for its youngest students and increasing class size only for high schoolers. The district will lay off 50 teachers at its high schools, for a savings of $1.6 million.

Elk Grove Unified is also getting rid of all teaching coaches, to cut another $1.9 million from its budget. The 28 coaches work with teachers on their classroom techniques. Associate Superintendent Richard Odegaard said the extra training they provide is one reason the district’s students are meeting No Child Left Behind’s test score targets.

“Getting rid of the coaches – that’s like eating your seed corn,” he said. “They’re part of the reason we’ve had success.”

Meanwhile Natomas has been more innovative. They have trimmed their budget without laying off any teachers. First they postponed opening their new middle school, saving $1.2 million.

But the more interesting thing they are doing is improving the food they offer in hopes that more kids will buy lunch at school, thus reducing the amount of money needed by the district to keep the cafeteria afloat.

Natomas is also trying to save money on school lunches by improving the food it offers at its high schools. The hope is that with tastier choices, more kids will buy lunch and offset the money the district now spends to keep cafeterias afloat. The district is looking at opening Mexican or Italian food stations at Natomas High.

“More students will simply buy lunch,” said Superintendent Steve Farrar. “We’re hoping (they) will not bring lunch from home.”

Tough times for all, but as we see Davis is not unique in this regard.

Cuts and fundraising work in the short term. Districts like Davis might be able to raise taxes to continue to provide high level of services, but the state really needs to look more closely at means by which they can divorce funding from the ebbs and flows of the economy. And they need to find a way to allow districts more easily to raise local revenues.

—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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112 thoughts on “Schools Across the Region Still Face Budget Problems”

  1. wdf

    Do you know that the national average annual spending per prisoner is in excess of $20K? Here in Davis we spend about $8,700 per student annually, just slightly under state average.

    I guess that suggests where the political priorities are in this state.

  2. wdf

    Do you know that the national average annual spending per prisoner is in excess of $20K? Here in Davis we spend about $8,700 per student annually, just slightly under state average.

    I guess that suggests where the political priorities are in this state.

  3. wdf

    Do you know that the national average annual spending per prisoner is in excess of $20K? Here in Davis we spend about $8,700 per student annually, just slightly under state average.

    I guess that suggests where the political priorities are in this state.

  4. wdf

    Do you know that the national average annual spending per prisoner is in excess of $20K? Here in Davis we spend about $8,700 per student annually, just slightly under state average.

    I guess that suggests where the political priorities are in this state.

  5. Mike

    wdf raises a valid point- that we spend so much more on prisoners than we do on students.

    Does it just come down to union approaches”

    On one hand we have the all-powerful prison guard union who have focused their political capital on increasing their numbers and revenue per guard. The plowed their gains back into gifts and lobbying for politicians to gain more power. They now fight any initiative that would reduce our number of prisoners, legalize many victimless crimes etc.

    The teacher’s union, on the other hand appear to spend much of their efforts on protecting the marginal teacher and heavily protecting seniority- much to the detriment of the student. In Davis, some layoffs might have been well warranted, but the ones who needed to go are well-protected by the union, exposing the youngest, and often the best new teachers to firing first.

    Add to this the police and fire unions and you can quickly see the problem- the organized unions have the ability to vote themselves bread and circuses in California. And how can anyone criticize a teacher, guard, fireman or policeman? They represent the vast majority of the budget, and they are essentially untouchable.

    How about at least recognizing that unions are the key problem as the first step in fixing what is wrong with this state?

  6. Mike

    wdf raises a valid point- that we spend so much more on prisoners than we do on students.

    Does it just come down to union approaches”

    On one hand we have the all-powerful prison guard union who have focused their political capital on increasing their numbers and revenue per guard. The plowed their gains back into gifts and lobbying for politicians to gain more power. They now fight any initiative that would reduce our number of prisoners, legalize many victimless crimes etc.

    The teacher’s union, on the other hand appear to spend much of their efforts on protecting the marginal teacher and heavily protecting seniority- much to the detriment of the student. In Davis, some layoffs might have been well warranted, but the ones who needed to go are well-protected by the union, exposing the youngest, and often the best new teachers to firing first.

    Add to this the police and fire unions and you can quickly see the problem- the organized unions have the ability to vote themselves bread and circuses in California. And how can anyone criticize a teacher, guard, fireman or policeman? They represent the vast majority of the budget, and they are essentially untouchable.

    How about at least recognizing that unions are the key problem as the first step in fixing what is wrong with this state?

  7. Mike

    wdf raises a valid point- that we spend so much more on prisoners than we do on students.

    Does it just come down to union approaches”

    On one hand we have the all-powerful prison guard union who have focused their political capital on increasing their numbers and revenue per guard. The plowed their gains back into gifts and lobbying for politicians to gain more power. They now fight any initiative that would reduce our number of prisoners, legalize many victimless crimes etc.

    The teacher’s union, on the other hand appear to spend much of their efforts on protecting the marginal teacher and heavily protecting seniority- much to the detriment of the student. In Davis, some layoffs might have been well warranted, but the ones who needed to go are well-protected by the union, exposing the youngest, and often the best new teachers to firing first.

    Add to this the police and fire unions and you can quickly see the problem- the organized unions have the ability to vote themselves bread and circuses in California. And how can anyone criticize a teacher, guard, fireman or policeman? They represent the vast majority of the budget, and they are essentially untouchable.

    How about at least recognizing that unions are the key problem as the first step in fixing what is wrong with this state?

  8. Mike

    wdf raises a valid point- that we spend so much more on prisoners than we do on students.

    Does it just come down to union approaches”

    On one hand we have the all-powerful prison guard union who have focused their political capital on increasing their numbers and revenue per guard. The plowed their gains back into gifts and lobbying for politicians to gain more power. They now fight any initiative that would reduce our number of prisoners, legalize many victimless crimes etc.

    The teacher’s union, on the other hand appear to spend much of their efforts on protecting the marginal teacher and heavily protecting seniority- much to the detriment of the student. In Davis, some layoffs might have been well warranted, but the ones who needed to go are well-protected by the union, exposing the youngest, and often the best new teachers to firing first.

    Add to this the police and fire unions and you can quickly see the problem- the organized unions have the ability to vote themselves bread and circuses in California. And how can anyone criticize a teacher, guard, fireman or policeman? They represent the vast majority of the budget, and they are essentially untouchable.

    How about at least recognizing that unions are the key problem as the first step in fixing what is wrong with this state?

  9. Recognize Privilege...

    “The piece implies that DJUSD is a wealthy district. It may be more affluent than many but as I watched it, I was thinking that I sure didn’t feel as wealthy as the story implied.”

    That’s right, it’s *way* more affluent than most. People in many other communities don’t have *anything* extra, much less the option of considering giving a dollar a day to their schools. The minority of people in Davis who also don’t have this option had their school taken away. I am glad those in Davis who can give did, to help these schools, but keep in your mind that we all ultimately suffer when schools anywhere don’t get what they need. It might be easy to forget that in a largely privileged community like Davis, but we should use this privilege whenever we can to help others.

  10. Recognize Privilege...

    “The piece implies that DJUSD is a wealthy district. It may be more affluent than many but as I watched it, I was thinking that I sure didn’t feel as wealthy as the story implied.”

    That’s right, it’s *way* more affluent than most. People in many other communities don’t have *anything* extra, much less the option of considering giving a dollar a day to their schools. The minority of people in Davis who also don’t have this option had their school taken away. I am glad those in Davis who can give did, to help these schools, but keep in your mind that we all ultimately suffer when schools anywhere don’t get what they need. It might be easy to forget that in a largely privileged community like Davis, but we should use this privilege whenever we can to help others.

  11. Recognize Privilege...

    “The piece implies that DJUSD is a wealthy district. It may be more affluent than many but as I watched it, I was thinking that I sure didn’t feel as wealthy as the story implied.”

    That’s right, it’s *way* more affluent than most. People in many other communities don’t have *anything* extra, much less the option of considering giving a dollar a day to their schools. The minority of people in Davis who also don’t have this option had their school taken away. I am glad those in Davis who can give did, to help these schools, but keep in your mind that we all ultimately suffer when schools anywhere don’t get what they need. It might be easy to forget that in a largely privileged community like Davis, but we should use this privilege whenever we can to help others.

  12. Recognize Privilege...

    “The piece implies that DJUSD is a wealthy district. It may be more affluent than many but as I watched it, I was thinking that I sure didn’t feel as wealthy as the story implied.”

    That’s right, it’s *way* more affluent than most. People in many other communities don’t have *anything* extra, much less the option of considering giving a dollar a day to their schools. The minority of people in Davis who also don’t have this option had their school taken away. I am glad those in Davis who can give did, to help these schools, but keep in your mind that we all ultimately suffer when schools anywhere don’t get what they need. It might be easy to forget that in a largely privileged community like Davis, but we should use this privilege whenever we can to help others.

  13. Ill Say It Again

    Sorry, but I don’t see the prison guard analogy. Prisoners require more funding because they have to be highly monitored 24/7. Comparing funding for students with funding for prisoners is like comparing apples and oranges. Public safety should always be a top priority. Look what happened during Hurricane Katrina when prisoners were allowed to roam free. Think about it. You really, really don’t want to go there.

    School districts always claim they need more money. Every agency will always say they need more money. Our school district is going to come at us with another request for a repeat parcel tax on top of the one we already paid for (and was not used for what was promised). Throwing more money at the problem is not the answer. We need to get at the root cause of the alleged “underfunding” of our schools.

    First of all, Woodland managed to weather the storm without any teacher layoffs, nor school closures. Why is that? We need to find out. Secondly, notice some of the cuts that were made in other school districts. It is quite illustrative of the problem.

    * Natomis opted to delay opening a middle school. Was the middle school really needed in the face of alleged “declining enrollment”? Or was the new middle school something promised by developers – developers that had no idea if funding would be available for operating expenses once the school was built? Developers cannot be allowed to promise schools for which there is inadequate funding to operate.

    * School lunches will be improved in another school district, in the hopes of attracting buyers. So in other words, up until now, school lunches have not been particularly edible? Good nutrition is a basic necessity of life, and can determine how well a student performs in school. What a novel idea – provide decent lunches! Nothing like stating the obvious! For crying out loud, why was this issue not addressed long ago?

    * Another school district is doing away with “teaching coaches”. What in heaven’s name were the teachers doing in college when obtaining their teaching credentials? There shouldn’t be a need to “teach teachers” – they were supposed to have already gotten their education BEFORE they were hired. If this is not the case, then we need to demand more of our teaching colleges – who clearly are not getting the job done.

    * No, Davis is not unique. It suffers from the same sort of nonsense as other school districts. Developers promise schools we cannot afford/ enrollment numbers do not support; schools are not using common sense in their expenditures; corruption has been allowed to permeate our school districts without any checks and balances.

    * Teachers unions have been singularly ineffective in bargaining for a fair wage and benefits. If teachers are having to shell out a $1000 per month for health insurance in Davis, so that most opt out of the plan to obtain private health insurance, there is something seriously wrong with union leaders who are doing the bargaining.

    Bottom line – we need more parental and teacher input into the process. I’ll say it again – let’s begin an oversight commission attached to our School Board. It can critically look at the budget, and the District’s particular situation, and make some reasonable recommendations. Based on recent observations, the current School Board is virtually incapable of making reasoned decisions. About all they seem capable of is wringing their hands in consternation, and suggest things like increasing taxes and closing schools – neither of which is a good solution. If parents can bail the School District out of its fiscal problems, then they are trustworthy enough to make recommendations to the School Board on how best to budget properly.

    Just as an addendum, the selection of this commission must be seen to be fair and above board, not stocked with friends of the School Board and District. It needs to have representatives from parents, teachers, the administration, and City Council. All parties need to be at the table in a group effort. Everyone might be surprised at how effective and creative this Education Commission can be.

  14. Ill Say It Again

    Sorry, but I don’t see the prison guard analogy. Prisoners require more funding because they have to be highly monitored 24/7. Comparing funding for students with funding for prisoners is like comparing apples and oranges. Public safety should always be a top priority. Look what happened during Hurricane Katrina when prisoners were allowed to roam free. Think about it. You really, really don’t want to go there.

    School districts always claim they need more money. Every agency will always say they need more money. Our school district is going to come at us with another request for a repeat parcel tax on top of the one we already paid for (and was not used for what was promised). Throwing more money at the problem is not the answer. We need to get at the root cause of the alleged “underfunding” of our schools.

    First of all, Woodland managed to weather the storm without any teacher layoffs, nor school closures. Why is that? We need to find out. Secondly, notice some of the cuts that were made in other school districts. It is quite illustrative of the problem.

    * Natomis opted to delay opening a middle school. Was the middle school really needed in the face of alleged “declining enrollment”? Or was the new middle school something promised by developers – developers that had no idea if funding would be available for operating expenses once the school was built? Developers cannot be allowed to promise schools for which there is inadequate funding to operate.

    * School lunches will be improved in another school district, in the hopes of attracting buyers. So in other words, up until now, school lunches have not been particularly edible? Good nutrition is a basic necessity of life, and can determine how well a student performs in school. What a novel idea – provide decent lunches! Nothing like stating the obvious! For crying out loud, why was this issue not addressed long ago?

    * Another school district is doing away with “teaching coaches”. What in heaven’s name were the teachers doing in college when obtaining their teaching credentials? There shouldn’t be a need to “teach teachers” – they were supposed to have already gotten their education BEFORE they were hired. If this is not the case, then we need to demand more of our teaching colleges – who clearly are not getting the job done.

    * No, Davis is not unique. It suffers from the same sort of nonsense as other school districts. Developers promise schools we cannot afford/ enrollment numbers do not support; schools are not using common sense in their expenditures; corruption has been allowed to permeate our school districts without any checks and balances.

    * Teachers unions have been singularly ineffective in bargaining for a fair wage and benefits. If teachers are having to shell out a $1000 per month for health insurance in Davis, so that most opt out of the plan to obtain private health insurance, there is something seriously wrong with union leaders who are doing the bargaining.

    Bottom line – we need more parental and teacher input into the process. I’ll say it again – let’s begin an oversight commission attached to our School Board. It can critically look at the budget, and the District’s particular situation, and make some reasonable recommendations. Based on recent observations, the current School Board is virtually incapable of making reasoned decisions. About all they seem capable of is wringing their hands in consternation, and suggest things like increasing taxes and closing schools – neither of which is a good solution. If parents can bail the School District out of its fiscal problems, then they are trustworthy enough to make recommendations to the School Board on how best to budget properly.

    Just as an addendum, the selection of this commission must be seen to be fair and above board, not stocked with friends of the School Board and District. It needs to have representatives from parents, teachers, the administration, and City Council. All parties need to be at the table in a group effort. Everyone might be surprised at how effective and creative this Education Commission can be.

  15. Ill Say It Again

    Sorry, but I don’t see the prison guard analogy. Prisoners require more funding because they have to be highly monitored 24/7. Comparing funding for students with funding for prisoners is like comparing apples and oranges. Public safety should always be a top priority. Look what happened during Hurricane Katrina when prisoners were allowed to roam free. Think about it. You really, really don’t want to go there.

    School districts always claim they need more money. Every agency will always say they need more money. Our school district is going to come at us with another request for a repeat parcel tax on top of the one we already paid for (and was not used for what was promised). Throwing more money at the problem is not the answer. We need to get at the root cause of the alleged “underfunding” of our schools.

    First of all, Woodland managed to weather the storm without any teacher layoffs, nor school closures. Why is that? We need to find out. Secondly, notice some of the cuts that were made in other school districts. It is quite illustrative of the problem.

    * Natomis opted to delay opening a middle school. Was the middle school really needed in the face of alleged “declining enrollment”? Or was the new middle school something promised by developers – developers that had no idea if funding would be available for operating expenses once the school was built? Developers cannot be allowed to promise schools for which there is inadequate funding to operate.

    * School lunches will be improved in another school district, in the hopes of attracting buyers. So in other words, up until now, school lunches have not been particularly edible? Good nutrition is a basic necessity of life, and can determine how well a student performs in school. What a novel idea – provide decent lunches! Nothing like stating the obvious! For crying out loud, why was this issue not addressed long ago?

    * Another school district is doing away with “teaching coaches”. What in heaven’s name were the teachers doing in college when obtaining their teaching credentials? There shouldn’t be a need to “teach teachers” – they were supposed to have already gotten their education BEFORE they were hired. If this is not the case, then we need to demand more of our teaching colleges – who clearly are not getting the job done.

    * No, Davis is not unique. It suffers from the same sort of nonsense as other school districts. Developers promise schools we cannot afford/ enrollment numbers do not support; schools are not using common sense in their expenditures; corruption has been allowed to permeate our school districts without any checks and balances.

    * Teachers unions have been singularly ineffective in bargaining for a fair wage and benefits. If teachers are having to shell out a $1000 per month for health insurance in Davis, so that most opt out of the plan to obtain private health insurance, there is something seriously wrong with union leaders who are doing the bargaining.

    Bottom line – we need more parental and teacher input into the process. I’ll say it again – let’s begin an oversight commission attached to our School Board. It can critically look at the budget, and the District’s particular situation, and make some reasonable recommendations. Based on recent observations, the current School Board is virtually incapable of making reasoned decisions. About all they seem capable of is wringing their hands in consternation, and suggest things like increasing taxes and closing schools – neither of which is a good solution. If parents can bail the School District out of its fiscal problems, then they are trustworthy enough to make recommendations to the School Board on how best to budget properly.

    Just as an addendum, the selection of this commission must be seen to be fair and above board, not stocked with friends of the School Board and District. It needs to have representatives from parents, teachers, the administration, and City Council. All parties need to be at the table in a group effort. Everyone might be surprised at how effective and creative this Education Commission can be.

  16. Ill Say It Again

    Sorry, but I don’t see the prison guard analogy. Prisoners require more funding because they have to be highly monitored 24/7. Comparing funding for students with funding for prisoners is like comparing apples and oranges. Public safety should always be a top priority. Look what happened during Hurricane Katrina when prisoners were allowed to roam free. Think about it. You really, really don’t want to go there.

    School districts always claim they need more money. Every agency will always say they need more money. Our school district is going to come at us with another request for a repeat parcel tax on top of the one we already paid for (and was not used for what was promised). Throwing more money at the problem is not the answer. We need to get at the root cause of the alleged “underfunding” of our schools.

    First of all, Woodland managed to weather the storm without any teacher layoffs, nor school closures. Why is that? We need to find out. Secondly, notice some of the cuts that were made in other school districts. It is quite illustrative of the problem.

    * Natomis opted to delay opening a middle school. Was the middle school really needed in the face of alleged “declining enrollment”? Or was the new middle school something promised by developers – developers that had no idea if funding would be available for operating expenses once the school was built? Developers cannot be allowed to promise schools for which there is inadequate funding to operate.

    * School lunches will be improved in another school district, in the hopes of attracting buyers. So in other words, up until now, school lunches have not been particularly edible? Good nutrition is a basic necessity of life, and can determine how well a student performs in school. What a novel idea – provide decent lunches! Nothing like stating the obvious! For crying out loud, why was this issue not addressed long ago?

    * Another school district is doing away with “teaching coaches”. What in heaven’s name were the teachers doing in college when obtaining their teaching credentials? There shouldn’t be a need to “teach teachers” – they were supposed to have already gotten their education BEFORE they were hired. If this is not the case, then we need to demand more of our teaching colleges – who clearly are not getting the job done.

    * No, Davis is not unique. It suffers from the same sort of nonsense as other school districts. Developers promise schools we cannot afford/ enrollment numbers do not support; schools are not using common sense in their expenditures; corruption has been allowed to permeate our school districts without any checks and balances.

    * Teachers unions have been singularly ineffective in bargaining for a fair wage and benefits. If teachers are having to shell out a $1000 per month for health insurance in Davis, so that most opt out of the plan to obtain private health insurance, there is something seriously wrong with union leaders who are doing the bargaining.

    Bottom line – we need more parental and teacher input into the process. I’ll say it again – let’s begin an oversight commission attached to our School Board. It can critically look at the budget, and the District’s particular situation, and make some reasonable recommendations. Based on recent observations, the current School Board is virtually incapable of making reasoned decisions. About all they seem capable of is wringing their hands in consternation, and suggest things like increasing taxes and closing schools – neither of which is a good solution. If parents can bail the School District out of its fiscal problems, then they are trustworthy enough to make recommendations to the School Board on how best to budget properly.

    Just as an addendum, the selection of this commission must be seen to be fair and above board, not stocked with friends of the School Board and District. It needs to have representatives from parents, teachers, the administration, and City Council. All parties need to be at the table in a group effort. Everyone might be surprised at how effective and creative this Education Commission can be.

  17. Ill Say It Again

    On a side point, I could not believe the School District held a meeting to figure out why there is an achievement gap. Hello? The School District closed the best English as a Second Language program in town, when they decided to close Valley Oak. Valley Oak provided exemplary service to our minority children, yet was shut down with little ceremony by the School Board to keep Karamatsu and Marguerite Montgomery afloat – elementary schools in newer neighborhoods with far fewer ethnic minorities.

    Certain ethnic minorities in this town get short shrift by elitists on the School Board, which is pretty obvious to everyone. Everyone, that is, except the School District, who apparently can’t figure it out! Egads!!!

  18. Ill Say It Again

    On a side point, I could not believe the School District held a meeting to figure out why there is an achievement gap. Hello? The School District closed the best English as a Second Language program in town, when they decided to close Valley Oak. Valley Oak provided exemplary service to our minority children, yet was shut down with little ceremony by the School Board to keep Karamatsu and Marguerite Montgomery afloat – elementary schools in newer neighborhoods with far fewer ethnic minorities.

    Certain ethnic minorities in this town get short shrift by elitists on the School Board, which is pretty obvious to everyone. Everyone, that is, except the School District, who apparently can’t figure it out! Egads!!!

  19. Ill Say It Again

    On a side point, I could not believe the School District held a meeting to figure out why there is an achievement gap. Hello? The School District closed the best English as a Second Language program in town, when they decided to close Valley Oak. Valley Oak provided exemplary service to our minority children, yet was shut down with little ceremony by the School Board to keep Karamatsu and Marguerite Montgomery afloat – elementary schools in newer neighborhoods with far fewer ethnic minorities.

    Certain ethnic minorities in this town get short shrift by elitists on the School Board, which is pretty obvious to everyone. Everyone, that is, except the School District, who apparently can’t figure it out! Egads!!!

  20. Ill Say It Again

    On a side point, I could not believe the School District held a meeting to figure out why there is an achievement gap. Hello? The School District closed the best English as a Second Language program in town, when they decided to close Valley Oak. Valley Oak provided exemplary service to our minority children, yet was shut down with little ceremony by the School Board to keep Karamatsu and Marguerite Montgomery afloat – elementary schools in newer neighborhoods with far fewer ethnic minorities.

    Certain ethnic minorities in this town get short shrift by elitists on the School Board, which is pretty obvious to everyone. Everyone, that is, except the School District, who apparently can’t figure it out! Egads!!!

  21. music parent

    “Recognize Privilege… said…

    That’s right, it’s *way* more affluent than most. People in many other communities don’t have *anything* extra, much less the option of….”

    I take your point. We are indeed fortunate to be able to help our own schools in Davis the way we did. And clearly other communities don’t have the money, organizing power, or the community values that Davis has.

    The biggest problem is a statewide lack of adequate and secure funding for public education on a year-to-year basis.

    I just comment that when I hear mention of affluent districts, I usually think of Piedmont, Palo Alto, Lafayette, Woodside, and several Marin Co. districts, for starters, all of whom are well above state average in ADA spending (Davis is below average).

  22. music parent

    “Recognize Privilege… said…

    That’s right, it’s *way* more affluent than most. People in many other communities don’t have *anything* extra, much less the option of….”

    I take your point. We are indeed fortunate to be able to help our own schools in Davis the way we did. And clearly other communities don’t have the money, organizing power, or the community values that Davis has.

    The biggest problem is a statewide lack of adequate and secure funding for public education on a year-to-year basis.

    I just comment that when I hear mention of affluent districts, I usually think of Piedmont, Palo Alto, Lafayette, Woodside, and several Marin Co. districts, for starters, all of whom are well above state average in ADA spending (Davis is below average).

  23. music parent

    “Recognize Privilege… said…

    That’s right, it’s *way* more affluent than most. People in many other communities don’t have *anything* extra, much less the option of….”

    I take your point. We are indeed fortunate to be able to help our own schools in Davis the way we did. And clearly other communities don’t have the money, organizing power, or the community values that Davis has.

    The biggest problem is a statewide lack of adequate and secure funding for public education on a year-to-year basis.

    I just comment that when I hear mention of affluent districts, I usually think of Piedmont, Palo Alto, Lafayette, Woodside, and several Marin Co. districts, for starters, all of whom are well above state average in ADA spending (Davis is below average).

  24. music parent

    “Recognize Privilege… said…

    That’s right, it’s *way* more affluent than most. People in many other communities don’t have *anything* extra, much less the option of….”

    I take your point. We are indeed fortunate to be able to help our own schools in Davis the way we did. And clearly other communities don’t have the money, organizing power, or the community values that Davis has.

    The biggest problem is a statewide lack of adequate and secure funding for public education on a year-to-year basis.

    I just comment that when I hear mention of affluent districts, I usually think of Piedmont, Palo Alto, Lafayette, Woodside, and several Marin Co. districts, for starters, all of whom are well above state average in ADA spending (Davis is below average).

  25. Jonah K.

    “I could not believe the School District held a meeting to figure out why there is an achievement gap. Hello?”

    The achievement gap is not unique to Davis. There is the same achievement gap everywhere, when you compare various ethnicities. The achievement gap is not the fault of the schools. It’s the fault of the parents and of certain cultures.

  26. Jonah K.

    “I could not believe the School District held a meeting to figure out why there is an achievement gap. Hello?”

    The achievement gap is not unique to Davis. There is the same achievement gap everywhere, when you compare various ethnicities. The achievement gap is not the fault of the schools. It’s the fault of the parents and of certain cultures.

  27. Jonah K.

    “I could not believe the School District held a meeting to figure out why there is an achievement gap. Hello?”

    The achievement gap is not unique to Davis. There is the same achievement gap everywhere, when you compare various ethnicities. The achievement gap is not the fault of the schools. It’s the fault of the parents and of certain cultures.

  28. Jonah K.

    “I could not believe the School District held a meeting to figure out why there is an achievement gap. Hello?”

    The achievement gap is not unique to Davis. There is the same achievement gap everywhere, when you compare various ethnicities. The achievement gap is not the fault of the schools. It’s the fault of the parents and of certain cultures.

  29. former teacher

    “The achievement gap is not unique to Davis. There is the same achievement gap everywhere, when you compare various ethnicities. The achievement gap is not the fault of the schools. It’s the fault of the parents and of certain cultures.”

    Well, closing Valley Oak sure didn’t help! And frankly, as a former teacher in a ethnically diverse school district, I can tell you what the problem is. The schools need to stop teaching “new Math” and other sorts of nonsense and go back to DRILL, DRILL, DRILL. It really works!

    I was given the “slower” students, yet they tested higher than many of the brighter students by the end of the year. How did I do it? Here’s how:
    1. I fed students information in small doses.
    2. They had ten practice problems to do every day, which continually reviewed previous material.
    3. Students worked problems during class, again and again, so I could offer assistance when needed.
    4. At the end of each class period I had students engage in “mental arithmetic” – a technique that came from my grandmother!
    5. The last part of the period was allowed for homework. Most students were able to finish it before they went home.
    6. I instilled in my students a “can do” attitude. I never looked at previous records of students. When they came to my class, they came with a blank slate.
    7. I assessed the students at the beginning of the year. Many could not even do long division in eighth grade. We started back at square one if necessary, before doing anything else. (My son, who is now a substitute teacher in the process of getting his credentials, says many tenth graders don’t know long division.)

    These are tried and true methods, but are not used in the classroom these days. Instead, teachers are indulging in fatuous group work, complicated math problems designed more for MENSA candidates, using awful books published by UCD professors, and assuming “slow students” can’t learn. It is all stuff and nonsense! Almost any student can learn – and I proved it!

    Did I get accolades from fellow teachers or the administration for my good work and high test scores? NOT ON YOUR LIFE! Good teaching is often not rewarded, but it is its own reward!

  30. former teacher

    “The achievement gap is not unique to Davis. There is the same achievement gap everywhere, when you compare various ethnicities. The achievement gap is not the fault of the schools. It’s the fault of the parents and of certain cultures.”

    Well, closing Valley Oak sure didn’t help! And frankly, as a former teacher in a ethnically diverse school district, I can tell you what the problem is. The schools need to stop teaching “new Math” and other sorts of nonsense and go back to DRILL, DRILL, DRILL. It really works!

    I was given the “slower” students, yet they tested higher than many of the brighter students by the end of the year. How did I do it? Here’s how:
    1. I fed students information in small doses.
    2. They had ten practice problems to do every day, which continually reviewed previous material.
    3. Students worked problems during class, again and again, so I could offer assistance when needed.
    4. At the end of each class period I had students engage in “mental arithmetic” – a technique that came from my grandmother!
    5. The last part of the period was allowed for homework. Most students were able to finish it before they went home.
    6. I instilled in my students a “can do” attitude. I never looked at previous records of students. When they came to my class, they came with a blank slate.
    7. I assessed the students at the beginning of the year. Many could not even do long division in eighth grade. We started back at square one if necessary, before doing anything else. (My son, who is now a substitute teacher in the process of getting his credentials, says many tenth graders don’t know long division.)

    These are tried and true methods, but are not used in the classroom these days. Instead, teachers are indulging in fatuous group work, complicated math problems designed more for MENSA candidates, using awful books published by UCD professors, and assuming “slow students” can’t learn. It is all stuff and nonsense! Almost any student can learn – and I proved it!

    Did I get accolades from fellow teachers or the administration for my good work and high test scores? NOT ON YOUR LIFE! Good teaching is often not rewarded, but it is its own reward!

  31. former teacher

    “The achievement gap is not unique to Davis. There is the same achievement gap everywhere, when you compare various ethnicities. The achievement gap is not the fault of the schools. It’s the fault of the parents and of certain cultures.”

    Well, closing Valley Oak sure didn’t help! And frankly, as a former teacher in a ethnically diverse school district, I can tell you what the problem is. The schools need to stop teaching “new Math” and other sorts of nonsense and go back to DRILL, DRILL, DRILL. It really works!

    I was given the “slower” students, yet they tested higher than many of the brighter students by the end of the year. How did I do it? Here’s how:
    1. I fed students information in small doses.
    2. They had ten practice problems to do every day, which continually reviewed previous material.
    3. Students worked problems during class, again and again, so I could offer assistance when needed.
    4. At the end of each class period I had students engage in “mental arithmetic” – a technique that came from my grandmother!
    5. The last part of the period was allowed for homework. Most students were able to finish it before they went home.
    6. I instilled in my students a “can do” attitude. I never looked at previous records of students. When they came to my class, they came with a blank slate.
    7. I assessed the students at the beginning of the year. Many could not even do long division in eighth grade. We started back at square one if necessary, before doing anything else. (My son, who is now a substitute teacher in the process of getting his credentials, says many tenth graders don’t know long division.)

    These are tried and true methods, but are not used in the classroom these days. Instead, teachers are indulging in fatuous group work, complicated math problems designed more for MENSA candidates, using awful books published by UCD professors, and assuming “slow students” can’t learn. It is all stuff and nonsense! Almost any student can learn – and I proved it!

    Did I get accolades from fellow teachers or the administration for my good work and high test scores? NOT ON YOUR LIFE! Good teaching is often not rewarded, but it is its own reward!

  32. former teacher

    “The achievement gap is not unique to Davis. There is the same achievement gap everywhere, when you compare various ethnicities. The achievement gap is not the fault of the schools. It’s the fault of the parents and of certain cultures.”

    Well, closing Valley Oak sure didn’t help! And frankly, as a former teacher in a ethnically diverse school district, I can tell you what the problem is. The schools need to stop teaching “new Math” and other sorts of nonsense and go back to DRILL, DRILL, DRILL. It really works!

    I was given the “slower” students, yet they tested higher than many of the brighter students by the end of the year. How did I do it? Here’s how:
    1. I fed students information in small doses.
    2. They had ten practice problems to do every day, which continually reviewed previous material.
    3. Students worked problems during class, again and again, so I could offer assistance when needed.
    4. At the end of each class period I had students engage in “mental arithmetic” – a technique that came from my grandmother!
    5. The last part of the period was allowed for homework. Most students were able to finish it before they went home.
    6. I instilled in my students a “can do” attitude. I never looked at previous records of students. When they came to my class, they came with a blank slate.
    7. I assessed the students at the beginning of the year. Many could not even do long division in eighth grade. We started back at square one if necessary, before doing anything else. (My son, who is now a substitute teacher in the process of getting his credentials, says many tenth graders don’t know long division.)

    These are tried and true methods, but are not used in the classroom these days. Instead, teachers are indulging in fatuous group work, complicated math problems designed more for MENSA candidates, using awful books published by UCD professors, and assuming “slow students” can’t learn. It is all stuff and nonsense! Almost any student can learn – and I proved it!

    Did I get accolades from fellow teachers or the administration for my good work and high test scores? NOT ON YOUR LIFE! Good teaching is often not rewarded, but it is its own reward!

  33. wdf

    “I’ll Say It Again said…
    Sorry, but I don’t see the prison guard analogy. Prisoners require more funding because they have to be highly monitored 24/7. Comparing funding…”

    Or another way to look at it is where would you like to take your tax burden?

    Would you rather take it at the front end and fund your schools the way they should be funded?

    Or would you rather take your tax burden at the back end after skimping at the front end?

    It isn’t a hard leap to go from poor education = poverty = crime.

    Your position strongly suggests a preference for the latter.

    I would argue that, not investing enough enough money in K-12 education is indeed the problem.

    Maybe my perspective is limited, but I don’t find hordes of K-12teachers rushing to fill high paying teaching jobs. I certainly wouldn’t, because I couldn’t afford to live in Davis on a DJUSD salary.

    A professorship at UCD is far more lucrative than a teaching position in any K-12 district around here. We value higher education more than we value K-12 education.

    DTA fought for a modest increase for teacher salaries and benefits and took heat for contributing to the budget squeeze.

    In other points, you argue that developers have goaded us into opening schools that we can’t afford (I agree w/ you there), but later on you suggest that it’s wrong to close schools at this time.

    By the way, Montgomery is also a Title I school, just like Valley Oak. It has equivalent percentages of reduced meals, English language learners, and compensatory education. Montgomery does have have slightly lower overall enrollment, however. If you want to criticize the closing of VOE by offering an alternative target, you might gain more sympathy by targeting Korematsu rather than Montgomery.

    Your point about Woodland. Yes, I would love to take a closer look at Woodland, because this argument keeps coming up in this blog. I am aware of numerous instances of Woodland residents sending their kids to Davis schools, but I don’t know of the reverse.

    A teacher friend who works in Woodland says the pay is better than Davis, but on the other hand the atmosphere is more like warehousing the kids. They prefer to send their kids to Davis schools. All anecdotal, I concede, but it doesn’t begin to convince me to buy into your argument that Woodland schools are something we should emulate.

    To me it just seems like Davis parents are more demanding of their school district than are Woodland parents. They demand that every last available dollar be spent to teach their kids. And that’s why Davis is in a more dire situation than other districts.

    Does Davis have teaching coaches?

    Are DJUSD lunches inedible?

    You raise the above points as if they are solutions DJUSD should consider.

    Re: recent Davis parcel taxes. Measure Q doesn’t go into effect until next fall, so I don’t think you refer to misspending Measure Q. If DJUSD has misspent its parcel tax, please elaborate, because this has always been of interest to me. I haven’t seen a convincing case of recent inappropriate spending of parcel tax money, but this is a democracy and I want to know that my tax dollars are being spent where they are supposed to go.

  34. wdf

    “I’ll Say It Again said…
    Sorry, but I don’t see the prison guard analogy. Prisoners require more funding because they have to be highly monitored 24/7. Comparing funding…”

    Or another way to look at it is where would you like to take your tax burden?

    Would you rather take it at the front end and fund your schools the way they should be funded?

    Or would you rather take your tax burden at the back end after skimping at the front end?

    It isn’t a hard leap to go from poor education = poverty = crime.

    Your position strongly suggests a preference for the latter.

    I would argue that, not investing enough enough money in K-12 education is indeed the problem.

    Maybe my perspective is limited, but I don’t find hordes of K-12teachers rushing to fill high paying teaching jobs. I certainly wouldn’t, because I couldn’t afford to live in Davis on a DJUSD salary.

    A professorship at UCD is far more lucrative than a teaching position in any K-12 district around here. We value higher education more than we value K-12 education.

    DTA fought for a modest increase for teacher salaries and benefits and took heat for contributing to the budget squeeze.

    In other points, you argue that developers have goaded us into opening schools that we can’t afford (I agree w/ you there), but later on you suggest that it’s wrong to close schools at this time.

    By the way, Montgomery is also a Title I school, just like Valley Oak. It has equivalent percentages of reduced meals, English language learners, and compensatory education. Montgomery does have have slightly lower overall enrollment, however. If you want to criticize the closing of VOE by offering an alternative target, you might gain more sympathy by targeting Korematsu rather than Montgomery.

    Your point about Woodland. Yes, I would love to take a closer look at Woodland, because this argument keeps coming up in this blog. I am aware of numerous instances of Woodland residents sending their kids to Davis schools, but I don’t know of the reverse.

    A teacher friend who works in Woodland says the pay is better than Davis, but on the other hand the atmosphere is more like warehousing the kids. They prefer to send their kids to Davis schools. All anecdotal, I concede, but it doesn’t begin to convince me to buy into your argument that Woodland schools are something we should emulate.

    To me it just seems like Davis parents are more demanding of their school district than are Woodland parents. They demand that every last available dollar be spent to teach their kids. And that’s why Davis is in a more dire situation than other districts.

    Does Davis have teaching coaches?

    Are DJUSD lunches inedible?

    You raise the above points as if they are solutions DJUSD should consider.

    Re: recent Davis parcel taxes. Measure Q doesn’t go into effect until next fall, so I don’t think you refer to misspending Measure Q. If DJUSD has misspent its parcel tax, please elaborate, because this has always been of interest to me. I haven’t seen a convincing case of recent inappropriate spending of parcel tax money, but this is a democracy and I want to know that my tax dollars are being spent where they are supposed to go.

  35. wdf

    “I’ll Say It Again said…
    Sorry, but I don’t see the prison guard analogy. Prisoners require more funding because they have to be highly monitored 24/7. Comparing funding…”

    Or another way to look at it is where would you like to take your tax burden?

    Would you rather take it at the front end and fund your schools the way they should be funded?

    Or would you rather take your tax burden at the back end after skimping at the front end?

    It isn’t a hard leap to go from poor education = poverty = crime.

    Your position strongly suggests a preference for the latter.

    I would argue that, not investing enough enough money in K-12 education is indeed the problem.

    Maybe my perspective is limited, but I don’t find hordes of K-12teachers rushing to fill high paying teaching jobs. I certainly wouldn’t, because I couldn’t afford to live in Davis on a DJUSD salary.

    A professorship at UCD is far more lucrative than a teaching position in any K-12 district around here. We value higher education more than we value K-12 education.

    DTA fought for a modest increase for teacher salaries and benefits and took heat for contributing to the budget squeeze.

    In other points, you argue that developers have goaded us into opening schools that we can’t afford (I agree w/ you there), but later on you suggest that it’s wrong to close schools at this time.

    By the way, Montgomery is also a Title I school, just like Valley Oak. It has equivalent percentages of reduced meals, English language learners, and compensatory education. Montgomery does have have slightly lower overall enrollment, however. If you want to criticize the closing of VOE by offering an alternative target, you might gain more sympathy by targeting Korematsu rather than Montgomery.

    Your point about Woodland. Yes, I would love to take a closer look at Woodland, because this argument keeps coming up in this blog. I am aware of numerous instances of Woodland residents sending their kids to Davis schools, but I don’t know of the reverse.

    A teacher friend who works in Woodland says the pay is better than Davis, but on the other hand the atmosphere is more like warehousing the kids. They prefer to send their kids to Davis schools. All anecdotal, I concede, but it doesn’t begin to convince me to buy into your argument that Woodland schools are something we should emulate.

    To me it just seems like Davis parents are more demanding of their school district than are Woodland parents. They demand that every last available dollar be spent to teach their kids. And that’s why Davis is in a more dire situation than other districts.

    Does Davis have teaching coaches?

    Are DJUSD lunches inedible?

    You raise the above points as if they are solutions DJUSD should consider.

    Re: recent Davis parcel taxes. Measure Q doesn’t go into effect until next fall, so I don’t think you refer to misspending Measure Q. If DJUSD has misspent its parcel tax, please elaborate, because this has always been of interest to me. I haven’t seen a convincing case of recent inappropriate spending of parcel tax money, but this is a democracy and I want to know that my tax dollars are being spent where they are supposed to go.

  36. wdf

    “I’ll Say It Again said…
    Sorry, but I don’t see the prison guard analogy. Prisoners require more funding because they have to be highly monitored 24/7. Comparing funding…”

    Or another way to look at it is where would you like to take your tax burden?

    Would you rather take it at the front end and fund your schools the way they should be funded?

    Or would you rather take your tax burden at the back end after skimping at the front end?

    It isn’t a hard leap to go from poor education = poverty = crime.

    Your position strongly suggests a preference for the latter.

    I would argue that, not investing enough enough money in K-12 education is indeed the problem.

    Maybe my perspective is limited, but I don’t find hordes of K-12teachers rushing to fill high paying teaching jobs. I certainly wouldn’t, because I couldn’t afford to live in Davis on a DJUSD salary.

    A professorship at UCD is far more lucrative than a teaching position in any K-12 district around here. We value higher education more than we value K-12 education.

    DTA fought for a modest increase for teacher salaries and benefits and took heat for contributing to the budget squeeze.

    In other points, you argue that developers have goaded us into opening schools that we can’t afford (I agree w/ you there), but later on you suggest that it’s wrong to close schools at this time.

    By the way, Montgomery is also a Title I school, just like Valley Oak. It has equivalent percentages of reduced meals, English language learners, and compensatory education. Montgomery does have have slightly lower overall enrollment, however. If you want to criticize the closing of VOE by offering an alternative target, you might gain more sympathy by targeting Korematsu rather than Montgomery.

    Your point about Woodland. Yes, I would love to take a closer look at Woodland, because this argument keeps coming up in this blog. I am aware of numerous instances of Woodland residents sending their kids to Davis schools, but I don’t know of the reverse.

    A teacher friend who works in Woodland says the pay is better than Davis, but on the other hand the atmosphere is more like warehousing the kids. They prefer to send their kids to Davis schools. All anecdotal, I concede, but it doesn’t begin to convince me to buy into your argument that Woodland schools are something we should emulate.

    To me it just seems like Davis parents are more demanding of their school district than are Woodland parents. They demand that every last available dollar be spent to teach their kids. And that’s why Davis is in a more dire situation than other districts.

    Does Davis have teaching coaches?

    Are DJUSD lunches inedible?

    You raise the above points as if they are solutions DJUSD should consider.

    Re: recent Davis parcel taxes. Measure Q doesn’t go into effect until next fall, so I don’t think you refer to misspending Measure Q. If DJUSD has misspent its parcel tax, please elaborate, because this has always been of interest to me. I haven’t seen a convincing case of recent inappropriate spending of parcel tax money, but this is a democracy and I want to know that my tax dollars are being spent where they are supposed to go.

  37. concerned voter

    Mike – What you fail to understand is that you are blaming unions for the problem.

    You obviously have this illusion that unions are run by some union bosses puffing on cigars, out of some far away place like Chicago.

    The fact is that the unions are run by the employees themselves who get elected to the position in which they serve. Employees run unions.

    Bobby Weist, for example who works for the Fire Fighters in Davis is an employee. He does not live in Davis, but he and Emily Lo run the Fire Fighter’s union.

    Regarding teachers. Tim Paulson is the president of the teacher’s union. He is a teacher and I believe he lives in Davis.

    Both provide very important services, but one stands to bankrupt the city and the other educates our children.

  38. concerned voter

    Mike – What you fail to understand is that you are blaming unions for the problem.

    You obviously have this illusion that unions are run by some union bosses puffing on cigars, out of some far away place like Chicago.

    The fact is that the unions are run by the employees themselves who get elected to the position in which they serve. Employees run unions.

    Bobby Weist, for example who works for the Fire Fighters in Davis is an employee. He does not live in Davis, but he and Emily Lo run the Fire Fighter’s union.

    Regarding teachers. Tim Paulson is the president of the teacher’s union. He is a teacher and I believe he lives in Davis.

    Both provide very important services, but one stands to bankrupt the city and the other educates our children.

  39. concerned voter

    Mike – What you fail to understand is that you are blaming unions for the problem.

    You obviously have this illusion that unions are run by some union bosses puffing on cigars, out of some far away place like Chicago.

    The fact is that the unions are run by the employees themselves who get elected to the position in which they serve. Employees run unions.

    Bobby Weist, for example who works for the Fire Fighters in Davis is an employee. He does not live in Davis, but he and Emily Lo run the Fire Fighter’s union.

    Regarding teachers. Tim Paulson is the president of the teacher’s union. He is a teacher and I believe he lives in Davis.

    Both provide very important services, but one stands to bankrupt the city and the other educates our children.

  40. concerned voter

    Mike – What you fail to understand is that you are blaming unions for the problem.

    You obviously have this illusion that unions are run by some union bosses puffing on cigars, out of some far away place like Chicago.

    The fact is that the unions are run by the employees themselves who get elected to the position in which they serve. Employees run unions.

    Bobby Weist, for example who works for the Fire Fighters in Davis is an employee. He does not live in Davis, but he and Emily Lo run the Fire Fighter’s union.

    Regarding teachers. Tim Paulson is the president of the teacher’s union. He is a teacher and I believe he lives in Davis.

    Both provide very important services, but one stands to bankrupt the city and the other educates our children.

  41. Anonymous

    Expanding further on what WDF stated about $8700 per year per student in California.
    Within the last couple of months a quote in the sacbee siad that there are approx. 376,000 children of ILLEGAL immigrants attending California’s schools. How much is 376,000 x $8700.00?
    Who’s getting the “Short Shrift” here. It sure as hell isn’t the ILLEGAL immigrant. It’s the taxpayers thanks to whom?

  42. Anonymous

    Expanding further on what WDF stated about $8700 per year per student in California.
    Within the last couple of months a quote in the sacbee siad that there are approx. 376,000 children of ILLEGAL immigrants attending California’s schools. How much is 376,000 x $8700.00?
    Who’s getting the “Short Shrift” here. It sure as hell isn’t the ILLEGAL immigrant. It’s the taxpayers thanks to whom?

  43. Anonymous

    Expanding further on what WDF stated about $8700 per year per student in California.
    Within the last couple of months a quote in the sacbee siad that there are approx. 376,000 children of ILLEGAL immigrants attending California’s schools. How much is 376,000 x $8700.00?
    Who’s getting the “Short Shrift” here. It sure as hell isn’t the ILLEGAL immigrant. It’s the taxpayers thanks to whom?

  44. Anonymous

    Expanding further on what WDF stated about $8700 per year per student in California.
    Within the last couple of months a quote in the sacbee siad that there are approx. 376,000 children of ILLEGAL immigrants attending California’s schools. How much is 376,000 x $8700.00?
    Who’s getting the “Short Shrift” here. It sure as hell isn’t the ILLEGAL immigrant. It’s the taxpayers thanks to whom?

  45. wdf

    “Anonymous said…
    Expanding further on what WDF stated about $8700 per year per student in California.
    Within the last couple of months a quote in the sacbee siad that there are approx. 376,000 children of ILLEGAL immigrants attending California’s schools. How much is 376,000 x $8700.00?
    Who’s getting the “Short Shrift” here. It sure as hell isn’t the ILLEGAL immigrant. It’s the taxpayers thanks to whom?”

    Do you think that illegal immigrants don’t pay any taxes?

    Even if they pay rent, they probably pay a parcel/property tax that’s hidden in the rent. Clearly your assumption is that illegals don’t pay their “fair share.”

    Do you think that it’s realistically possible to create an air-tight border against illegal immigrants?

    If it is not feasible to create an airtight border, then is it okay to deny public schools (and other public services) to children because of decisions their parents made?

  46. wdf

    “Anonymous said…
    Expanding further on what WDF stated about $8700 per year per student in California.
    Within the last couple of months a quote in the sacbee siad that there are approx. 376,000 children of ILLEGAL immigrants attending California’s schools. How much is 376,000 x $8700.00?
    Who’s getting the “Short Shrift” here. It sure as hell isn’t the ILLEGAL immigrant. It’s the taxpayers thanks to whom?”

    Do you think that illegal immigrants don’t pay any taxes?

    Even if they pay rent, they probably pay a parcel/property tax that’s hidden in the rent. Clearly your assumption is that illegals don’t pay their “fair share.”

    Do you think that it’s realistically possible to create an air-tight border against illegal immigrants?

    If it is not feasible to create an airtight border, then is it okay to deny public schools (and other public services) to children because of decisions their parents made?

  47. wdf

    “Anonymous said…
    Expanding further on what WDF stated about $8700 per year per student in California.
    Within the last couple of months a quote in the sacbee siad that there are approx. 376,000 children of ILLEGAL immigrants attending California’s schools. How much is 376,000 x $8700.00?
    Who’s getting the “Short Shrift” here. It sure as hell isn’t the ILLEGAL immigrant. It’s the taxpayers thanks to whom?”

    Do you think that illegal immigrants don’t pay any taxes?

    Even if they pay rent, they probably pay a parcel/property tax that’s hidden in the rent. Clearly your assumption is that illegals don’t pay their “fair share.”

    Do you think that it’s realistically possible to create an air-tight border against illegal immigrants?

    If it is not feasible to create an airtight border, then is it okay to deny public schools (and other public services) to children because of decisions their parents made?

  48. wdf

    “Anonymous said…
    Expanding further on what WDF stated about $8700 per year per student in California.
    Within the last couple of months a quote in the sacbee siad that there are approx. 376,000 children of ILLEGAL immigrants attending California’s schools. How much is 376,000 x $8700.00?
    Who’s getting the “Short Shrift” here. It sure as hell isn’t the ILLEGAL immigrant. It’s the taxpayers thanks to whom?”

    Do you think that illegal immigrants don’t pay any taxes?

    Even if they pay rent, they probably pay a parcel/property tax that’s hidden in the rent. Clearly your assumption is that illegals don’t pay their “fair share.”

    Do you think that it’s realistically possible to create an air-tight border against illegal immigrants?

    If it is not feasible to create an airtight border, then is it okay to deny public schools (and other public services) to children because of decisions their parents made?

  49. Mr Chips

    Please don’t say it again. The teaching coach program is designed to help beginning teachers. It is well known that most first year teachers don’t have classroom management skills mastered. It takes a few years of support for most new teachers. You obviously haven’t spent much time in a classroom or you wouldn’t be saying this about teaching colleges.

    Additionally something like 50% of all new teachers leave the classroom in the first few years. The coach system is an attempt to help beginning teachers learn their craft fast enough to not give up.

  50. Mr Chips

    Please don’t say it again. The teaching coach program is designed to help beginning teachers. It is well known that most first year teachers don’t have classroom management skills mastered. It takes a few years of support for most new teachers. You obviously haven’t spent much time in a classroom or you wouldn’t be saying this about teaching colleges.

    Additionally something like 50% of all new teachers leave the classroom in the first few years. The coach system is an attempt to help beginning teachers learn their craft fast enough to not give up.

  51. Mr Chips

    Please don’t say it again. The teaching coach program is designed to help beginning teachers. It is well known that most first year teachers don’t have classroom management skills mastered. It takes a few years of support for most new teachers. You obviously haven’t spent much time in a classroom or you wouldn’t be saying this about teaching colleges.

    Additionally something like 50% of all new teachers leave the classroom in the first few years. The coach system is an attempt to help beginning teachers learn their craft fast enough to not give up.

  52. Mr Chips

    Please don’t say it again. The teaching coach program is designed to help beginning teachers. It is well known that most first year teachers don’t have classroom management skills mastered. It takes a few years of support for most new teachers. You obviously haven’t spent much time in a classroom or you wouldn’t be saying this about teaching colleges.

    Additionally something like 50% of all new teachers leave the classroom in the first few years. The coach system is an attempt to help beginning teachers learn their craft fast enough to not give up.

  53. former teacher

    “Please don’t say it again. The teaching coach program is designed to help beginning teachers.”

    If beginning teachers are not prepared, then the teaching colleges ARE NOT DOING THEIR JOB! I taught eighth grade math and science many years ago, with no student teaching and on an emergency credential. I then obtained my regular teaching credential at night while teaching full time during the day. And my students scored significantly better than the students of the other credentialed teachers – for the reasons I have stated (drill, drill, drill).

    “Or another way to look at it is where would you like to take your tax burden? Would you rather take it at the front end and fund your schools the way they should be funded? Or would you rather take your tax burden at the back end after skimping at the front end? It isn’t a hard leap to go from poor education = poverty = crime.”

    This is not an either/or situation. We cannot afford to skimp on our prison system, nor should we skimp on our educational system either. However, I have no doubt there is a good deal of waste occurring in both. In Davis, we obviously wasted a good deal of money building and operating one too many schools, and the result was the closure of Valley Oak. Yet Valley Oak served at risk youth with the best English Learner program in Davis. Why wasn’t Karamatsu closed instead?

    “DTA fought for a modest increase for teacher salaries and benefits and took heat for contributing to the budget squeeze.”

    Yes, and they also bargained for unacceptably high health insurance benefits. Expecting teachers to pay $1,000 per month for health insurance is ridiculous. That is not good bargaining in my book!

    “The fact is that the unions are run by the employees themselves who get elected to the position in which they serve. Employees run unions.”

    Then the teachers union is not doing a very good job, if the health benefits they bargained for is any example!

    “In other points, you argue that developers have goaded us into opening schools that we can’t afford (I agree w/ you there), but later on you suggest that it’s wrong to close schools at this time.”

    Why should we need to close any more schools, now that Valley Oak has been closed? Enrollment is up in the secondary schools, yet our brilliant School Board/District suggested closing Emerson. It would have resulted in serious overcrowding in the two remaining junior highs and the high schools. Yet no elementary school like Karamatsu was even considered for closure, even though there is supposedly declining enrollment amongst elementary school kids. Something does not add up!

    “A teacher friend who works in Woodland says the pay is better than Davis, but on the other hand the atmosphere is more like warehousing the kids. They prefer to send their kids to Davis schools. All anecdotal, I concede, but it doesn’t begin to convince me to buy into your argument that Woodland schools are something we should emulate.”

    Why not find out why Woodland is managing their fiscal budget better than Davis? No one is suggesting we become just like Woodland. The needs of our students are drastically different – since many Davis students come from parents with advanced degrees.

    However, Woodland must be doing something right, in that they are not going to have to lay off a single teacher. I want to find out how they did it. Wouldn’t you like to know? If not, then you are turning a blind eye to the fiscal mismanagement that has been going on in the Davis schools for years. It has finally hit home – and hard. We ignore it at our peril. Remember, Emerson Junior High is still under serious consideration for closure. It serves an entire third of the town. If Emerson is shut down, the consequences will be quite dire.

    “Does Davis have teaching coaches?Are DJUSD lunches inedible? You raise the above points as if they are solutions DJUSD should consider.”

    You missed my point. These are examples of waste. Why should any school system pay to coach beginning teachers, when classroom training should have been provided by the teaching colleges? We should already be serving our students decent lunches, especially if it will assist them to learn. If serving decent lunches will help fund the cafeterias in our school district, then why have we not thought of this idea long ago?

    No, instead we tried the experiment of vending machines, which ended in disaster. Poor nutrition was the result, so vending machines were removed. We also sell fatty desserts at PTA bake sales. Yet our latest parcel tax was going to be used on a course to “teach students good nutrition” through some program that assists elementary school children to grow 35 lb. cabbages. This sort of wasteful spending is absolutely outrageous!

    “If DJUSD has misspent its parcel tax, please elaborate, because this has always been of interest to me. I haven’t seen a convincing case of recent inappropriate spending of parcel tax money, but this is a democracy and I want to know that my tax dollars are being spent where they are supposed to go.”

    How about the School Board agreeing to pay the outgoing Supt. $240,000 to do absolutely nothing for a year, for starters!? How about money slated to pay for a nutrition program, in which the need was created by the School District itself – because junk food was sold at school in contravention of good sense.?! The recent parcel tax is slated to pay for smaller class size, even though the School District is claiming Valley Oak was closed due to “declining enrollment”. The School District can’t have it both ways – saying we need more money to reduce classe size, then arguing we need more money because classes are growing smaller! Which is it?

    “Do you think that illegal immigrants don’t pay any taxes?”

    You’ve got to be kidding?! Relative to any amount they pay in taxes is far outweighed by the cost of services for them. They are a huge drain on the economy, pure and simple. Dollars are sent south of the Border, while they access expensive education and health services here. Doesn’t mean we don’t need immigrants to pick fruit and other sorts of menial labor (a whole other issue), but to say they contribute to our tax base is a stretch, to say the least!

    “Do you think that it’s realistically possible to create an air-tight border against illegal immigrants?”

    Yes, we can. If we can put a man on the moon, we can close the Border. However, do we want to is the question? Who will pick our fruit, and fill other menial jobs? What we need is some sort of guest worker program. But I don’t see our elected officials willing to implement such an idea.

  54. former teacher

    “Please don’t say it again. The teaching coach program is designed to help beginning teachers.”

    If beginning teachers are not prepared, then the teaching colleges ARE NOT DOING THEIR JOB! I taught eighth grade math and science many years ago, with no student teaching and on an emergency credential. I then obtained my regular teaching credential at night while teaching full time during the day. And my students scored significantly better than the students of the other credentialed teachers – for the reasons I have stated (drill, drill, drill).

    “Or another way to look at it is where would you like to take your tax burden? Would you rather take it at the front end and fund your schools the way they should be funded? Or would you rather take your tax burden at the back end after skimping at the front end? It isn’t a hard leap to go from poor education = poverty = crime.”

    This is not an either/or situation. We cannot afford to skimp on our prison system, nor should we skimp on our educational system either. However, I have no doubt there is a good deal of waste occurring in both. In Davis, we obviously wasted a good deal of money building and operating one too many schools, and the result was the closure of Valley Oak. Yet Valley Oak served at risk youth with the best English Learner program in Davis. Why wasn’t Karamatsu closed instead?

    “DTA fought for a modest increase for teacher salaries and benefits and took heat for contributing to the budget squeeze.”

    Yes, and they also bargained for unacceptably high health insurance benefits. Expecting teachers to pay $1,000 per month for health insurance is ridiculous. That is not good bargaining in my book!

    “The fact is that the unions are run by the employees themselves who get elected to the position in which they serve. Employees run unions.”

    Then the teachers union is not doing a very good job, if the health benefits they bargained for is any example!

    “In other points, you argue that developers have goaded us into opening schools that we can’t afford (I agree w/ you there), but later on you suggest that it’s wrong to close schools at this time.”

    Why should we need to close any more schools, now that Valley Oak has been closed? Enrollment is up in the secondary schools, yet our brilliant School Board/District suggested closing Emerson. It would have resulted in serious overcrowding in the two remaining junior highs and the high schools. Yet no elementary school like Karamatsu was even considered for closure, even though there is supposedly declining enrollment amongst elementary school kids. Something does not add up!

    “A teacher friend who works in Woodland says the pay is better than Davis, but on the other hand the atmosphere is more like warehousing the kids. They prefer to send their kids to Davis schools. All anecdotal, I concede, but it doesn’t begin to convince me to buy into your argument that Woodland schools are something we should emulate.”

    Why not find out why Woodland is managing their fiscal budget better than Davis? No one is suggesting we become just like Woodland. The needs of our students are drastically different – since many Davis students come from parents with advanced degrees.

    However, Woodland must be doing something right, in that they are not going to have to lay off a single teacher. I want to find out how they did it. Wouldn’t you like to know? If not, then you are turning a blind eye to the fiscal mismanagement that has been going on in the Davis schools for years. It has finally hit home – and hard. We ignore it at our peril. Remember, Emerson Junior High is still under serious consideration for closure. It serves an entire third of the town. If Emerson is shut down, the consequences will be quite dire.

    “Does Davis have teaching coaches?Are DJUSD lunches inedible? You raise the above points as if they are solutions DJUSD should consider.”

    You missed my point. These are examples of waste. Why should any school system pay to coach beginning teachers, when classroom training should have been provided by the teaching colleges? We should already be serving our students decent lunches, especially if it will assist them to learn. If serving decent lunches will help fund the cafeterias in our school district, then why have we not thought of this idea long ago?

    No, instead we tried the experiment of vending machines, which ended in disaster. Poor nutrition was the result, so vending machines were removed. We also sell fatty desserts at PTA bake sales. Yet our latest parcel tax was going to be used on a course to “teach students good nutrition” through some program that assists elementary school children to grow 35 lb. cabbages. This sort of wasteful spending is absolutely outrageous!

    “If DJUSD has misspent its parcel tax, please elaborate, because this has always been of interest to me. I haven’t seen a convincing case of recent inappropriate spending of parcel tax money, but this is a democracy and I want to know that my tax dollars are being spent where they are supposed to go.”

    How about the School Board agreeing to pay the outgoing Supt. $240,000 to do absolutely nothing for a year, for starters!? How about money slated to pay for a nutrition program, in which the need was created by the School District itself – because junk food was sold at school in contravention of good sense.?! The recent parcel tax is slated to pay for smaller class size, even though the School District is claiming Valley Oak was closed due to “declining enrollment”. The School District can’t have it both ways – saying we need more money to reduce classe size, then arguing we need more money because classes are growing smaller! Which is it?

    “Do you think that illegal immigrants don’t pay any taxes?”

    You’ve got to be kidding?! Relative to any amount they pay in taxes is far outweighed by the cost of services for them. They are a huge drain on the economy, pure and simple. Dollars are sent south of the Border, while they access expensive education and health services here. Doesn’t mean we don’t need immigrants to pick fruit and other sorts of menial labor (a whole other issue), but to say they contribute to our tax base is a stretch, to say the least!

    “Do you think that it’s realistically possible to create an air-tight border against illegal immigrants?”

    Yes, we can. If we can put a man on the moon, we can close the Border. However, do we want to is the question? Who will pick our fruit, and fill other menial jobs? What we need is some sort of guest worker program. But I don’t see our elected officials willing to implement such an idea.

  55. former teacher

    “Please don’t say it again. The teaching coach program is designed to help beginning teachers.”

    If beginning teachers are not prepared, then the teaching colleges ARE NOT DOING THEIR JOB! I taught eighth grade math and science many years ago, with no student teaching and on an emergency credential. I then obtained my regular teaching credential at night while teaching full time during the day. And my students scored significantly better than the students of the other credentialed teachers – for the reasons I have stated (drill, drill, drill).

    “Or another way to look at it is where would you like to take your tax burden? Would you rather take it at the front end and fund your schools the way they should be funded? Or would you rather take your tax burden at the back end after skimping at the front end? It isn’t a hard leap to go from poor education = poverty = crime.”

    This is not an either/or situation. We cannot afford to skimp on our prison system, nor should we skimp on our educational system either. However, I have no doubt there is a good deal of waste occurring in both. In Davis, we obviously wasted a good deal of money building and operating one too many schools, and the result was the closure of Valley Oak. Yet Valley Oak served at risk youth with the best English Learner program in Davis. Why wasn’t Karamatsu closed instead?

    “DTA fought for a modest increase for teacher salaries and benefits and took heat for contributing to the budget squeeze.”

    Yes, and they also bargained for unacceptably high health insurance benefits. Expecting teachers to pay $1,000 per month for health insurance is ridiculous. That is not good bargaining in my book!

    “The fact is that the unions are run by the employees themselves who get elected to the position in which they serve. Employees run unions.”

    Then the teachers union is not doing a very good job, if the health benefits they bargained for is any example!

    “In other points, you argue that developers have goaded us into opening schools that we can’t afford (I agree w/ you there), but later on you suggest that it’s wrong to close schools at this time.”

    Why should we need to close any more schools, now that Valley Oak has been closed? Enrollment is up in the secondary schools, yet our brilliant School Board/District suggested closing Emerson. It would have resulted in serious overcrowding in the two remaining junior highs and the high schools. Yet no elementary school like Karamatsu was even considered for closure, even though there is supposedly declining enrollment amongst elementary school kids. Something does not add up!

    “A teacher friend who works in Woodland says the pay is better than Davis, but on the other hand the atmosphere is more like warehousing the kids. They prefer to send their kids to Davis schools. All anecdotal, I concede, but it doesn’t begin to convince me to buy into your argument that Woodland schools are something we should emulate.”

    Why not find out why Woodland is managing their fiscal budget better than Davis? No one is suggesting we become just like Woodland. The needs of our students are drastically different – since many Davis students come from parents with advanced degrees.

    However, Woodland must be doing something right, in that they are not going to have to lay off a single teacher. I want to find out how they did it. Wouldn’t you like to know? If not, then you are turning a blind eye to the fiscal mismanagement that has been going on in the Davis schools for years. It has finally hit home – and hard. We ignore it at our peril. Remember, Emerson Junior High is still under serious consideration for closure. It serves an entire third of the town. If Emerson is shut down, the consequences will be quite dire.

    “Does Davis have teaching coaches?Are DJUSD lunches inedible? You raise the above points as if they are solutions DJUSD should consider.”

    You missed my point. These are examples of waste. Why should any school system pay to coach beginning teachers, when classroom training should have been provided by the teaching colleges? We should already be serving our students decent lunches, especially if it will assist them to learn. If serving decent lunches will help fund the cafeterias in our school district, then why have we not thought of this idea long ago?

    No, instead we tried the experiment of vending machines, which ended in disaster. Poor nutrition was the result, so vending machines were removed. We also sell fatty desserts at PTA bake sales. Yet our latest parcel tax was going to be used on a course to “teach students good nutrition” through some program that assists elementary school children to grow 35 lb. cabbages. This sort of wasteful spending is absolutely outrageous!

    “If DJUSD has misspent its parcel tax, please elaborate, because this has always been of interest to me. I haven’t seen a convincing case of recent inappropriate spending of parcel tax money, but this is a democracy and I want to know that my tax dollars are being spent where they are supposed to go.”

    How about the School Board agreeing to pay the outgoing Supt. $240,000 to do absolutely nothing for a year, for starters!? How about money slated to pay for a nutrition program, in which the need was created by the School District itself – because junk food was sold at school in contravention of good sense.?! The recent parcel tax is slated to pay for smaller class size, even though the School District is claiming Valley Oak was closed due to “declining enrollment”. The School District can’t have it both ways – saying we need more money to reduce classe size, then arguing we need more money because classes are growing smaller! Which is it?

    “Do you think that illegal immigrants don’t pay any taxes?”

    You’ve got to be kidding?! Relative to any amount they pay in taxes is far outweighed by the cost of services for them. They are a huge drain on the economy, pure and simple. Dollars are sent south of the Border, while they access expensive education and health services here. Doesn’t mean we don’t need immigrants to pick fruit and other sorts of menial labor (a whole other issue), but to say they contribute to our tax base is a stretch, to say the least!

    “Do you think that it’s realistically possible to create an air-tight border against illegal immigrants?”

    Yes, we can. If we can put a man on the moon, we can close the Border. However, do we want to is the question? Who will pick our fruit, and fill other menial jobs? What we need is some sort of guest worker program. But I don’t see our elected officials willing to implement such an idea.

  56. former teacher

    “Please don’t say it again. The teaching coach program is designed to help beginning teachers.”

    If beginning teachers are not prepared, then the teaching colleges ARE NOT DOING THEIR JOB! I taught eighth grade math and science many years ago, with no student teaching and on an emergency credential. I then obtained my regular teaching credential at night while teaching full time during the day. And my students scored significantly better than the students of the other credentialed teachers – for the reasons I have stated (drill, drill, drill).

    “Or another way to look at it is where would you like to take your tax burden? Would you rather take it at the front end and fund your schools the way they should be funded? Or would you rather take your tax burden at the back end after skimping at the front end? It isn’t a hard leap to go from poor education = poverty = crime.”

    This is not an either/or situation. We cannot afford to skimp on our prison system, nor should we skimp on our educational system either. However, I have no doubt there is a good deal of waste occurring in both. In Davis, we obviously wasted a good deal of money building and operating one too many schools, and the result was the closure of Valley Oak. Yet Valley Oak served at risk youth with the best English Learner program in Davis. Why wasn’t Karamatsu closed instead?

    “DTA fought for a modest increase for teacher salaries and benefits and took heat for contributing to the budget squeeze.”

    Yes, and they also bargained for unacceptably high health insurance benefits. Expecting teachers to pay $1,000 per month for health insurance is ridiculous. That is not good bargaining in my book!

    “The fact is that the unions are run by the employees themselves who get elected to the position in which they serve. Employees run unions.”

    Then the teachers union is not doing a very good job, if the health benefits they bargained for is any example!

    “In other points, you argue that developers have goaded us into opening schools that we can’t afford (I agree w/ you there), but later on you suggest that it’s wrong to close schools at this time.”

    Why should we need to close any more schools, now that Valley Oak has been closed? Enrollment is up in the secondary schools, yet our brilliant School Board/District suggested closing Emerson. It would have resulted in serious overcrowding in the two remaining junior highs and the high schools. Yet no elementary school like Karamatsu was even considered for closure, even though there is supposedly declining enrollment amongst elementary school kids. Something does not add up!

    “A teacher friend who works in Woodland says the pay is better than Davis, but on the other hand the atmosphere is more like warehousing the kids. They prefer to send their kids to Davis schools. All anecdotal, I concede, but it doesn’t begin to convince me to buy into your argument that Woodland schools are something we should emulate.”

    Why not find out why Woodland is managing their fiscal budget better than Davis? No one is suggesting we become just like Woodland. The needs of our students are drastically different – since many Davis students come from parents with advanced degrees.

    However, Woodland must be doing something right, in that they are not going to have to lay off a single teacher. I want to find out how they did it. Wouldn’t you like to know? If not, then you are turning a blind eye to the fiscal mismanagement that has been going on in the Davis schools for years. It has finally hit home – and hard. We ignore it at our peril. Remember, Emerson Junior High is still under serious consideration for closure. It serves an entire third of the town. If Emerson is shut down, the consequences will be quite dire.

    “Does Davis have teaching coaches?Are DJUSD lunches inedible? You raise the above points as if they are solutions DJUSD should consider.”

    You missed my point. These are examples of waste. Why should any school system pay to coach beginning teachers, when classroom training should have been provided by the teaching colleges? We should already be serving our students decent lunches, especially if it will assist them to learn. If serving decent lunches will help fund the cafeterias in our school district, then why have we not thought of this idea long ago?

    No, instead we tried the experiment of vending machines, which ended in disaster. Poor nutrition was the result, so vending machines were removed. We also sell fatty desserts at PTA bake sales. Yet our latest parcel tax was going to be used on a course to “teach students good nutrition” through some program that assists elementary school children to grow 35 lb. cabbages. This sort of wasteful spending is absolutely outrageous!

    “If DJUSD has misspent its parcel tax, please elaborate, because this has always been of interest to me. I haven’t seen a convincing case of recent inappropriate spending of parcel tax money, but this is a democracy and I want to know that my tax dollars are being spent where they are supposed to go.”

    How about the School Board agreeing to pay the outgoing Supt. $240,000 to do absolutely nothing for a year, for starters!? How about money slated to pay for a nutrition program, in which the need was created by the School District itself – because junk food was sold at school in contravention of good sense.?! The recent parcel tax is slated to pay for smaller class size, even though the School District is claiming Valley Oak was closed due to “declining enrollment”. The School District can’t have it both ways – saying we need more money to reduce classe size, then arguing we need more money because classes are growing smaller! Which is it?

    “Do you think that illegal immigrants don’t pay any taxes?”

    You’ve got to be kidding?! Relative to any amount they pay in taxes is far outweighed by the cost of services for them. They are a huge drain on the economy, pure and simple. Dollars are sent south of the Border, while they access expensive education and health services here. Doesn’t mean we don’t need immigrants to pick fruit and other sorts of menial labor (a whole other issue), but to say they contribute to our tax base is a stretch, to say the least!

    “Do you think that it’s realistically possible to create an air-tight border against illegal immigrants?”

    Yes, we can. If we can put a man on the moon, we can close the Border. However, do we want to is the question? Who will pick our fruit, and fill other menial jobs? What we need is some sort of guest worker program. But I don’t see our elected officials willing to implement such an idea.

  57. wdf

    former teacher:

    You bring up some good points. I don’t think, in total, they should justify holding up state or local funding for education.

    “This is not an either/or situation. We cannot afford to skimp on our prison system, nor should we skimp on our educational system either. However, I have no doubt there is a good deal of waste occurring in both. In Davis, we obviously wasted a good deal of money building and operating one too many schools, and the result was the closure of Valley Oak. Yet Valley Oak served at risk youth with the best English Learner program in Davis. Why wasn’t Karamatsu closed instead?”

    Murphy and his staff clearly had a role in okaying the building plan for more schools. It is clear that they were also irresponsible in managing the financing of building those new schools. This primarily affected the facilities (not salary expenditures) part of the budget. Indirectly it affected the salary expenditures because we shouldn’t be paying the extra administrative costs to run schools that can’t be supported w/ the enrollment.

    The school board lost confidence in Mr. Murphy and his staff, and the most expedient move was to buy out the rest of his contract and have him out of there asap. This is why we ended up paying for two superintendents.

    This is one narrative that Mr. Greenwald reported almost three months ago. The current school board and staff are fixing the mess left behind.

    Yes, it looks bad to be paying two SI salaries, but it doesn’t impact next year’s budget. Let’s move on.

    “”If DJUSD has misspent its parcel tax, please elaborate, because this has always been of interest to me. I haven’t seen a convincing case of recent inappropriate spending of parcel tax money, but this is a democracy and I want to know that my tax dollars are being spent where they are supposed to go.”

    How about the School Board agreeing to pay the outgoing Supt. $240,000 to do absolutely nothing for a year, for starters!?”

    That came from general funds, not from the parcel tax. There is no issue here that the terms of the parcel tax were violated. No superintendent had his salary paid for by the renewed parcel tax. Perhaps you would prefer to have kept Murphy on through this year? If the school board and district staff endeavor to be more fiscally responsible, it’s probably best that Murphy not be around, given his connection to how we’ve come to this point.

    “How about money slated to pay for a nutrition program, in which the need was created by the School District itself – because junk food was sold at school in contravention of good sense.?!”

    I’m not sure I follow you, here. The renewed parcel tax is supposed to pay for *local* fresh fruits and vegetables. I am not against the idea, generally, but I would rather not have seen that on this parcel tax. That doesn’t kick in until next year.

    I haven’t seen junk food candy machines on secondary campuses for at least a couple of years. I’ve seen bottled water and sports drinks (gatorade) from vending machines.

    “The recent parcel tax is slated to pay for smaller class size, even though the School District is claiming Valley Oak was closed due to “declining enrollment”. The School District can’t have it both ways – saying we need more money to reduce classe size, then arguing we need more money because classes are growing smaller! Which is it?”

    By closing Valley Oak the district no longer has to pay a principal’s salary and all the custodial/support staff for that school. Clearly you are bitter about that action. I was not happy to watch it happen, but it was inevitable that an elementary school would close. This is one of the negative legacies of Murphy’s tenure. Closing a school is an effective way to satisfy another criticism that the public has been clamoring for – cut down on administrative staff. The students are still around and have to be taught. Valley Oak teachers will have the opportunity to take on teaching assignments elsewhere in the district.

    If we reject the next parcel tax, we will most certainly guarantee another school closure.

    Otherwise how else would the district balance the 09-10 budget? If you think your ideas have some merit, then you should advance them with the school board and district staff. They have invited the public to submit ideas. Having watched every board meeting since February, I honestly think the district has come pretty close to exhausting innovative budget cutting ideas for now. It has basically come down to whether you want the teachers or not.

    Regarding illegal immigrants: I don’t think that is a reason to hold up state education funding. Kids (legal residents) are growing up and won’t wait for us to sit around to fix things. Sealing the borders is more squarely a federal responsibility. Coming down hard on enforcing immigration laws probably ends up being a wash in the end. Maybe they take more in government services than they pay for in taxes, but we have a favorable cost of living because they provide cheap labor (low wages, almost zero job benefits).

    Providing sufficient and stable funding for K-12 education now is a way to make future voters more productive and our economy stronger.

  58. wdf

    former teacher:

    You bring up some good points. I don’t think, in total, they should justify holding up state or local funding for education.

    “This is not an either/or situation. We cannot afford to skimp on our prison system, nor should we skimp on our educational system either. However, I have no doubt there is a good deal of waste occurring in both. In Davis, we obviously wasted a good deal of money building and operating one too many schools, and the result was the closure of Valley Oak. Yet Valley Oak served at risk youth with the best English Learner program in Davis. Why wasn’t Karamatsu closed instead?”

    Murphy and his staff clearly had a role in okaying the building plan for more schools. It is clear that they were also irresponsible in managing the financing of building those new schools. This primarily affected the facilities (not salary expenditures) part of the budget. Indirectly it affected the salary expenditures because we shouldn’t be paying the extra administrative costs to run schools that can’t be supported w/ the enrollment.

    The school board lost confidence in Mr. Murphy and his staff, and the most expedient move was to buy out the rest of his contract and have him out of there asap. This is why we ended up paying for two superintendents.

    This is one narrative that Mr. Greenwald reported almost three months ago. The current school board and staff are fixing the mess left behind.

    Yes, it looks bad to be paying two SI salaries, but it doesn’t impact next year’s budget. Let’s move on.

    “”If DJUSD has misspent its parcel tax, please elaborate, because this has always been of interest to me. I haven’t seen a convincing case of recent inappropriate spending of parcel tax money, but this is a democracy and I want to know that my tax dollars are being spent where they are supposed to go.”

    How about the School Board agreeing to pay the outgoing Supt. $240,000 to do absolutely nothing for a year, for starters!?”

    That came from general funds, not from the parcel tax. There is no issue here that the terms of the parcel tax were violated. No superintendent had his salary paid for by the renewed parcel tax. Perhaps you would prefer to have kept Murphy on through this year? If the school board and district staff endeavor to be more fiscally responsible, it’s probably best that Murphy not be around, given his connection to how we’ve come to this point.

    “How about money slated to pay for a nutrition program, in which the need was created by the School District itself – because junk food was sold at school in contravention of good sense.?!”

    I’m not sure I follow you, here. The renewed parcel tax is supposed to pay for *local* fresh fruits and vegetables. I am not against the idea, generally, but I would rather not have seen that on this parcel tax. That doesn’t kick in until next year.

    I haven’t seen junk food candy machines on secondary campuses for at least a couple of years. I’ve seen bottled water and sports drinks (gatorade) from vending machines.

    “The recent parcel tax is slated to pay for smaller class size, even though the School District is claiming Valley Oak was closed due to “declining enrollment”. The School District can’t have it both ways – saying we need more money to reduce classe size, then arguing we need more money because classes are growing smaller! Which is it?”

    By closing Valley Oak the district no longer has to pay a principal’s salary and all the custodial/support staff for that school. Clearly you are bitter about that action. I was not happy to watch it happen, but it was inevitable that an elementary school would close. This is one of the negative legacies of Murphy’s tenure. Closing a school is an effective way to satisfy another criticism that the public has been clamoring for – cut down on administrative staff. The students are still around and have to be taught. Valley Oak teachers will have the opportunity to take on teaching assignments elsewhere in the district.

    If we reject the next parcel tax, we will most certainly guarantee another school closure.

    Otherwise how else would the district balance the 09-10 budget? If you think your ideas have some merit, then you should advance them with the school board and district staff. They have invited the public to submit ideas. Having watched every board meeting since February, I honestly think the district has come pretty close to exhausting innovative budget cutting ideas for now. It has basically come down to whether you want the teachers or not.

    Regarding illegal immigrants: I don’t think that is a reason to hold up state education funding. Kids (legal residents) are growing up and won’t wait for us to sit around to fix things. Sealing the borders is more squarely a federal responsibility. Coming down hard on enforcing immigration laws probably ends up being a wash in the end. Maybe they take more in government services than they pay for in taxes, but we have a favorable cost of living because they provide cheap labor (low wages, almost zero job benefits).

    Providing sufficient and stable funding for K-12 education now is a way to make future voters more productive and our economy stronger.

  59. wdf

    former teacher:

    You bring up some good points. I don’t think, in total, they should justify holding up state or local funding for education.

    “This is not an either/or situation. We cannot afford to skimp on our prison system, nor should we skimp on our educational system either. However, I have no doubt there is a good deal of waste occurring in both. In Davis, we obviously wasted a good deal of money building and operating one too many schools, and the result was the closure of Valley Oak. Yet Valley Oak served at risk youth with the best English Learner program in Davis. Why wasn’t Karamatsu closed instead?”

    Murphy and his staff clearly had a role in okaying the building plan for more schools. It is clear that they were also irresponsible in managing the financing of building those new schools. This primarily affected the facilities (not salary expenditures) part of the budget. Indirectly it affected the salary expenditures because we shouldn’t be paying the extra administrative costs to run schools that can’t be supported w/ the enrollment.

    The school board lost confidence in Mr. Murphy and his staff, and the most expedient move was to buy out the rest of his contract and have him out of there asap. This is why we ended up paying for two superintendents.

    This is one narrative that Mr. Greenwald reported almost three months ago. The current school board and staff are fixing the mess left behind.

    Yes, it looks bad to be paying two SI salaries, but it doesn’t impact next year’s budget. Let’s move on.

    “”If DJUSD has misspent its parcel tax, please elaborate, because this has always been of interest to me. I haven’t seen a convincing case of recent inappropriate spending of parcel tax money, but this is a democracy and I want to know that my tax dollars are being spent where they are supposed to go.”

    How about the School Board agreeing to pay the outgoing Supt. $240,000 to do absolutely nothing for a year, for starters!?”

    That came from general funds, not from the parcel tax. There is no issue here that the terms of the parcel tax were violated. No superintendent had his salary paid for by the renewed parcel tax. Perhaps you would prefer to have kept Murphy on through this year? If the school board and district staff endeavor to be more fiscally responsible, it’s probably best that Murphy not be around, given his connection to how we’ve come to this point.

    “How about money slated to pay for a nutrition program, in which the need was created by the School District itself – because junk food was sold at school in contravention of good sense.?!”

    I’m not sure I follow you, here. The renewed parcel tax is supposed to pay for *local* fresh fruits and vegetables. I am not against the idea, generally, but I would rather not have seen that on this parcel tax. That doesn’t kick in until next year.

    I haven’t seen junk food candy machines on secondary campuses for at least a couple of years. I’ve seen bottled water and sports drinks (gatorade) from vending machines.

    “The recent parcel tax is slated to pay for smaller class size, even though the School District is claiming Valley Oak was closed due to “declining enrollment”. The School District can’t have it both ways – saying we need more money to reduce classe size, then arguing we need more money because classes are growing smaller! Which is it?”

    By closing Valley Oak the district no longer has to pay a principal’s salary and all the custodial/support staff for that school. Clearly you are bitter about that action. I was not happy to watch it happen, but it was inevitable that an elementary school would close. This is one of the negative legacies of Murphy’s tenure. Closing a school is an effective way to satisfy another criticism that the public has been clamoring for – cut down on administrative staff. The students are still around and have to be taught. Valley Oak teachers will have the opportunity to take on teaching assignments elsewhere in the district.

    If we reject the next parcel tax, we will most certainly guarantee another school closure.

    Otherwise how else would the district balance the 09-10 budget? If you think your ideas have some merit, then you should advance them with the school board and district staff. They have invited the public to submit ideas. Having watched every board meeting since February, I honestly think the district has come pretty close to exhausting innovative budget cutting ideas for now. It has basically come down to whether you want the teachers or not.

    Regarding illegal immigrants: I don’t think that is a reason to hold up state education funding. Kids (legal residents) are growing up and won’t wait for us to sit around to fix things. Sealing the borders is more squarely a federal responsibility. Coming down hard on enforcing immigration laws probably ends up being a wash in the end. Maybe they take more in government services than they pay for in taxes, but we have a favorable cost of living because they provide cheap labor (low wages, almost zero job benefits).

    Providing sufficient and stable funding for K-12 education now is a way to make future voters more productive and our economy stronger.

  60. wdf

    former teacher:

    You bring up some good points. I don’t think, in total, they should justify holding up state or local funding for education.

    “This is not an either/or situation. We cannot afford to skimp on our prison system, nor should we skimp on our educational system either. However, I have no doubt there is a good deal of waste occurring in both. In Davis, we obviously wasted a good deal of money building and operating one too many schools, and the result was the closure of Valley Oak. Yet Valley Oak served at risk youth with the best English Learner program in Davis. Why wasn’t Karamatsu closed instead?”

    Murphy and his staff clearly had a role in okaying the building plan for more schools. It is clear that they were also irresponsible in managing the financing of building those new schools. This primarily affected the facilities (not salary expenditures) part of the budget. Indirectly it affected the salary expenditures because we shouldn’t be paying the extra administrative costs to run schools that can’t be supported w/ the enrollment.

    The school board lost confidence in Mr. Murphy and his staff, and the most expedient move was to buy out the rest of his contract and have him out of there asap. This is why we ended up paying for two superintendents.

    This is one narrative that Mr. Greenwald reported almost three months ago. The current school board and staff are fixing the mess left behind.

    Yes, it looks bad to be paying two SI salaries, but it doesn’t impact next year’s budget. Let’s move on.

    “”If DJUSD has misspent its parcel tax, please elaborate, because this has always been of interest to me. I haven’t seen a convincing case of recent inappropriate spending of parcel tax money, but this is a democracy and I want to know that my tax dollars are being spent where they are supposed to go.”

    How about the School Board agreeing to pay the outgoing Supt. $240,000 to do absolutely nothing for a year, for starters!?”

    That came from general funds, not from the parcel tax. There is no issue here that the terms of the parcel tax were violated. No superintendent had his salary paid for by the renewed parcel tax. Perhaps you would prefer to have kept Murphy on through this year? If the school board and district staff endeavor to be more fiscally responsible, it’s probably best that Murphy not be around, given his connection to how we’ve come to this point.

    “How about money slated to pay for a nutrition program, in which the need was created by the School District itself – because junk food was sold at school in contravention of good sense.?!”

    I’m not sure I follow you, here. The renewed parcel tax is supposed to pay for *local* fresh fruits and vegetables. I am not against the idea, generally, but I would rather not have seen that on this parcel tax. That doesn’t kick in until next year.

    I haven’t seen junk food candy machines on secondary campuses for at least a couple of years. I’ve seen bottled water and sports drinks (gatorade) from vending machines.

    “The recent parcel tax is slated to pay for smaller class size, even though the School District is claiming Valley Oak was closed due to “declining enrollment”. The School District can’t have it both ways – saying we need more money to reduce classe size, then arguing we need more money because classes are growing smaller! Which is it?”

    By closing Valley Oak the district no longer has to pay a principal’s salary and all the custodial/support staff for that school. Clearly you are bitter about that action. I was not happy to watch it happen, but it was inevitable that an elementary school would close. This is one of the negative legacies of Murphy’s tenure. Closing a school is an effective way to satisfy another criticism that the public has been clamoring for – cut down on administrative staff. The students are still around and have to be taught. Valley Oak teachers will have the opportunity to take on teaching assignments elsewhere in the district.

    If we reject the next parcel tax, we will most certainly guarantee another school closure.

    Otherwise how else would the district balance the 09-10 budget? If you think your ideas have some merit, then you should advance them with the school board and district staff. They have invited the public to submit ideas. Having watched every board meeting since February, I honestly think the district has come pretty close to exhausting innovative budget cutting ideas for now. It has basically come down to whether you want the teachers or not.

    Regarding illegal immigrants: I don’t think that is a reason to hold up state education funding. Kids (legal residents) are growing up and won’t wait for us to sit around to fix things. Sealing the borders is more squarely a federal responsibility. Coming down hard on enforcing immigration laws probably ends up being a wash in the end. Maybe they take more in government services than they pay for in taxes, but we have a favorable cost of living because they provide cheap labor (low wages, almost zero job benefits).

    Providing sufficient and stable funding for K-12 education now is a way to make future voters more productive and our economy stronger.

  61. former teacher

    “If you think your ideas have some merit, then you should advance them with the school board and district staff. They have invited the public to submit ideas. Having watched every board meeting since February, I honestly think the district has come pretty close to exhausting innovative budget cutting ideas for now. It has basically come down to whether you want the teachers or not.”

    I have been to several School Board meetings, and have spoken up. I was roundly criticized for my efforts by none other than Tim Taylor, among others. None on the Board strike me as being particularly receptive. Furthermore, based on what I have seen so far, there is plenty of fat that can be trimmed, but the citizens are not really given access to the budgeting process. In fact, the public was told by the District that most of their ideas suggested were “unworkable”.

    Now think about that statement. The School Board/District insisted Emerson had to be closed to balance the budget, but when the community fought it tooth and nail, with the fear of a “recall vote” drifting in and out of public thought, suddenly the School Board did an about face. A reversal long before the massive donation from the Davis Schools Foundation, I might add.

    Trust me, there is plenty of waste going on in our public school system. Why has the Woodland school system managed to dodge the budget crisis, with no layoffs slated whatsoever? They must be doing something right, that we in Davis are not.

    “The school board lost confidence in Mr. Murphy and his staff, and the most expedient move was to buy out the rest of his contract and have him out of there asap. This is why we ended up paying for two superintendents.”

    I doubt very much that the best course of action was to buy out Murphy’s contract. The School Board had enough malfeasance on this character, they could have terminated his contract with very little fuss. Do you think he would have contested it, and allowed his sorry conduct to leak out for all the world to learn about? I very much doubt it, as it would have hurt his chances at future employment. No, the School Board whimped out for no good reason – or because Murphy had friends on the School Board.

    “Yes, it looks bad to be paying two SI salaries, but it doesn’t impact next year’s budget. Let’s move on.”

    Sure it impacts future budgets. It is $240,000 the School District does not have to work with. How many teachers’ salaries would that have paid for over a one year period?

    “That came from general funds, not from the parcel tax. There is no issue here that the terms of the parcel tax were violated.”

    I hear this argument over and over again, ad nauseum. The fact of the matter is, that even though funding is placed in different pots, IT IS ALL INTERRELATED. In addition, do you really believe that the School Board is particularly careful what it spends the parcel tax for? If you read all the letters and articles in the Davis Enterprise, describing what the parcel tax was going to be used for, it kept “evolving” over time. By the time the election rolled around, I defy anyone to tell me what the parcel tax was going to be used for. The entire issue of “reduced class size” is a case in point.

    “I’m not sure I follow you, here. The renewed parcel tax is supposed to pay for *local* fresh fruits and vegetables.”

    Part of the parcel tax was supposed to be spent supporting an elementary school program teaching kids how to grow 35 lb cabbages. It appeared in the Davis Enterprise.

    “I was not happy to watch it happen, but it was inevitable that an elementary school would close. This is one of the negative legacies of Murphy’s tenure.”

    The closure of VO was the decision of the current School Board. Why wasn’t Karamatsu closed, rather than VO, if any at all? Furthermore, the closing of VO points out a larger problem – developer driven decisions on whether to build schools. Developers should not be making decisions on where and when to build schools. The School Board should not allow schools to be built unless they can prove there is sufficient funding to run them PERIOD.

    “Closing a school is an effective way to satisfy another criticism that the public has been clamoring for – cut down on administrative staff.”

    The public is not clamoring for cutting adminstrative positions like school principals. Instead, the public is looking to cut positions such as “Director of This or That” at the School District headquarters.

    “If we reject the next parcel tax, we will most certainly guarantee another school closure.”

    This is the most fallacious argument of all. We paid an extra parcel tax, and what was the result? The closing of VO. The threatened closure of Emerson. Do you honestly think another parcel tax will fix things? Not on your life. As long as the citizens of this town keep forking over money, without demanding accountability, the School Board will continue to waste taxpayer dollars.

    Now think about it. The School District is claiming declining enrollment was the reason for the closure of VO. Yet total enrollment has not really declined significantly in the last eight years, as a commentator on this blog has pointed out repeatedly. What has happened is that enrollment has increased at the secondary level, while it has decreased slightly at the elementary level. So what is the School Board saying? They cannot plan ahead for normal fluctuations in enrollment? If Woodland can do it, then so can Davis. Remember, while Davis was slated to lay off 110 teachers, Woodland was not going to lay off ANY. NONE! Don’t you find that curious? Don’t you want to know why?

  62. former teacher

    “If you think your ideas have some merit, then you should advance them with the school board and district staff. They have invited the public to submit ideas. Having watched every board meeting since February, I honestly think the district has come pretty close to exhausting innovative budget cutting ideas for now. It has basically come down to whether you want the teachers or not.”

    I have been to several School Board meetings, and have spoken up. I was roundly criticized for my efforts by none other than Tim Taylor, among others. None on the Board strike me as being particularly receptive. Furthermore, based on what I have seen so far, there is plenty of fat that can be trimmed, but the citizens are not really given access to the budgeting process. In fact, the public was told by the District that most of their ideas suggested were “unworkable”.

    Now think about that statement. The School Board/District insisted Emerson had to be closed to balance the budget, but when the community fought it tooth and nail, with the fear of a “recall vote” drifting in and out of public thought, suddenly the School Board did an about face. A reversal long before the massive donation from the Davis Schools Foundation, I might add.

    Trust me, there is plenty of waste going on in our public school system. Why has the Woodland school system managed to dodge the budget crisis, with no layoffs slated whatsoever? They must be doing something right, that we in Davis are not.

    “The school board lost confidence in Mr. Murphy and his staff, and the most expedient move was to buy out the rest of his contract and have him out of there asap. This is why we ended up paying for two superintendents.”

    I doubt very much that the best course of action was to buy out Murphy’s contract. The School Board had enough malfeasance on this character, they could have terminated his contract with very little fuss. Do you think he would have contested it, and allowed his sorry conduct to leak out for all the world to learn about? I very much doubt it, as it would have hurt his chances at future employment. No, the School Board whimped out for no good reason – or because Murphy had friends on the School Board.

    “Yes, it looks bad to be paying two SI salaries, but it doesn’t impact next year’s budget. Let’s move on.”

    Sure it impacts future budgets. It is $240,000 the School District does not have to work with. How many teachers’ salaries would that have paid for over a one year period?

    “That came from general funds, not from the parcel tax. There is no issue here that the terms of the parcel tax were violated.”

    I hear this argument over and over again, ad nauseum. The fact of the matter is, that even though funding is placed in different pots, IT IS ALL INTERRELATED. In addition, do you really believe that the School Board is particularly careful what it spends the parcel tax for? If you read all the letters and articles in the Davis Enterprise, describing what the parcel tax was going to be used for, it kept “evolving” over time. By the time the election rolled around, I defy anyone to tell me what the parcel tax was going to be used for. The entire issue of “reduced class size” is a case in point.

    “I’m not sure I follow you, here. The renewed parcel tax is supposed to pay for *local* fresh fruits and vegetables.”

    Part of the parcel tax was supposed to be spent supporting an elementary school program teaching kids how to grow 35 lb cabbages. It appeared in the Davis Enterprise.

    “I was not happy to watch it happen, but it was inevitable that an elementary school would close. This is one of the negative legacies of Murphy’s tenure.”

    The closure of VO was the decision of the current School Board. Why wasn’t Karamatsu closed, rather than VO, if any at all? Furthermore, the closing of VO points out a larger problem – developer driven decisions on whether to build schools. Developers should not be making decisions on where and when to build schools. The School Board should not allow schools to be built unless they can prove there is sufficient funding to run them PERIOD.

    “Closing a school is an effective way to satisfy another criticism that the public has been clamoring for – cut down on administrative staff.”

    The public is not clamoring for cutting adminstrative positions like school principals. Instead, the public is looking to cut positions such as “Director of This or That” at the School District headquarters.

    “If we reject the next parcel tax, we will most certainly guarantee another school closure.”

    This is the most fallacious argument of all. We paid an extra parcel tax, and what was the result? The closing of VO. The threatened closure of Emerson. Do you honestly think another parcel tax will fix things? Not on your life. As long as the citizens of this town keep forking over money, without demanding accountability, the School Board will continue to waste taxpayer dollars.

    Now think about it. The School District is claiming declining enrollment was the reason for the closure of VO. Yet total enrollment has not really declined significantly in the last eight years, as a commentator on this blog has pointed out repeatedly. What has happened is that enrollment has increased at the secondary level, while it has decreased slightly at the elementary level. So what is the School Board saying? They cannot plan ahead for normal fluctuations in enrollment? If Woodland can do it, then so can Davis. Remember, while Davis was slated to lay off 110 teachers, Woodland was not going to lay off ANY. NONE! Don’t you find that curious? Don’t you want to know why?

  63. former teacher

    “If you think your ideas have some merit, then you should advance them with the school board and district staff. They have invited the public to submit ideas. Having watched every board meeting since February, I honestly think the district has come pretty close to exhausting innovative budget cutting ideas for now. It has basically come down to whether you want the teachers or not.”

    I have been to several School Board meetings, and have spoken up. I was roundly criticized for my efforts by none other than Tim Taylor, among others. None on the Board strike me as being particularly receptive. Furthermore, based on what I have seen so far, there is plenty of fat that can be trimmed, but the citizens are not really given access to the budgeting process. In fact, the public was told by the District that most of their ideas suggested were “unworkable”.

    Now think about that statement. The School Board/District insisted Emerson had to be closed to balance the budget, but when the community fought it tooth and nail, with the fear of a “recall vote” drifting in and out of public thought, suddenly the School Board did an about face. A reversal long before the massive donation from the Davis Schools Foundation, I might add.

    Trust me, there is plenty of waste going on in our public school system. Why has the Woodland school system managed to dodge the budget crisis, with no layoffs slated whatsoever? They must be doing something right, that we in Davis are not.

    “The school board lost confidence in Mr. Murphy and his staff, and the most expedient move was to buy out the rest of his contract and have him out of there asap. This is why we ended up paying for two superintendents.”

    I doubt very much that the best course of action was to buy out Murphy’s contract. The School Board had enough malfeasance on this character, they could have terminated his contract with very little fuss. Do you think he would have contested it, and allowed his sorry conduct to leak out for all the world to learn about? I very much doubt it, as it would have hurt his chances at future employment. No, the School Board whimped out for no good reason – or because Murphy had friends on the School Board.

    “Yes, it looks bad to be paying two SI salaries, but it doesn’t impact next year’s budget. Let’s move on.”

    Sure it impacts future budgets. It is $240,000 the School District does not have to work with. How many teachers’ salaries would that have paid for over a one year period?

    “That came from general funds, not from the parcel tax. There is no issue here that the terms of the parcel tax were violated.”

    I hear this argument over and over again, ad nauseum. The fact of the matter is, that even though funding is placed in different pots, IT IS ALL INTERRELATED. In addition, do you really believe that the School Board is particularly careful what it spends the parcel tax for? If you read all the letters and articles in the Davis Enterprise, describing what the parcel tax was going to be used for, it kept “evolving” over time. By the time the election rolled around, I defy anyone to tell me what the parcel tax was going to be used for. The entire issue of “reduced class size” is a case in point.

    “I’m not sure I follow you, here. The renewed parcel tax is supposed to pay for *local* fresh fruits and vegetables.”

    Part of the parcel tax was supposed to be spent supporting an elementary school program teaching kids how to grow 35 lb cabbages. It appeared in the Davis Enterprise.

    “I was not happy to watch it happen, but it was inevitable that an elementary school would close. This is one of the negative legacies of Murphy’s tenure.”

    The closure of VO was the decision of the current School Board. Why wasn’t Karamatsu closed, rather than VO, if any at all? Furthermore, the closing of VO points out a larger problem – developer driven decisions on whether to build schools. Developers should not be making decisions on where and when to build schools. The School Board should not allow schools to be built unless they can prove there is sufficient funding to run them PERIOD.

    “Closing a school is an effective way to satisfy another criticism that the public has been clamoring for – cut down on administrative staff.”

    The public is not clamoring for cutting adminstrative positions like school principals. Instead, the public is looking to cut positions such as “Director of This or That” at the School District headquarters.

    “If we reject the next parcel tax, we will most certainly guarantee another school closure.”

    This is the most fallacious argument of all. We paid an extra parcel tax, and what was the result? The closing of VO. The threatened closure of Emerson. Do you honestly think another parcel tax will fix things? Not on your life. As long as the citizens of this town keep forking over money, without demanding accountability, the School Board will continue to waste taxpayer dollars.

    Now think about it. The School District is claiming declining enrollment was the reason for the closure of VO. Yet total enrollment has not really declined significantly in the last eight years, as a commentator on this blog has pointed out repeatedly. What has happened is that enrollment has increased at the secondary level, while it has decreased slightly at the elementary level. So what is the School Board saying? They cannot plan ahead for normal fluctuations in enrollment? If Woodland can do it, then so can Davis. Remember, while Davis was slated to lay off 110 teachers, Woodland was not going to lay off ANY. NONE! Don’t you find that curious? Don’t you want to know why?

  64. former teacher

    “If you think your ideas have some merit, then you should advance them with the school board and district staff. They have invited the public to submit ideas. Having watched every board meeting since February, I honestly think the district has come pretty close to exhausting innovative budget cutting ideas for now. It has basically come down to whether you want the teachers or not.”

    I have been to several School Board meetings, and have spoken up. I was roundly criticized for my efforts by none other than Tim Taylor, among others. None on the Board strike me as being particularly receptive. Furthermore, based on what I have seen so far, there is plenty of fat that can be trimmed, but the citizens are not really given access to the budgeting process. In fact, the public was told by the District that most of their ideas suggested were “unworkable”.

    Now think about that statement. The School Board/District insisted Emerson had to be closed to balance the budget, but when the community fought it tooth and nail, with the fear of a “recall vote” drifting in and out of public thought, suddenly the School Board did an about face. A reversal long before the massive donation from the Davis Schools Foundation, I might add.

    Trust me, there is plenty of waste going on in our public school system. Why has the Woodland school system managed to dodge the budget crisis, with no layoffs slated whatsoever? They must be doing something right, that we in Davis are not.

    “The school board lost confidence in Mr. Murphy and his staff, and the most expedient move was to buy out the rest of his contract and have him out of there asap. This is why we ended up paying for two superintendents.”

    I doubt very much that the best course of action was to buy out Murphy’s contract. The School Board had enough malfeasance on this character, they could have terminated his contract with very little fuss. Do you think he would have contested it, and allowed his sorry conduct to leak out for all the world to learn about? I very much doubt it, as it would have hurt his chances at future employment. No, the School Board whimped out for no good reason – or because Murphy had friends on the School Board.

    “Yes, it looks bad to be paying two SI salaries, but it doesn’t impact next year’s budget. Let’s move on.”

    Sure it impacts future budgets. It is $240,000 the School District does not have to work with. How many teachers’ salaries would that have paid for over a one year period?

    “That came from general funds, not from the parcel tax. There is no issue here that the terms of the parcel tax were violated.”

    I hear this argument over and over again, ad nauseum. The fact of the matter is, that even though funding is placed in different pots, IT IS ALL INTERRELATED. In addition, do you really believe that the School Board is particularly careful what it spends the parcel tax for? If you read all the letters and articles in the Davis Enterprise, describing what the parcel tax was going to be used for, it kept “evolving” over time. By the time the election rolled around, I defy anyone to tell me what the parcel tax was going to be used for. The entire issue of “reduced class size” is a case in point.

    “I’m not sure I follow you, here. The renewed parcel tax is supposed to pay for *local* fresh fruits and vegetables.”

    Part of the parcel tax was supposed to be spent supporting an elementary school program teaching kids how to grow 35 lb cabbages. It appeared in the Davis Enterprise.

    “I was not happy to watch it happen, but it was inevitable that an elementary school would close. This is one of the negative legacies of Murphy’s tenure.”

    The closure of VO was the decision of the current School Board. Why wasn’t Karamatsu closed, rather than VO, if any at all? Furthermore, the closing of VO points out a larger problem – developer driven decisions on whether to build schools. Developers should not be making decisions on where and when to build schools. The School Board should not allow schools to be built unless they can prove there is sufficient funding to run them PERIOD.

    “Closing a school is an effective way to satisfy another criticism that the public has been clamoring for – cut down on administrative staff.”

    The public is not clamoring for cutting adminstrative positions like school principals. Instead, the public is looking to cut positions such as “Director of This or That” at the School District headquarters.

    “If we reject the next parcel tax, we will most certainly guarantee another school closure.”

    This is the most fallacious argument of all. We paid an extra parcel tax, and what was the result? The closing of VO. The threatened closure of Emerson. Do you honestly think another parcel tax will fix things? Not on your life. As long as the citizens of this town keep forking over money, without demanding accountability, the School Board will continue to waste taxpayer dollars.

    Now think about it. The School District is claiming declining enrollment was the reason for the closure of VO. Yet total enrollment has not really declined significantly in the last eight years, as a commentator on this blog has pointed out repeatedly. What has happened is that enrollment has increased at the secondary level, while it has decreased slightly at the elementary level. So what is the School Board saying? They cannot plan ahead for normal fluctuations in enrollment? If Woodland can do it, then so can Davis. Remember, while Davis was slated to lay off 110 teachers, Woodland was not going to lay off ANY. NONE! Don’t you find that curious? Don’t you want to know why?

  65. wdf

    “former teacher said…

    I was roundly criticized for my efforts by none other than Tim Taylor, among others.”

    I wouldn’t give up so easily if I were you. I find Mr. Taylor is an unresponsive school board member. It seems he rarely has time to communicate w/ his constituents, so it’s hard for me to take any of his comments personally.

    “I doubt very much that the best course of action was to buy out Murphy’s contract. The School Board had enough malfeasance on this character, they could have terminated his contract with very little fuss. Do you think he would have contested it, and allowed his sorry conduct to leak out for all the world to learn about? I very much doubt it, as it would have hurt his chances at future employment. No, the School Board whimped out for no good reason – or because Murphy had friends on the School Board.”

    Has Murphy been looking for other employment? I understand he does limited private consulting work. He was/is close to retirement anyway. I think you’re right about him having friends on the school board. But I don’t think he’s necessarily that worried about future employment.

    The alternative to deny Murphy any more salary could easily have lead to the threat of lawsuit over breaking terms of a contract (and dealing w/ litigation costs that could have equaled his salary), or at least have been a huge distraction on the work of the district at a time when it was trying to put this year’s budget (07-08) together.

    Then we would now be arguing about the district wasting its time over lawsuits and related distractions.

    I do believe that buying out his last year was the cheapest way to get him out of the way and avoid a litigation threat, because I think he would have contested it. He doesn’t have as much to lose as you assert.

    “The closure of VO was the decision of the current School Board. Why wasn’t Karamatsu closed, rather than VO, if any at all? Furthermore, the closing of VO points out a larger problem – developer driven decisions on whether to build schools. Developers should not be making decisions on where and when to build schools. The School Board should not allow schools to be built unless they can prove there is sufficient funding to run them PERIOD.”

    It seems that you acknowledge that there are insufficient funds to run all the current schools, and then criticize that a school was closed for budget savings.

    The Best Uses Task Force held endless numbers of meetings to arrive at the recommendation to close VO. I don’t think there is any alternative scenario of closing an elementary that would make you happy unless it were Korematsu that was closed. You and everyone else have had their chance to make the case to close Korematsu, if that alternative makes more sense.

    Once Korematsu was built, I think it was pretty hard to make a convincing case to close it in the very part of town where the city was growing.

    I agree w/ you that we (Davis voters) shouldn’t get sucked in to letting developers or anyone convince us to build new schools when we can’t afford them. It’s just unrealistic to keep all the schools open and still be fiscally responsible.

    “What has happened is that enrollment has increased at the secondary level, while it has decreased slightly at the elementary level.”

    I agree w/ your premise about Davis enrollments. Nevertheless, it seems like you just made another good argument for closing VO. Clearly elementary enrollment isn’t growing in a way that is expected to justify all the current elementary schools.

    Re: Woodland JUSD. Woodland probably didn’t build more schools than it could fund.

    “the public is looking to cut positions such as “Director of This or That” at the School District headquarters.”

    The district has already abolished Ginni Davis’ position (she’s going to Palo Alto USD). I don’t know what happens to her secretary. At least two other positions (maybe more) will remain vacant for next year.

    Would you like to recommend whom to cut? You can peruse the district list at

    http://www.djusd.k12.ca.us/District/district/admin.shtml

    “I hear this argument over and over again, ad nauseum. The fact of the matter is, that even though funding is placed in different pots, IT IS ALL INTERRELATED.”

    That’s the reality of school/government budgeting. If you deny that reality, you may be unable to talk to anyone in the district about making the current system work in a way that is at least partially acceptable to you. There is nothing that this school district can do to change that (working separate pots of money) — it’s all state mandated.

    That is where all kinds of “unworkable solutions” get nixed. Such as selling the Grande property or Nugget fields to pay for teachers (state regulations place a wall between money for acquiring/maintaining facilities). Can’t skimp too much on textbook purchases or grounds maintenance either because state regulations come into play.

    And if you want government or grant matching funds for a particular program, then the district has to pony up those funds for matching.

    A parcel tax designates an assessment of a certain amount, and lays out what services you will see for that money that otherwise wouldn’t exist.

    We in Davis will start paying a $200 assessment approved in measure Q. If you think that is outrageous, go check out the Piedmont City Unified district in Alameda Co. at

    http://www.ed-data.k12.ca.us/Navigation/fsTwoPanel.asp?bottom=%2Fprofile%2Easp%3Flevel%3D06%26reportNumber%3D16

    They assess more than $1100 per parcel, and that was w/ an 88% voter approval. Clearly they don’t have hang ups about paying for their public education. Do you think those people are getting scammed?

    Piedmont is the most significant outlier, but there are plenty of districts who asses higher parcel taxes than Davis. They’re all richer communities than Davis, by the way, (see music parent’s second entry on this thread above).

    My perception is that community hangups about paying for public education are inversely proportional to that community’s affluence. The irony is that affluent communities don’t have as urgent a necessity for good schools as less affluent districts.

    “As long as the citizens of this town keep forking over money, without demanding accountability, the School Board will continue to waste taxpayer dollars.”

    We already got a taste of what will happen if we don’t “fork over” the money. What currently funded programs would you like to cut?

    It looks like if you get your way in November, we will gear up for another round of ugly school board meetings and fundraising.

  66. wdf

    “former teacher said…

    I was roundly criticized for my efforts by none other than Tim Taylor, among others.”

    I wouldn’t give up so easily if I were you. I find Mr. Taylor is an unresponsive school board member. It seems he rarely has time to communicate w/ his constituents, so it’s hard for me to take any of his comments personally.

    “I doubt very much that the best course of action was to buy out Murphy’s contract. The School Board had enough malfeasance on this character, they could have terminated his contract with very little fuss. Do you think he would have contested it, and allowed his sorry conduct to leak out for all the world to learn about? I very much doubt it, as it would have hurt his chances at future employment. No, the School Board whimped out for no good reason – or because Murphy had friends on the School Board.”

    Has Murphy been looking for other employment? I understand he does limited private consulting work. He was/is close to retirement anyway. I think you’re right about him having friends on the school board. But I don’t think he’s necessarily that worried about future employment.

    The alternative to deny Murphy any more salary could easily have lead to the threat of lawsuit over breaking terms of a contract (and dealing w/ litigation costs that could have equaled his salary), or at least have been a huge distraction on the work of the district at a time when it was trying to put this year’s budget (07-08) together.

    Then we would now be arguing about the district wasting its time over lawsuits and related distractions.

    I do believe that buying out his last year was the cheapest way to get him out of the way and avoid a litigation threat, because I think he would have contested it. He doesn’t have as much to lose as you assert.

    “The closure of VO was the decision of the current School Board. Why wasn’t Karamatsu closed, rather than VO, if any at all? Furthermore, the closing of VO points out a larger problem – developer driven decisions on whether to build schools. Developers should not be making decisions on where and when to build schools. The School Board should not allow schools to be built unless they can prove there is sufficient funding to run them PERIOD.”

    It seems that you acknowledge that there are insufficient funds to run all the current schools, and then criticize that a school was closed for budget savings.

    The Best Uses Task Force held endless numbers of meetings to arrive at the recommendation to close VO. I don’t think there is any alternative scenario of closing an elementary that would make you happy unless it were Korematsu that was closed. You and everyone else have had their chance to make the case to close Korematsu, if that alternative makes more sense.

    Once Korematsu was built, I think it was pretty hard to make a convincing case to close it in the very part of town where the city was growing.

    I agree w/ you that we (Davis voters) shouldn’t get sucked in to letting developers or anyone convince us to build new schools when we can’t afford them. It’s just unrealistic to keep all the schools open and still be fiscally responsible.

    “What has happened is that enrollment has increased at the secondary level, while it has decreased slightly at the elementary level.”

    I agree w/ your premise about Davis enrollments. Nevertheless, it seems like you just made another good argument for closing VO. Clearly elementary enrollment isn’t growing in a way that is expected to justify all the current elementary schools.

    Re: Woodland JUSD. Woodland probably didn’t build more schools than it could fund.

    “the public is looking to cut positions such as “Director of This or That” at the School District headquarters.”

    The district has already abolished Ginni Davis’ position (she’s going to Palo Alto USD). I don’t know what happens to her secretary. At least two other positions (maybe more) will remain vacant for next year.

    Would you like to recommend whom to cut? You can peruse the district list at

    http://www.djusd.k12.ca.us/District/district/admin.shtml

    “I hear this argument over and over again, ad nauseum. The fact of the matter is, that even though funding is placed in different pots, IT IS ALL INTERRELATED.”

    That’s the reality of school/government budgeting. If you deny that reality, you may be unable to talk to anyone in the district about making the current system work in a way that is at least partially acceptable to you. There is nothing that this school district can do to change that (working separate pots of money) — it’s all state mandated.

    That is where all kinds of “unworkable solutions” get nixed. Such as selling the Grande property or Nugget fields to pay for teachers (state regulations place a wall between money for acquiring/maintaining facilities). Can’t skimp too much on textbook purchases or grounds maintenance either because state regulations come into play.

    And if you want government or grant matching funds for a particular program, then the district has to pony up those funds for matching.

    A parcel tax designates an assessment of a certain amount, and lays out what services you will see for that money that otherwise wouldn’t exist.

    We in Davis will start paying a $200 assessment approved in measure Q. If you think that is outrageous, go check out the Piedmont City Unified district in Alameda Co. at

    http://www.ed-data.k12.ca.us/Navigation/fsTwoPanel.asp?bottom=%2Fprofile%2Easp%3Flevel%3D06%26reportNumber%3D16

    They assess more than $1100 per parcel, and that was w/ an 88% voter approval. Clearly they don’t have hang ups about paying for their public education. Do you think those people are getting scammed?

    Piedmont is the most significant outlier, but there are plenty of districts who asses higher parcel taxes than Davis. They’re all richer communities than Davis, by the way, (see music parent’s second entry on this thread above).

    My perception is that community hangups about paying for public education are inversely proportional to that community’s affluence. The irony is that affluent communities don’t have as urgent a necessity for good schools as less affluent districts.

    “As long as the citizens of this town keep forking over money, without demanding accountability, the School Board will continue to waste taxpayer dollars.”

    We already got a taste of what will happen if we don’t “fork over” the money. What currently funded programs would you like to cut?

    It looks like if you get your way in November, we will gear up for another round of ugly school board meetings and fundraising.

  67. wdf

    “former teacher said…

    I was roundly criticized for my efforts by none other than Tim Taylor, among others.”

    I wouldn’t give up so easily if I were you. I find Mr. Taylor is an unresponsive school board member. It seems he rarely has time to communicate w/ his constituents, so it’s hard for me to take any of his comments personally.

    “I doubt very much that the best course of action was to buy out Murphy’s contract. The School Board had enough malfeasance on this character, they could have terminated his contract with very little fuss. Do you think he would have contested it, and allowed his sorry conduct to leak out for all the world to learn about? I very much doubt it, as it would have hurt his chances at future employment. No, the School Board whimped out for no good reason – or because Murphy had friends on the School Board.”

    Has Murphy been looking for other employment? I understand he does limited private consulting work. He was/is close to retirement anyway. I think you’re right about him having friends on the school board. But I don’t think he’s necessarily that worried about future employment.

    The alternative to deny Murphy any more salary could easily have lead to the threat of lawsuit over breaking terms of a contract (and dealing w/ litigation costs that could have equaled his salary), or at least have been a huge distraction on the work of the district at a time when it was trying to put this year’s budget (07-08) together.

    Then we would now be arguing about the district wasting its time over lawsuits and related distractions.

    I do believe that buying out his last year was the cheapest way to get him out of the way and avoid a litigation threat, because I think he would have contested it. He doesn’t have as much to lose as you assert.

    “The closure of VO was the decision of the current School Board. Why wasn’t Karamatsu closed, rather than VO, if any at all? Furthermore, the closing of VO points out a larger problem – developer driven decisions on whether to build schools. Developers should not be making decisions on where and when to build schools. The School Board should not allow schools to be built unless they can prove there is sufficient funding to run them PERIOD.”

    It seems that you acknowledge that there are insufficient funds to run all the current schools, and then criticize that a school was closed for budget savings.

    The Best Uses Task Force held endless numbers of meetings to arrive at the recommendation to close VO. I don’t think there is any alternative scenario of closing an elementary that would make you happy unless it were Korematsu that was closed. You and everyone else have had their chance to make the case to close Korematsu, if that alternative makes more sense.

    Once Korematsu was built, I think it was pretty hard to make a convincing case to close it in the very part of town where the city was growing.

    I agree w/ you that we (Davis voters) shouldn’t get sucked in to letting developers or anyone convince us to build new schools when we can’t afford them. It’s just unrealistic to keep all the schools open and still be fiscally responsible.

    “What has happened is that enrollment has increased at the secondary level, while it has decreased slightly at the elementary level.”

    I agree w/ your premise about Davis enrollments. Nevertheless, it seems like you just made another good argument for closing VO. Clearly elementary enrollment isn’t growing in a way that is expected to justify all the current elementary schools.

    Re: Woodland JUSD. Woodland probably didn’t build more schools than it could fund.

    “the public is looking to cut positions such as “Director of This or That” at the School District headquarters.”

    The district has already abolished Ginni Davis’ position (she’s going to Palo Alto USD). I don’t know what happens to her secretary. At least two other positions (maybe more) will remain vacant for next year.

    Would you like to recommend whom to cut? You can peruse the district list at

    http://www.djusd.k12.ca.us/District/district/admin.shtml

    “I hear this argument over and over again, ad nauseum. The fact of the matter is, that even though funding is placed in different pots, IT IS ALL INTERRELATED.”

    That’s the reality of school/government budgeting. If you deny that reality, you may be unable to talk to anyone in the district about making the current system work in a way that is at least partially acceptable to you. There is nothing that this school district can do to change that (working separate pots of money) — it’s all state mandated.

    That is where all kinds of “unworkable solutions” get nixed. Such as selling the Grande property or Nugget fields to pay for teachers (state regulations place a wall between money for acquiring/maintaining facilities). Can’t skimp too much on textbook purchases or grounds maintenance either because state regulations come into play.

    And if you want government or grant matching funds for a particular program, then the district has to pony up those funds for matching.

    A parcel tax designates an assessment of a certain amount, and lays out what services you will see for that money that otherwise wouldn’t exist.

    We in Davis will start paying a $200 assessment approved in measure Q. If you think that is outrageous, go check out the Piedmont City Unified district in Alameda Co. at

    http://www.ed-data.k12.ca.us/Navigation/fsTwoPanel.asp?bottom=%2Fprofile%2Easp%3Flevel%3D06%26reportNumber%3D16

    They assess more than $1100 per parcel, and that was w/ an 88% voter approval. Clearly they don’t have hang ups about paying for their public education. Do you think those people are getting scammed?

    Piedmont is the most significant outlier, but there are plenty of districts who asses higher parcel taxes than Davis. They’re all richer communities than Davis, by the way, (see music parent’s second entry on this thread above).

    My perception is that community hangups about paying for public education are inversely proportional to that community’s affluence. The irony is that affluent communities don’t have as urgent a necessity for good schools as less affluent districts.

    “As long as the citizens of this town keep forking over money, without demanding accountability, the School Board will continue to waste taxpayer dollars.”

    We already got a taste of what will happen if we don’t “fork over” the money. What currently funded programs would you like to cut?

    It looks like if you get your way in November, we will gear up for another round of ugly school board meetings and fundraising.

  68. wdf

    “former teacher said…

    I was roundly criticized for my efforts by none other than Tim Taylor, among others.”

    I wouldn’t give up so easily if I were you. I find Mr. Taylor is an unresponsive school board member. It seems he rarely has time to communicate w/ his constituents, so it’s hard for me to take any of his comments personally.

    “I doubt very much that the best course of action was to buy out Murphy’s contract. The School Board had enough malfeasance on this character, they could have terminated his contract with very little fuss. Do you think he would have contested it, and allowed his sorry conduct to leak out for all the world to learn about? I very much doubt it, as it would have hurt his chances at future employment. No, the School Board whimped out for no good reason – or because Murphy had friends on the School Board.”

    Has Murphy been looking for other employment? I understand he does limited private consulting work. He was/is close to retirement anyway. I think you’re right about him having friends on the school board. But I don’t think he’s necessarily that worried about future employment.

    The alternative to deny Murphy any more salary could easily have lead to the threat of lawsuit over breaking terms of a contract (and dealing w/ litigation costs that could have equaled his salary), or at least have been a huge distraction on the work of the district at a time when it was trying to put this year’s budget (07-08) together.

    Then we would now be arguing about the district wasting its time over lawsuits and related distractions.

    I do believe that buying out his last year was the cheapest way to get him out of the way and avoid a litigation threat, because I think he would have contested it. He doesn’t have as much to lose as you assert.

    “The closure of VO was the decision of the current School Board. Why wasn’t Karamatsu closed, rather than VO, if any at all? Furthermore, the closing of VO points out a larger problem – developer driven decisions on whether to build schools. Developers should not be making decisions on where and when to build schools. The School Board should not allow schools to be built unless they can prove there is sufficient funding to run them PERIOD.”

    It seems that you acknowledge that there are insufficient funds to run all the current schools, and then criticize that a school was closed for budget savings.

    The Best Uses Task Force held endless numbers of meetings to arrive at the recommendation to close VO. I don’t think there is any alternative scenario of closing an elementary that would make you happy unless it were Korematsu that was closed. You and everyone else have had their chance to make the case to close Korematsu, if that alternative makes more sense.

    Once Korematsu was built, I think it was pretty hard to make a convincing case to close it in the very part of town where the city was growing.

    I agree w/ you that we (Davis voters) shouldn’t get sucked in to letting developers or anyone convince us to build new schools when we can’t afford them. It’s just unrealistic to keep all the schools open and still be fiscally responsible.

    “What has happened is that enrollment has increased at the secondary level, while it has decreased slightly at the elementary level.”

    I agree w/ your premise about Davis enrollments. Nevertheless, it seems like you just made another good argument for closing VO. Clearly elementary enrollment isn’t growing in a way that is expected to justify all the current elementary schools.

    Re: Woodland JUSD. Woodland probably didn’t build more schools than it could fund.

    “the public is looking to cut positions such as “Director of This or That” at the School District headquarters.”

    The district has already abolished Ginni Davis’ position (she’s going to Palo Alto USD). I don’t know what happens to her secretary. At least two other positions (maybe more) will remain vacant for next year.

    Would you like to recommend whom to cut? You can peruse the district list at

    http://www.djusd.k12.ca.us/District/district/admin.shtml

    “I hear this argument over and over again, ad nauseum. The fact of the matter is, that even though funding is placed in different pots, IT IS ALL INTERRELATED.”

    That’s the reality of school/government budgeting. If you deny that reality, you may be unable to talk to anyone in the district about making the current system work in a way that is at least partially acceptable to you. There is nothing that this school district can do to change that (working separate pots of money) — it’s all state mandated.

    That is where all kinds of “unworkable solutions” get nixed. Such as selling the Grande property or Nugget fields to pay for teachers (state regulations place a wall between money for acquiring/maintaining facilities). Can’t skimp too much on textbook purchases or grounds maintenance either because state regulations come into play.

    And if you want government or grant matching funds for a particular program, then the district has to pony up those funds for matching.

    A parcel tax designates an assessment of a certain amount, and lays out what services you will see for that money that otherwise wouldn’t exist.

    We in Davis will start paying a $200 assessment approved in measure Q. If you think that is outrageous, go check out the Piedmont City Unified district in Alameda Co. at

    http://www.ed-data.k12.ca.us/Navigation/fsTwoPanel.asp?bottom=%2Fprofile%2Easp%3Flevel%3D06%26reportNumber%3D16

    They assess more than $1100 per parcel, and that was w/ an 88% voter approval. Clearly they don’t have hang ups about paying for their public education. Do you think those people are getting scammed?

    Piedmont is the most significant outlier, but there are plenty of districts who asses higher parcel taxes than Davis. They’re all richer communities than Davis, by the way, (see music parent’s second entry on this thread above).

    My perception is that community hangups about paying for public education are inversely proportional to that community’s affluence. The irony is that affluent communities don’t have as urgent a necessity for good schools as less affluent districts.

    “As long as the citizens of this town keep forking over money, without demanding accountability, the School Board will continue to waste taxpayer dollars.”

    We already got a taste of what will happen if we don’t “fork over” the money. What currently funded programs would you like to cut?

    It looks like if you get your way in November, we will gear up for another round of ugly school board meetings and fundraising.

  69. former teacher

    “We already got a taste of what will happen if we don’t “fork over” the money. What currently funded programs would you like to cut?”

    We forked over an entire parcel tax, and closing VO was the result, with the closing of Emerson looming in the future. So how did forking over more money help Davis schools? It certainly didn’t help VO, nor Emerson.

    As long as citizens do not hold the School Board/District accountable for the budgeting process, the more money continues to be wasted, and the more money will be demanded in the future. Throwing more money at a problem is often counterproductive. We need our School Board to trot on over to Woodland, and find out what Woodland is doing right that we are not. You can surmise all you want, but you don’t really know why Woodland did not have to lay off any teachers.

    “A parcel tax designates an assessment of a certain amount, and lays out what services you will see for that money that otherwise wouldn’t exist.”

    This is where you are wrong. What exactly was the Measure Q parcel tax supposed to fund? Can you truly tell me? Obviously you thought part of it was for the purchase of local fruits and vegetables to improve nutrition. It was stated in the Davis Enterprise money from the parcel tax was to be spent on a nutrition course to teach elementary school children how to grow 35 lb cabbages. Money from the parcel tax was also supposed to be used for reduced class size, yet the closure of VO should have taken care of the problem of overcrowding. And by the way, had we fired Murphy, my guess is the School District could have saved $240,000!

    Bottom line is there is a lot of conflicting messages coming from the School District on what the money from the parcel tax is to be spent on. My guess is that money will not be spent where you think it will be spent, but on wherever the School District/Board feels it is needed – which may or may not be wasteful.

    As for buying out Murphy’s contract, you and I will have to agree to disagree. There was no need to do anything other than fire Murphy, with all the evidence of malfeasance available for the asking.

    “There is nothing that this school district can do to change that (working separate pots of money) — it’s all state mandated.”

    With that sort of attitude, you leave the budgeting process in the hands of idiots who don’t have to account for a dime. You put complete trust in their capabilities. I am not that trusting. For instance, Karamatsu and Marguerite Montgomery were built with facilities funding despite the knowledge back in 1998 that there was not enough funding in operating expenses to run two new schools. Therefore, it was a foregone conclusion long ago that some elementary school was going to have to take a hit.

    And which school did the School Board/District select? The one serving the greatest number of at-risk children. To turn your argument around on you, it was far more important to retain VO which served the most needy in Davis, than Karamatsu. But did the current School Board do that? No. Any why not? Good question.

    The justification used to build two new elementary schools? Since the money will come from the facility funding pot, it will be OK. Turned out it was a complete lie, as the School Board scrambled to find funding, begging Lois Wolk to retrieve part of it from the state, then robbed Peter to pay Paul until the buck stopped with VO. Nor did it take into account the interrelationship between facility funding and operating expense funding, claiming the two are mutually exclusive – another lie.

    “It seems that you acknowledge that there are insufficient funds to run all the current schools, and then criticize that a school was closed for budget savings.”

    Supposedly VO was closed to take care of the declining enrollment problem. So why close Emerson, in light of the fact that there is burgeoning enrollment at the secondary level? All that will result in is overcrowding at both remaining junior highs and the high school. How about we cut a few Directors of This and That for starters, such as the Director of Student Services, who can’t get much of anything right. This is the same idiot who put forth a ridiculous truancy policy, in a vain attempt to obtain more dollars that were escaping from the School District. In the end, she had to retract her original idea as unworkable. And how much are we paying this dummkopff?

    I sense that you are an apologist for the School Board/District. I, on the other hand, don’t trust them one iota. It is important that we do not continue business as usual, because if we do, Emerson will be on the chopping block next. I, for one, will fight against that tooth and nail. Closing a junior high that serves the entire west end of town is ridiculous.

    In sum, IMHO, we need to take a closer look at how our tax dollars are spent. We should have a very definite idea of where our money is going – and make sure our at-risk youth are not shortchanged. I am no longer willing to trust the School Board/District to make appropriate decisions. I want an oversight committee made up of parents and teachers, NOT hand-picked by the School Board as the Best Uses of Schools Task Force was, to take a look at our school budgeting process more critically. If parents can be relied on to rescue our schools from dire consequences, then I would certainly trust them to take a gander at the budgeting process and make some suggestions to our inane School Board. As you pointed out, Tim Taylor is hardly a pillar of common sense or decency. I would argue neither is Richard Harris, nor Lovenberg. They both struck me as in love with their political position, answerable to a certain constituency, and as arrogant as all get out.

  70. former teacher

    “We already got a taste of what will happen if we don’t “fork over” the money. What currently funded programs would you like to cut?”

    We forked over an entire parcel tax, and closing VO was the result, with the closing of Emerson looming in the future. So how did forking over more money help Davis schools? It certainly didn’t help VO, nor Emerson.

    As long as citizens do not hold the School Board/District accountable for the budgeting process, the more money continues to be wasted, and the more money will be demanded in the future. Throwing more money at a problem is often counterproductive. We need our School Board to trot on over to Woodland, and find out what Woodland is doing right that we are not. You can surmise all you want, but you don’t really know why Woodland did not have to lay off any teachers.

    “A parcel tax designates an assessment of a certain amount, and lays out what services you will see for that money that otherwise wouldn’t exist.”

    This is where you are wrong. What exactly was the Measure Q parcel tax supposed to fund? Can you truly tell me? Obviously you thought part of it was for the purchase of local fruits and vegetables to improve nutrition. It was stated in the Davis Enterprise money from the parcel tax was to be spent on a nutrition course to teach elementary school children how to grow 35 lb cabbages. Money from the parcel tax was also supposed to be used for reduced class size, yet the closure of VO should have taken care of the problem of overcrowding. And by the way, had we fired Murphy, my guess is the School District could have saved $240,000!

    Bottom line is there is a lot of conflicting messages coming from the School District on what the money from the parcel tax is to be spent on. My guess is that money will not be spent where you think it will be spent, but on wherever the School District/Board feels it is needed – which may or may not be wasteful.

    As for buying out Murphy’s contract, you and I will have to agree to disagree. There was no need to do anything other than fire Murphy, with all the evidence of malfeasance available for the asking.

    “There is nothing that this school district can do to change that (working separate pots of money) — it’s all state mandated.”

    With that sort of attitude, you leave the budgeting process in the hands of idiots who don’t have to account for a dime. You put complete trust in their capabilities. I am not that trusting. For instance, Karamatsu and Marguerite Montgomery were built with facilities funding despite the knowledge back in 1998 that there was not enough funding in operating expenses to run two new schools. Therefore, it was a foregone conclusion long ago that some elementary school was going to have to take a hit.

    And which school did the School Board/District select? The one serving the greatest number of at-risk children. To turn your argument around on you, it was far more important to retain VO which served the most needy in Davis, than Karamatsu. But did the current School Board do that? No. Any why not? Good question.

    The justification used to build two new elementary schools? Since the money will come from the facility funding pot, it will be OK. Turned out it was a complete lie, as the School Board scrambled to find funding, begging Lois Wolk to retrieve part of it from the state, then robbed Peter to pay Paul until the buck stopped with VO. Nor did it take into account the interrelationship between facility funding and operating expense funding, claiming the two are mutually exclusive – another lie.

    “It seems that you acknowledge that there are insufficient funds to run all the current schools, and then criticize that a school was closed for budget savings.”

    Supposedly VO was closed to take care of the declining enrollment problem. So why close Emerson, in light of the fact that there is burgeoning enrollment at the secondary level? All that will result in is overcrowding at both remaining junior highs and the high school. How about we cut a few Directors of This and That for starters, such as the Director of Student Services, who can’t get much of anything right. This is the same idiot who put forth a ridiculous truancy policy, in a vain attempt to obtain more dollars that were escaping from the School District. In the end, she had to retract her original idea as unworkable. And how much are we paying this dummkopff?

    I sense that you are an apologist for the School Board/District. I, on the other hand, don’t trust them one iota. It is important that we do not continue business as usual, because if we do, Emerson will be on the chopping block next. I, for one, will fight against that tooth and nail. Closing a junior high that serves the entire west end of town is ridiculous.

    In sum, IMHO, we need to take a closer look at how our tax dollars are spent. We should have a very definite idea of where our money is going – and make sure our at-risk youth are not shortchanged. I am no longer willing to trust the School Board/District to make appropriate decisions. I want an oversight committee made up of parents and teachers, NOT hand-picked by the School Board as the Best Uses of Schools Task Force was, to take a look at our school budgeting process more critically. If parents can be relied on to rescue our schools from dire consequences, then I would certainly trust them to take a gander at the budgeting process and make some suggestions to our inane School Board. As you pointed out, Tim Taylor is hardly a pillar of common sense or decency. I would argue neither is Richard Harris, nor Lovenberg. They both struck me as in love with their political position, answerable to a certain constituency, and as arrogant as all get out.

  71. former teacher

    “We already got a taste of what will happen if we don’t “fork over” the money. What currently funded programs would you like to cut?”

    We forked over an entire parcel tax, and closing VO was the result, with the closing of Emerson looming in the future. So how did forking over more money help Davis schools? It certainly didn’t help VO, nor Emerson.

    As long as citizens do not hold the School Board/District accountable for the budgeting process, the more money continues to be wasted, and the more money will be demanded in the future. Throwing more money at a problem is often counterproductive. We need our School Board to trot on over to Woodland, and find out what Woodland is doing right that we are not. You can surmise all you want, but you don’t really know why Woodland did not have to lay off any teachers.

    “A parcel tax designates an assessment of a certain amount, and lays out what services you will see for that money that otherwise wouldn’t exist.”

    This is where you are wrong. What exactly was the Measure Q parcel tax supposed to fund? Can you truly tell me? Obviously you thought part of it was for the purchase of local fruits and vegetables to improve nutrition. It was stated in the Davis Enterprise money from the parcel tax was to be spent on a nutrition course to teach elementary school children how to grow 35 lb cabbages. Money from the parcel tax was also supposed to be used for reduced class size, yet the closure of VO should have taken care of the problem of overcrowding. And by the way, had we fired Murphy, my guess is the School District could have saved $240,000!

    Bottom line is there is a lot of conflicting messages coming from the School District on what the money from the parcel tax is to be spent on. My guess is that money will not be spent where you think it will be spent, but on wherever the School District/Board feels it is needed – which may or may not be wasteful.

    As for buying out Murphy’s contract, you and I will have to agree to disagree. There was no need to do anything other than fire Murphy, with all the evidence of malfeasance available for the asking.

    “There is nothing that this school district can do to change that (working separate pots of money) — it’s all state mandated.”

    With that sort of attitude, you leave the budgeting process in the hands of idiots who don’t have to account for a dime. You put complete trust in their capabilities. I am not that trusting. For instance, Karamatsu and Marguerite Montgomery were built with facilities funding despite the knowledge back in 1998 that there was not enough funding in operating expenses to run two new schools. Therefore, it was a foregone conclusion long ago that some elementary school was going to have to take a hit.

    And which school did the School Board/District select? The one serving the greatest number of at-risk children. To turn your argument around on you, it was far more important to retain VO which served the most needy in Davis, than Karamatsu. But did the current School Board do that? No. Any why not? Good question.

    The justification used to build two new elementary schools? Since the money will come from the facility funding pot, it will be OK. Turned out it was a complete lie, as the School Board scrambled to find funding, begging Lois Wolk to retrieve part of it from the state, then robbed Peter to pay Paul until the buck stopped with VO. Nor did it take into account the interrelationship between facility funding and operating expense funding, claiming the two are mutually exclusive – another lie.

    “It seems that you acknowledge that there are insufficient funds to run all the current schools, and then criticize that a school was closed for budget savings.”

    Supposedly VO was closed to take care of the declining enrollment problem. So why close Emerson, in light of the fact that there is burgeoning enrollment at the secondary level? All that will result in is overcrowding at both remaining junior highs and the high school. How about we cut a few Directors of This and That for starters, such as the Director of Student Services, who can’t get much of anything right. This is the same idiot who put forth a ridiculous truancy policy, in a vain attempt to obtain more dollars that were escaping from the School District. In the end, she had to retract her original idea as unworkable. And how much are we paying this dummkopff?

    I sense that you are an apologist for the School Board/District. I, on the other hand, don’t trust them one iota. It is important that we do not continue business as usual, because if we do, Emerson will be on the chopping block next. I, for one, will fight against that tooth and nail. Closing a junior high that serves the entire west end of town is ridiculous.

    In sum, IMHO, we need to take a closer look at how our tax dollars are spent. We should have a very definite idea of where our money is going – and make sure our at-risk youth are not shortchanged. I am no longer willing to trust the School Board/District to make appropriate decisions. I want an oversight committee made up of parents and teachers, NOT hand-picked by the School Board as the Best Uses of Schools Task Force was, to take a look at our school budgeting process more critically. If parents can be relied on to rescue our schools from dire consequences, then I would certainly trust them to take a gander at the budgeting process and make some suggestions to our inane School Board. As you pointed out, Tim Taylor is hardly a pillar of common sense or decency. I would argue neither is Richard Harris, nor Lovenberg. They both struck me as in love with their political position, answerable to a certain constituency, and as arrogant as all get out.

  72. former teacher

    “We already got a taste of what will happen if we don’t “fork over” the money. What currently funded programs would you like to cut?”

    We forked over an entire parcel tax, and closing VO was the result, with the closing of Emerson looming in the future. So how did forking over more money help Davis schools? It certainly didn’t help VO, nor Emerson.

    As long as citizens do not hold the School Board/District accountable for the budgeting process, the more money continues to be wasted, and the more money will be demanded in the future. Throwing more money at a problem is often counterproductive. We need our School Board to trot on over to Woodland, and find out what Woodland is doing right that we are not. You can surmise all you want, but you don’t really know why Woodland did not have to lay off any teachers.

    “A parcel tax designates an assessment of a certain amount, and lays out what services you will see for that money that otherwise wouldn’t exist.”

    This is where you are wrong. What exactly was the Measure Q parcel tax supposed to fund? Can you truly tell me? Obviously you thought part of it was for the purchase of local fruits and vegetables to improve nutrition. It was stated in the Davis Enterprise money from the parcel tax was to be spent on a nutrition course to teach elementary school children how to grow 35 lb cabbages. Money from the parcel tax was also supposed to be used for reduced class size, yet the closure of VO should have taken care of the problem of overcrowding. And by the way, had we fired Murphy, my guess is the School District could have saved $240,000!

    Bottom line is there is a lot of conflicting messages coming from the School District on what the money from the parcel tax is to be spent on. My guess is that money will not be spent where you think it will be spent, but on wherever the School District/Board feels it is needed – which may or may not be wasteful.

    As for buying out Murphy’s contract, you and I will have to agree to disagree. There was no need to do anything other than fire Murphy, with all the evidence of malfeasance available for the asking.

    “There is nothing that this school district can do to change that (working separate pots of money) — it’s all state mandated.”

    With that sort of attitude, you leave the budgeting process in the hands of idiots who don’t have to account for a dime. You put complete trust in their capabilities. I am not that trusting. For instance, Karamatsu and Marguerite Montgomery were built with facilities funding despite the knowledge back in 1998 that there was not enough funding in operating expenses to run two new schools. Therefore, it was a foregone conclusion long ago that some elementary school was going to have to take a hit.

    And which school did the School Board/District select? The one serving the greatest number of at-risk children. To turn your argument around on you, it was far more important to retain VO which served the most needy in Davis, than Karamatsu. But did the current School Board do that? No. Any why not? Good question.

    The justification used to build two new elementary schools? Since the money will come from the facility funding pot, it will be OK. Turned out it was a complete lie, as the School Board scrambled to find funding, begging Lois Wolk to retrieve part of it from the state, then robbed Peter to pay Paul until the buck stopped with VO. Nor did it take into account the interrelationship between facility funding and operating expense funding, claiming the two are mutually exclusive – another lie.

    “It seems that you acknowledge that there are insufficient funds to run all the current schools, and then criticize that a school was closed for budget savings.”

    Supposedly VO was closed to take care of the declining enrollment problem. So why close Emerson, in light of the fact that there is burgeoning enrollment at the secondary level? All that will result in is overcrowding at both remaining junior highs and the high school. How about we cut a few Directors of This and That for starters, such as the Director of Student Services, who can’t get much of anything right. This is the same idiot who put forth a ridiculous truancy policy, in a vain attempt to obtain more dollars that were escaping from the School District. In the end, she had to retract her original idea as unworkable. And how much are we paying this dummkopff?

    I sense that you are an apologist for the School Board/District. I, on the other hand, don’t trust them one iota. It is important that we do not continue business as usual, because if we do, Emerson will be on the chopping block next. I, for one, will fight against that tooth and nail. Closing a junior high that serves the entire west end of town is ridiculous.

    In sum, IMHO, we need to take a closer look at how our tax dollars are spent. We should have a very definite idea of where our money is going – and make sure our at-risk youth are not shortchanged. I am no longer willing to trust the School Board/District to make appropriate decisions. I want an oversight committee made up of parents and teachers, NOT hand-picked by the School Board as the Best Uses of Schools Task Force was, to take a look at our school budgeting process more critically. If parents can be relied on to rescue our schools from dire consequences, then I would certainly trust them to take a gander at the budgeting process and make some suggestions to our inane School Board. As you pointed out, Tim Taylor is hardly a pillar of common sense or decency. I would argue neither is Richard Harris, nor Lovenberg. They both struck me as in love with their political position, answerable to a certain constituency, and as arrogant as all get out.

  73. former teacher

    FYI, here is what Measure Q was supposed to fund:
    1. Class size reduction
    2. Reading programs
    3. Class periods and teachers for music, art, etc.
    4. School counselors, nurses
    5. Additional library hours
    6. Technology support
    7. Classroom materials
    8. Teacher training
    9. Improvements in school lunch nutrition
    10. Math specialists for grades 4-6

    Had the parents not bailed out the School District, and had the proposed budget cuts been put in place:
    1. Class sizes were already reduced by the closure of VO, and the proposed closing of Emerson. The parcel tax money would obviously not have been needed for this purpose.
    2. The most successful EL reading program was eliminated at VO, yet we were going to spend money to set up new reading programs elsewhere? In other words, pay to recreate the VO program in another school?
    3. The elementary school music and art program were slated to be eliminated. The parcel tax money would not have been needed for a non-existant program.
    4. School counselors and nurses were slated to be laid off. So how was the parcel tax money going to fix this problem?
    5. The librarians were being laid off, so obviously parcel tax money for additional library hours would not be needed.
    6. 9 Da Vinci teachers were slated to be laid off, which virtually gutted that school. Thus “tech support” would not have been necessary.
    7. Neither Emerson nor VO would have any need for classroom materials, since they were either slated or considered for closure. Their existing materials would have caused a surplus – which of course the VO Charter School was told emphatically they could not use.
    8. Teacher training would hardly be necessary, since 110 were slated for layoffs.
    9. Pay for improvements to nutrition, because junk food sold on the premises resulted in poor nutrition? How ridiculous is it to have to fix the problem the School District itself created?
    10. Math teachers at the elementary and secondary level were slated for layoffs. So parcel tax money for this purpose would be unnecessary.

    So what was the School Board/District planning to spend the parcel tax money on? I, for one, want answers!

    This is a quote directly from the Davis Enterprise [with my commentary interspersed]:
    “In very real terms, Measure Q is about having 20 young students per class in grades K-3 instead of 30 crowded together. [Well the School Board achieved lower class sizes at VO and possibly will at Emerson, but will increase sizes at Harper, Holmes and DHS!] Measure Q is about continuing a seventh period at secondary schools to allow students to take both foreign language and art, or to be part of the world class Madrigals, orchestra or band. [Art, music and foreign languages were to be eliminated.]

    Measure Q is about being able to offer a class in agricultural biology or mechanics or biotechnology. [Who cares about these frills, if basic courses are being eliminated?] Measure Q is about academic counselors to help students find a path to college and a crisis counselor to help students find a path away from harm. [Counselors were being laid off.] Measure Q is about support for our English learners and at-risk students. [Oh, and how is that, when VO was closed, a school that had the best EL program in Davis?!] Measure Q is about reading and math specialists to ensure academic and lifelong success for all our students. [Math specialists were getting the axe, as did the EL program at VO – which didn’t seem to show much concern for our at-risk youth.]”

    Doesn’t this strike anyone as very ironic? It makes me positively cringe to read it in light of what has happened!

  74. former teacher

    FYI, here is what Measure Q was supposed to fund:
    1. Class size reduction
    2. Reading programs
    3. Class periods and teachers for music, art, etc.
    4. School counselors, nurses
    5. Additional library hours
    6. Technology support
    7. Classroom materials
    8. Teacher training
    9. Improvements in school lunch nutrition
    10. Math specialists for grades 4-6

    Had the parents not bailed out the School District, and had the proposed budget cuts been put in place:
    1. Class sizes were already reduced by the closure of VO, and the proposed closing of Emerson. The parcel tax money would obviously not have been needed for this purpose.
    2. The most successful EL reading program was eliminated at VO, yet we were going to spend money to set up new reading programs elsewhere? In other words, pay to recreate the VO program in another school?
    3. The elementary school music and art program were slated to be eliminated. The parcel tax money would not have been needed for a non-existant program.
    4. School counselors and nurses were slated to be laid off. So how was the parcel tax money going to fix this problem?
    5. The librarians were being laid off, so obviously parcel tax money for additional library hours would not be needed.
    6. 9 Da Vinci teachers were slated to be laid off, which virtually gutted that school. Thus “tech support” would not have been necessary.
    7. Neither Emerson nor VO would have any need for classroom materials, since they were either slated or considered for closure. Their existing materials would have caused a surplus – which of course the VO Charter School was told emphatically they could not use.
    8. Teacher training would hardly be necessary, since 110 were slated for layoffs.
    9. Pay for improvements to nutrition, because junk food sold on the premises resulted in poor nutrition? How ridiculous is it to have to fix the problem the School District itself created?
    10. Math teachers at the elementary and secondary level were slated for layoffs. So parcel tax money for this purpose would be unnecessary.

    So what was the School Board/District planning to spend the parcel tax money on? I, for one, want answers!

    This is a quote directly from the Davis Enterprise [with my commentary interspersed]:
    “In very real terms, Measure Q is about having 20 young students per class in grades K-3 instead of 30 crowded together. [Well the School Board achieved lower class sizes at VO and possibly will at Emerson, but will increase sizes at Harper, Holmes and DHS!] Measure Q is about continuing a seventh period at secondary schools to allow students to take both foreign language and art, or to be part of the world class Madrigals, orchestra or band. [Art, music and foreign languages were to be eliminated.]

    Measure Q is about being able to offer a class in agricultural biology or mechanics or biotechnology. [Who cares about these frills, if basic courses are being eliminated?] Measure Q is about academic counselors to help students find a path to college and a crisis counselor to help students find a path away from harm. [Counselors were being laid off.] Measure Q is about support for our English learners and at-risk students. [Oh, and how is that, when VO was closed, a school that had the best EL program in Davis?!] Measure Q is about reading and math specialists to ensure academic and lifelong success for all our students. [Math specialists were getting the axe, as did the EL program at VO – which didn’t seem to show much concern for our at-risk youth.]”

    Doesn’t this strike anyone as very ironic? It makes me positively cringe to read it in light of what has happened!

  75. former teacher

    FYI, here is what Measure Q was supposed to fund:
    1. Class size reduction
    2. Reading programs
    3. Class periods and teachers for music, art, etc.
    4. School counselors, nurses
    5. Additional library hours
    6. Technology support
    7. Classroom materials
    8. Teacher training
    9. Improvements in school lunch nutrition
    10. Math specialists for grades 4-6

    Had the parents not bailed out the School District, and had the proposed budget cuts been put in place:
    1. Class sizes were already reduced by the closure of VO, and the proposed closing of Emerson. The parcel tax money would obviously not have been needed for this purpose.
    2. The most successful EL reading program was eliminated at VO, yet we were going to spend money to set up new reading programs elsewhere? In other words, pay to recreate the VO program in another school?
    3. The elementary school music and art program were slated to be eliminated. The parcel tax money would not have been needed for a non-existant program.
    4. School counselors and nurses were slated to be laid off. So how was the parcel tax money going to fix this problem?
    5. The librarians were being laid off, so obviously parcel tax money for additional library hours would not be needed.
    6. 9 Da Vinci teachers were slated to be laid off, which virtually gutted that school. Thus “tech support” would not have been necessary.
    7. Neither Emerson nor VO would have any need for classroom materials, since they were either slated or considered for closure. Their existing materials would have caused a surplus – which of course the VO Charter School was told emphatically they could not use.
    8. Teacher training would hardly be necessary, since 110 were slated for layoffs.
    9. Pay for improvements to nutrition, because junk food sold on the premises resulted in poor nutrition? How ridiculous is it to have to fix the problem the School District itself created?
    10. Math teachers at the elementary and secondary level were slated for layoffs. So parcel tax money for this purpose would be unnecessary.

    So what was the School Board/District planning to spend the parcel tax money on? I, for one, want answers!

    This is a quote directly from the Davis Enterprise [with my commentary interspersed]:
    “In very real terms, Measure Q is about having 20 young students per class in grades K-3 instead of 30 crowded together. [Well the School Board achieved lower class sizes at VO and possibly will at Emerson, but will increase sizes at Harper, Holmes and DHS!] Measure Q is about continuing a seventh period at secondary schools to allow students to take both foreign language and art, or to be part of the world class Madrigals, orchestra or band. [Art, music and foreign languages were to be eliminated.]

    Measure Q is about being able to offer a class in agricultural biology or mechanics or biotechnology. [Who cares about these frills, if basic courses are being eliminated?] Measure Q is about academic counselors to help students find a path to college and a crisis counselor to help students find a path away from harm. [Counselors were being laid off.] Measure Q is about support for our English learners and at-risk students. [Oh, and how is that, when VO was closed, a school that had the best EL program in Davis?!] Measure Q is about reading and math specialists to ensure academic and lifelong success for all our students. [Math specialists were getting the axe, as did the EL program at VO – which didn’t seem to show much concern for our at-risk youth.]”

    Doesn’t this strike anyone as very ironic? It makes me positively cringe to read it in light of what has happened!

  76. former teacher

    FYI, here is what Measure Q was supposed to fund:
    1. Class size reduction
    2. Reading programs
    3. Class periods and teachers for music, art, etc.
    4. School counselors, nurses
    5. Additional library hours
    6. Technology support
    7. Classroom materials
    8. Teacher training
    9. Improvements in school lunch nutrition
    10. Math specialists for grades 4-6

    Had the parents not bailed out the School District, and had the proposed budget cuts been put in place:
    1. Class sizes were already reduced by the closure of VO, and the proposed closing of Emerson. The parcel tax money would obviously not have been needed for this purpose.
    2. The most successful EL reading program was eliminated at VO, yet we were going to spend money to set up new reading programs elsewhere? In other words, pay to recreate the VO program in another school?
    3. The elementary school music and art program were slated to be eliminated. The parcel tax money would not have been needed for a non-existant program.
    4. School counselors and nurses were slated to be laid off. So how was the parcel tax money going to fix this problem?
    5. The librarians were being laid off, so obviously parcel tax money for additional library hours would not be needed.
    6. 9 Da Vinci teachers were slated to be laid off, which virtually gutted that school. Thus “tech support” would not have been necessary.
    7. Neither Emerson nor VO would have any need for classroom materials, since they were either slated or considered for closure. Their existing materials would have caused a surplus – which of course the VO Charter School was told emphatically they could not use.
    8. Teacher training would hardly be necessary, since 110 were slated for layoffs.
    9. Pay for improvements to nutrition, because junk food sold on the premises resulted in poor nutrition? How ridiculous is it to have to fix the problem the School District itself created?
    10. Math teachers at the elementary and secondary level were slated for layoffs. So parcel tax money for this purpose would be unnecessary.

    So what was the School Board/District planning to spend the parcel tax money on? I, for one, want answers!

    This is a quote directly from the Davis Enterprise [with my commentary interspersed]:
    “In very real terms, Measure Q is about having 20 young students per class in grades K-3 instead of 30 crowded together. [Well the School Board achieved lower class sizes at VO and possibly will at Emerson, but will increase sizes at Harper, Holmes and DHS!] Measure Q is about continuing a seventh period at secondary schools to allow students to take both foreign language and art, or to be part of the world class Madrigals, orchestra or band. [Art, music and foreign languages were to be eliminated.]

    Measure Q is about being able to offer a class in agricultural biology or mechanics or biotechnology. [Who cares about these frills, if basic courses are being eliminated?] Measure Q is about academic counselors to help students find a path to college and a crisis counselor to help students find a path away from harm. [Counselors were being laid off.] Measure Q is about support for our English learners and at-risk students. [Oh, and how is that, when VO was closed, a school that had the best EL program in Davis?!] Measure Q is about reading and math specialists to ensure academic and lifelong success for all our students. [Math specialists were getting the axe, as did the EL program at VO – which didn’t seem to show much concern for our at-risk youth.]”

    Doesn’t this strike anyone as very ironic? It makes me positively cringe to read it in light of what has happened!

  77. wdf

    former teacher:

    “You can surmise all you want, but you don’t really know why Woodland did not have to lay off any teachers.”

    You are free to investigate and compare Woodland and Davis districts by the numbers at
    http://www.ed-data.k12.ca.us

    The latest numbers are for the 2006-07 academic year. Some of the initial suggestions for more financial stability in Woodland are that Davis teachers, on average have been teaching longer (higher salary burden in Davis), more federal funding for Woodland (more Title I students), and higher average class size in Woodland. Woodland enrollment has been steadily climbing in recent years. I previously suggested that Woodland didn’t overbuild on its schools the way Davis did. All of those can make a significant difference, but I am sure that is only part of the picture.

    “such as the Director of Student Services, who can’t get much of anything right. This is the same idiot who put forth a ridiculous truancy policy,”

    That truancy policy was discussed at last Thursday’s joint city council/school board meeting. I did not have a problem with the policy as it was discussed at that meeting. They gave an extensive summary/description. K-12 kids shouldn’t be truant, and aggressive intervention is a good thing. I noted that the policy, among other things, involved meeting w/ the family to see if there were factors at home contributing to the truancy, and making the effort to get appropriate social services, if needed. Based on what I heard at that meeting on this issue, I’m not inclined to dismiss Pam Mari over that.

    I don’t see myself as an apologist for the district. I just want the best possible public schools for Davis and its kids, and I want the system to work the way it’s supposed to. My kids have positively benefited from the schools, and I want that to continue. One has been involved in special ed, two in the elementary ELL, and all have benefited from programs not found elsewhere.

    The current school board and district staff are the ones who run the show, so those are the ones we have to deal w/. It doesn’t help to have a broad, pessimistic and complete mistrusting view of everyone in the district as your comments suggest. You have called them all idiots. I don’t know whether that was just venting on your part, or whether you genuinely believe they have seriously impaired mental faculties. I’m more inclined to think the former, but the sustained tone of your criticisms begins to make me consider the latter.

    If you genuinely and passionately believe in a vision for the Davis public schools, then your role in the process doesn’t end just because VO was closed. Those VO kids will continue to go to school, most of them to other Davis schools. They still need advocates to make sure that their needs and interests are met.

    I am not completely trusting of everyone in the process, but I have to trust that they are open to listening to my point of view and maybe responding positively once in a while. If I don’t trust anyone, then why should I even bother to participate? A certain level of trust is needed to stay involved in public advocacy. To measure how much the gray areas are moving toward where I’d like to see them. This isn’t a black and white world of ideas.

    I don’t have the time at this point to debate you point for point on everything you have listed, but I comment on some points.

    In watching the most recent 3-4 months of board meetings, a significant amount of discussion has involved a back and forth clarification of what Measure Q does and does not guarantee. Hammond and Colby, for instance, were not part of the formulation of Measure Q. What I have heard, noted, and remember from school board discussion is that there will not be any reduced library hours at DHS (Measure Q guaranteed extended library hours at DHS after school). It was Hammond who initially proposed cutting back DHS library hours and it was school board members who responded back that such a proposal would violate that Measure Q provision.

    I don’t see any cuts for counselors next year and I never saw any nurse positions ever considered for layoff. If nurses were even considered, please elaborate on where that came up. Counselors came on the cut list when Taylor and others initially proposed discussing closing Emerson and/or a secondary reorganization that ultimately did not happen. Measure Q did not guarantee that schools would stay open or not.

    It was the elementary music program that was slated to be cut. The secondary music program was not targeted to be cut. Measure Q did not guarantee the elementary music program. It did guarantee funding a certain number of 7th period secondary classes (something the state does not provide funding for) to enable students to take additional electives like music and art. This was a renewal of a provision from the previous parcel tax to continue that program.

    The secondary master schedule has not been released yet, but when it is, it is a simple matter of counting up 7th period offerings to see if it at least equals what is guaranteed by Measure Q. The ultimate proof of whether Measure Q is being violated or not is a ground check at the school sites in the fall. If something isn’t right at that point, then it is important to bring it up immediately. That’s how we, the public, hold the school board and district accountable.

    I do not have time to spend to research every single other allegation, point for point. But I was involved in exchanges w/ district staff and board members to argue and establish what some of the things were funded by Measure Q. For the points that I seriously advocated (maybe 4-5 that you list), I am comfortable that Measure Q is not being violated for now. But I still remain vigilent.

  78. wdf

    former teacher:

    “You can surmise all you want, but you don’t really know why Woodland did not have to lay off any teachers.”

    You are free to investigate and compare Woodland and Davis districts by the numbers at
    http://www.ed-data.k12.ca.us

    The latest numbers are for the 2006-07 academic year. Some of the initial suggestions for more financial stability in Woodland are that Davis teachers, on average have been teaching longer (higher salary burden in Davis), more federal funding for Woodland (more Title I students), and higher average class size in Woodland. Woodland enrollment has been steadily climbing in recent years. I previously suggested that Woodland didn’t overbuild on its schools the way Davis did. All of those can make a significant difference, but I am sure that is only part of the picture.

    “such as the Director of Student Services, who can’t get much of anything right. This is the same idiot who put forth a ridiculous truancy policy,”

    That truancy policy was discussed at last Thursday’s joint city council/school board meeting. I did not have a problem with the policy as it was discussed at that meeting. They gave an extensive summary/description. K-12 kids shouldn’t be truant, and aggressive intervention is a good thing. I noted that the policy, among other things, involved meeting w/ the family to see if there were factors at home contributing to the truancy, and making the effort to get appropriate social services, if needed. Based on what I heard at that meeting on this issue, I’m not inclined to dismiss Pam Mari over that.

    I don’t see myself as an apologist for the district. I just want the best possible public schools for Davis and its kids, and I want the system to work the way it’s supposed to. My kids have positively benefited from the schools, and I want that to continue. One has been involved in special ed, two in the elementary ELL, and all have benefited from programs not found elsewhere.

    The current school board and district staff are the ones who run the show, so those are the ones we have to deal w/. It doesn’t help to have a broad, pessimistic and complete mistrusting view of everyone in the district as your comments suggest. You have called them all idiots. I don’t know whether that was just venting on your part, or whether you genuinely believe they have seriously impaired mental faculties. I’m more inclined to think the former, but the sustained tone of your criticisms begins to make me consider the latter.

    If you genuinely and passionately believe in a vision for the Davis public schools, then your role in the process doesn’t end just because VO was closed. Those VO kids will continue to go to school, most of them to other Davis schools. They still need advocates to make sure that their needs and interests are met.

    I am not completely trusting of everyone in the process, but I have to trust that they are open to listening to my point of view and maybe responding positively once in a while. If I don’t trust anyone, then why should I even bother to participate? A certain level of trust is needed to stay involved in public advocacy. To measure how much the gray areas are moving toward where I’d like to see them. This isn’t a black and white world of ideas.

    I don’t have the time at this point to debate you point for point on everything you have listed, but I comment on some points.

    In watching the most recent 3-4 months of board meetings, a significant amount of discussion has involved a back and forth clarification of what Measure Q does and does not guarantee. Hammond and Colby, for instance, were not part of the formulation of Measure Q. What I have heard, noted, and remember from school board discussion is that there will not be any reduced library hours at DHS (Measure Q guaranteed extended library hours at DHS after school). It was Hammond who initially proposed cutting back DHS library hours and it was school board members who responded back that such a proposal would violate that Measure Q provision.

    I don’t see any cuts for counselors next year and I never saw any nurse positions ever considered for layoff. If nurses were even considered, please elaborate on where that came up. Counselors came on the cut list when Taylor and others initially proposed discussing closing Emerson and/or a secondary reorganization that ultimately did not happen. Measure Q did not guarantee that schools would stay open or not.

    It was the elementary music program that was slated to be cut. The secondary music program was not targeted to be cut. Measure Q did not guarantee the elementary music program. It did guarantee funding a certain number of 7th period secondary classes (something the state does not provide funding for) to enable students to take additional electives like music and art. This was a renewal of a provision from the previous parcel tax to continue that program.

    The secondary master schedule has not been released yet, but when it is, it is a simple matter of counting up 7th period offerings to see if it at least equals what is guaranteed by Measure Q. The ultimate proof of whether Measure Q is being violated or not is a ground check at the school sites in the fall. If something isn’t right at that point, then it is important to bring it up immediately. That’s how we, the public, hold the school board and district accountable.

    I do not have time to spend to research every single other allegation, point for point. But I was involved in exchanges w/ district staff and board members to argue and establish what some of the things were funded by Measure Q. For the points that I seriously advocated (maybe 4-5 that you list), I am comfortable that Measure Q is not being violated for now. But I still remain vigilent.

  79. wdf

    former teacher:

    “You can surmise all you want, but you don’t really know why Woodland did not have to lay off any teachers.”

    You are free to investigate and compare Woodland and Davis districts by the numbers at
    http://www.ed-data.k12.ca.us

    The latest numbers are for the 2006-07 academic year. Some of the initial suggestions for more financial stability in Woodland are that Davis teachers, on average have been teaching longer (higher salary burden in Davis), more federal funding for Woodland (more Title I students), and higher average class size in Woodland. Woodland enrollment has been steadily climbing in recent years. I previously suggested that Woodland didn’t overbuild on its schools the way Davis did. All of those can make a significant difference, but I am sure that is only part of the picture.

    “such as the Director of Student Services, who can’t get much of anything right. This is the same idiot who put forth a ridiculous truancy policy,”

    That truancy policy was discussed at last Thursday’s joint city council/school board meeting. I did not have a problem with the policy as it was discussed at that meeting. They gave an extensive summary/description. K-12 kids shouldn’t be truant, and aggressive intervention is a good thing. I noted that the policy, among other things, involved meeting w/ the family to see if there were factors at home contributing to the truancy, and making the effort to get appropriate social services, if needed. Based on what I heard at that meeting on this issue, I’m not inclined to dismiss Pam Mari over that.

    I don’t see myself as an apologist for the district. I just want the best possible public schools for Davis and its kids, and I want the system to work the way it’s supposed to. My kids have positively benefited from the schools, and I want that to continue. One has been involved in special ed, two in the elementary ELL, and all have benefited from programs not found elsewhere.

    The current school board and district staff are the ones who run the show, so those are the ones we have to deal w/. It doesn’t help to have a broad, pessimistic and complete mistrusting view of everyone in the district as your comments suggest. You have called them all idiots. I don’t know whether that was just venting on your part, or whether you genuinely believe they have seriously impaired mental faculties. I’m more inclined to think the former, but the sustained tone of your criticisms begins to make me consider the latter.

    If you genuinely and passionately believe in a vision for the Davis public schools, then your role in the process doesn’t end just because VO was closed. Those VO kids will continue to go to school, most of them to other Davis schools. They still need advocates to make sure that their needs and interests are met.

    I am not completely trusting of everyone in the process, but I have to trust that they are open to listening to my point of view and maybe responding positively once in a while. If I don’t trust anyone, then why should I even bother to participate? A certain level of trust is needed to stay involved in public advocacy. To measure how much the gray areas are moving toward where I’d like to see them. This isn’t a black and white world of ideas.

    I don’t have the time at this point to debate you point for point on everything you have listed, but I comment on some points.

    In watching the most recent 3-4 months of board meetings, a significant amount of discussion has involved a back and forth clarification of what Measure Q does and does not guarantee. Hammond and Colby, for instance, were not part of the formulation of Measure Q. What I have heard, noted, and remember from school board discussion is that there will not be any reduced library hours at DHS (Measure Q guaranteed extended library hours at DHS after school). It was Hammond who initially proposed cutting back DHS library hours and it was school board members who responded back that such a proposal would violate that Measure Q provision.

    I don’t see any cuts for counselors next year and I never saw any nurse positions ever considered for layoff. If nurses were even considered, please elaborate on where that came up. Counselors came on the cut list when Taylor and others initially proposed discussing closing Emerson and/or a secondary reorganization that ultimately did not happen. Measure Q did not guarantee that schools would stay open or not.

    It was the elementary music program that was slated to be cut. The secondary music program was not targeted to be cut. Measure Q did not guarantee the elementary music program. It did guarantee funding a certain number of 7th period secondary classes (something the state does not provide funding for) to enable students to take additional electives like music and art. This was a renewal of a provision from the previous parcel tax to continue that program.

    The secondary master schedule has not been released yet, but when it is, it is a simple matter of counting up 7th period offerings to see if it at least equals what is guaranteed by Measure Q. The ultimate proof of whether Measure Q is being violated or not is a ground check at the school sites in the fall. If something isn’t right at that point, then it is important to bring it up immediately. That’s how we, the public, hold the school board and district accountable.

    I do not have time to spend to research every single other allegation, point for point. But I was involved in exchanges w/ district staff and board members to argue and establish what some of the things were funded by Measure Q. For the points that I seriously advocated (maybe 4-5 that you list), I am comfortable that Measure Q is not being violated for now. But I still remain vigilent.

  80. wdf

    former teacher:

    “You can surmise all you want, but you don’t really know why Woodland did not have to lay off any teachers.”

    You are free to investigate and compare Woodland and Davis districts by the numbers at
    http://www.ed-data.k12.ca.us

    The latest numbers are for the 2006-07 academic year. Some of the initial suggestions for more financial stability in Woodland are that Davis teachers, on average have been teaching longer (higher salary burden in Davis), more federal funding for Woodland (more Title I students), and higher average class size in Woodland. Woodland enrollment has been steadily climbing in recent years. I previously suggested that Woodland didn’t overbuild on its schools the way Davis did. All of those can make a significant difference, but I am sure that is only part of the picture.

    “such as the Director of Student Services, who can’t get much of anything right. This is the same idiot who put forth a ridiculous truancy policy,”

    That truancy policy was discussed at last Thursday’s joint city council/school board meeting. I did not have a problem with the policy as it was discussed at that meeting. They gave an extensive summary/description. K-12 kids shouldn’t be truant, and aggressive intervention is a good thing. I noted that the policy, among other things, involved meeting w/ the family to see if there were factors at home contributing to the truancy, and making the effort to get appropriate social services, if needed. Based on what I heard at that meeting on this issue, I’m not inclined to dismiss Pam Mari over that.

    I don’t see myself as an apologist for the district. I just want the best possible public schools for Davis and its kids, and I want the system to work the way it’s supposed to. My kids have positively benefited from the schools, and I want that to continue. One has been involved in special ed, two in the elementary ELL, and all have benefited from programs not found elsewhere.

    The current school board and district staff are the ones who run the show, so those are the ones we have to deal w/. It doesn’t help to have a broad, pessimistic and complete mistrusting view of everyone in the district as your comments suggest. You have called them all idiots. I don’t know whether that was just venting on your part, or whether you genuinely believe they have seriously impaired mental faculties. I’m more inclined to think the former, but the sustained tone of your criticisms begins to make me consider the latter.

    If you genuinely and passionately believe in a vision for the Davis public schools, then your role in the process doesn’t end just because VO was closed. Those VO kids will continue to go to school, most of them to other Davis schools. They still need advocates to make sure that their needs and interests are met.

    I am not completely trusting of everyone in the process, but I have to trust that they are open to listening to my point of view and maybe responding positively once in a while. If I don’t trust anyone, then why should I even bother to participate? A certain level of trust is needed to stay involved in public advocacy. To measure how much the gray areas are moving toward where I’d like to see them. This isn’t a black and white world of ideas.

    I don’t have the time at this point to debate you point for point on everything you have listed, but I comment on some points.

    In watching the most recent 3-4 months of board meetings, a significant amount of discussion has involved a back and forth clarification of what Measure Q does and does not guarantee. Hammond and Colby, for instance, were not part of the formulation of Measure Q. What I have heard, noted, and remember from school board discussion is that there will not be any reduced library hours at DHS (Measure Q guaranteed extended library hours at DHS after school). It was Hammond who initially proposed cutting back DHS library hours and it was school board members who responded back that such a proposal would violate that Measure Q provision.

    I don’t see any cuts for counselors next year and I never saw any nurse positions ever considered for layoff. If nurses were even considered, please elaborate on where that came up. Counselors came on the cut list when Taylor and others initially proposed discussing closing Emerson and/or a secondary reorganization that ultimately did not happen. Measure Q did not guarantee that schools would stay open or not.

    It was the elementary music program that was slated to be cut. The secondary music program was not targeted to be cut. Measure Q did not guarantee the elementary music program. It did guarantee funding a certain number of 7th period secondary classes (something the state does not provide funding for) to enable students to take additional electives like music and art. This was a renewal of a provision from the previous parcel tax to continue that program.

    The secondary master schedule has not been released yet, but when it is, it is a simple matter of counting up 7th period offerings to see if it at least equals what is guaranteed by Measure Q. The ultimate proof of whether Measure Q is being violated or not is a ground check at the school sites in the fall. If something isn’t right at that point, then it is important to bring it up immediately. That’s how we, the public, hold the school board and district accountable.

    I do not have time to spend to research every single other allegation, point for point. But I was involved in exchanges w/ district staff and board members to argue and establish what some of the things were funded by Measure Q. For the points that I seriously advocated (maybe 4-5 that you list), I am comfortable that Measure Q is not being violated for now. But I still remain vigilent.

  81. former teacher

    “K-12 kids shouldn’t be truant, and aggressive intervention is a good thing.”

    You mean like the police swooping down on kids like a SWAT Team, as was initially suggested and retracted? Mari is also the dimwit that started Da Vinci with an initial grant, without making sure there would be funding to continue the school. Why would she care – she had moved up into the administration. She got what she wanted out of Da Vinci.

    “My kids have positively benefited from the schools, and I want that to continue. One has been involved in special ed, two in the elementary ELL, and all have benefited from programs not found elsewhere.”

    If your kids had been taught at VO, how will their great EL experience be continued? If Emerson is closed, how will that “continue” Davis programs? Your logic escapes me here.

    “The current school board and district staff are the ones who run the show, so those are the ones we have to deal w/. It doesn’t help to have a broad, pessimistic and complete mistrusting view of everyone in the district as your comments suggest.”

    Would you rather just blindly except their decisions without question? If you do, then count on Emerson Junior High closing.

    “You have called them all idiots. I don’t know whether that was just venting on your part, or whether you genuinely believe they have seriously impaired mental faculties.”

    Don’t you find the decision to close two schools, one that serves the entire west end of town, the other served our most at-risk students idiotic? Apparently a lot of Davisites thought the same way I do, because the School Board was forced to take the idea of closing Emerson off the table as too hot to handle at the time. But make no mistake, the School Board will mount a disingenous campaign to close it down in order to put their fiscal house in order, rather than taking a trip to Woodland to find out what that city is doing right.

    “Those VO kids will continue to go to school, most of them to other Davis schools. They still need advocates to make sure that their needs and interests are met.”

    What they needed was for their school to be left intact. With any luck, Bill Storm will resurrect VO as a Charter School – and idea whose time has long since come.

    “I am not completely trusting of everyone in the process, but I have to trust that they are open to listening to my point of view and maybe responding positively once in a while.”

    Have you ever spoken out at a School Board meeting? Receptive they are not.

    “In watching the most recent 3-4 months of board meetings, a significant amount of discussion has involved a back and forth clarification of what Measure Q does and does not guarantee.”

    Now why do you think “clarification” was needed? Supposedly what Measure Q was to be spent on was razor sharp and to the point as listed in the Davis Enterprise – but then when it came time to implement the thing, it became very, very fuzzy. I wonder why? Because circumstances had changed, because the School District needed that money for other things. And some of those things may or may not have been something voters would want the money spent on. In essence, the School District broke faith with its citizens, and tried to finesse spending the money on other than what it was originally designed for, a not uncommon occurrence. It has happened before.

    “If something isn’t right at that point, then it is important to bring it up immediately. That’s how we, the public, hold the school board and district accountable.”

    Like the matter of VO was brought up? And how did we hold the School Board/District accountable for that?

    “I am comfortable that Measure Q is not being violated for now. But I still remain vigilent.”

    Still vigilent? You could have fooled me!

    Truly, this is not an attempt to attack you personally. In making my comments, the only thing I am trying to achieve is to make citizens more aware of what is going on, to make sure it is not “business as usual”. Davis has remained far too complacent over the years, and allowed rampant corruption to seep into the school budgeting process. Because of a few minor changes, some now trust the School Board will do the right thing.

    I, for one, do not see that happening. Closing Emerson does not seem like a very good solution to budgeting shortfalls to me, just as closing VO was not a good solution. Furthermore, I am trying to highlight the very real problem of creating programs and building facilities, without making sure there is operating expense money to run them. We have some serious problems within our School District that need drastic change. If citizens don’t wise up, and stand up to be heard and loudly, we are going to get more of the same. And the closing of another school will be the result.

  82. former teacher

    “K-12 kids shouldn’t be truant, and aggressive intervention is a good thing.”

    You mean like the police swooping down on kids like a SWAT Team, as was initially suggested and retracted? Mari is also the dimwit that started Da Vinci with an initial grant, without making sure there would be funding to continue the school. Why would she care – she had moved up into the administration. She got what she wanted out of Da Vinci.

    “My kids have positively benefited from the schools, and I want that to continue. One has been involved in special ed, two in the elementary ELL, and all have benefited from programs not found elsewhere.”

    If your kids had been taught at VO, how will their great EL experience be continued? If Emerson is closed, how will that “continue” Davis programs? Your logic escapes me here.

    “The current school board and district staff are the ones who run the show, so those are the ones we have to deal w/. It doesn’t help to have a broad, pessimistic and complete mistrusting view of everyone in the district as your comments suggest.”

    Would you rather just blindly except their decisions without question? If you do, then count on Emerson Junior High closing.

    “You have called them all idiots. I don’t know whether that was just venting on your part, or whether you genuinely believe they have seriously impaired mental faculties.”

    Don’t you find the decision to close two schools, one that serves the entire west end of town, the other served our most at-risk students idiotic? Apparently a lot of Davisites thought the same way I do, because the School Board was forced to take the idea of closing Emerson off the table as too hot to handle at the time. But make no mistake, the School Board will mount a disingenous campaign to close it down in order to put their fiscal house in order, rather than taking a trip to Woodland to find out what that city is doing right.

    “Those VO kids will continue to go to school, most of them to other Davis schools. They still need advocates to make sure that their needs and interests are met.”

    What they needed was for their school to be left intact. With any luck, Bill Storm will resurrect VO as a Charter School – and idea whose time has long since come.

    “I am not completely trusting of everyone in the process, but I have to trust that they are open to listening to my point of view and maybe responding positively once in a while.”

    Have you ever spoken out at a School Board meeting? Receptive they are not.

    “In watching the most recent 3-4 months of board meetings, a significant amount of discussion has involved a back and forth clarification of what Measure Q does and does not guarantee.”

    Now why do you think “clarification” was needed? Supposedly what Measure Q was to be spent on was razor sharp and to the point as listed in the Davis Enterprise – but then when it came time to implement the thing, it became very, very fuzzy. I wonder why? Because circumstances had changed, because the School District needed that money for other things. And some of those things may or may not have been something voters would want the money spent on. In essence, the School District broke faith with its citizens, and tried to finesse spending the money on other than what it was originally designed for, a not uncommon occurrence. It has happened before.

    “If something isn’t right at that point, then it is important to bring it up immediately. That’s how we, the public, hold the school board and district accountable.”

    Like the matter of VO was brought up? And how did we hold the School Board/District accountable for that?

    “I am comfortable that Measure Q is not being violated for now. But I still remain vigilent.”

    Still vigilent? You could have fooled me!

    Truly, this is not an attempt to attack you personally. In making my comments, the only thing I am trying to achieve is to make citizens more aware of what is going on, to make sure it is not “business as usual”. Davis has remained far too complacent over the years, and allowed rampant corruption to seep into the school budgeting process. Because of a few minor changes, some now trust the School Board will do the right thing.

    I, for one, do not see that happening. Closing Emerson does not seem like a very good solution to budgeting shortfalls to me, just as closing VO was not a good solution. Furthermore, I am trying to highlight the very real problem of creating programs and building facilities, without making sure there is operating expense money to run them. We have some serious problems within our School District that need drastic change. If citizens don’t wise up, and stand up to be heard and loudly, we are going to get more of the same. And the closing of another school will be the result.

  83. former teacher

    “K-12 kids shouldn’t be truant, and aggressive intervention is a good thing.”

    You mean like the police swooping down on kids like a SWAT Team, as was initially suggested and retracted? Mari is also the dimwit that started Da Vinci with an initial grant, without making sure there would be funding to continue the school. Why would she care – she had moved up into the administration. She got what she wanted out of Da Vinci.

    “My kids have positively benefited from the schools, and I want that to continue. One has been involved in special ed, two in the elementary ELL, and all have benefited from programs not found elsewhere.”

    If your kids had been taught at VO, how will their great EL experience be continued? If Emerson is closed, how will that “continue” Davis programs? Your logic escapes me here.

    “The current school board and district staff are the ones who run the show, so those are the ones we have to deal w/. It doesn’t help to have a broad, pessimistic and complete mistrusting view of everyone in the district as your comments suggest.”

    Would you rather just blindly except their decisions without question? If you do, then count on Emerson Junior High closing.

    “You have called them all idiots. I don’t know whether that was just venting on your part, or whether you genuinely believe they have seriously impaired mental faculties.”

    Don’t you find the decision to close two schools, one that serves the entire west end of town, the other served our most at-risk students idiotic? Apparently a lot of Davisites thought the same way I do, because the School Board was forced to take the idea of closing Emerson off the table as too hot to handle at the time. But make no mistake, the School Board will mount a disingenous campaign to close it down in order to put their fiscal house in order, rather than taking a trip to Woodland to find out what that city is doing right.

    “Those VO kids will continue to go to school, most of them to other Davis schools. They still need advocates to make sure that their needs and interests are met.”

    What they needed was for their school to be left intact. With any luck, Bill Storm will resurrect VO as a Charter School – and idea whose time has long since come.

    “I am not completely trusting of everyone in the process, but I have to trust that they are open to listening to my point of view and maybe responding positively once in a while.”

    Have you ever spoken out at a School Board meeting? Receptive they are not.

    “In watching the most recent 3-4 months of board meetings, a significant amount of discussion has involved a back and forth clarification of what Measure Q does and does not guarantee.”

    Now why do you think “clarification” was needed? Supposedly what Measure Q was to be spent on was razor sharp and to the point as listed in the Davis Enterprise – but then when it came time to implement the thing, it became very, very fuzzy. I wonder why? Because circumstances had changed, because the School District needed that money for other things. And some of those things may or may not have been something voters would want the money spent on. In essence, the School District broke faith with its citizens, and tried to finesse spending the money on other than what it was originally designed for, a not uncommon occurrence. It has happened before.

    “If something isn’t right at that point, then it is important to bring it up immediately. That’s how we, the public, hold the school board and district accountable.”

    Like the matter of VO was brought up? And how did we hold the School Board/District accountable for that?

    “I am comfortable that Measure Q is not being violated for now. But I still remain vigilent.”

    Still vigilent? You could have fooled me!

    Truly, this is not an attempt to attack you personally. In making my comments, the only thing I am trying to achieve is to make citizens more aware of what is going on, to make sure it is not “business as usual”. Davis has remained far too complacent over the years, and allowed rampant corruption to seep into the school budgeting process. Because of a few minor changes, some now trust the School Board will do the right thing.

    I, for one, do not see that happening. Closing Emerson does not seem like a very good solution to budgeting shortfalls to me, just as closing VO was not a good solution. Furthermore, I am trying to highlight the very real problem of creating programs and building facilities, without making sure there is operating expense money to run them. We have some serious problems within our School District that need drastic change. If citizens don’t wise up, and stand up to be heard and loudly, we are going to get more of the same. And the closing of another school will be the result.

  84. former teacher

    “K-12 kids shouldn’t be truant, and aggressive intervention is a good thing.”

    You mean like the police swooping down on kids like a SWAT Team, as was initially suggested and retracted? Mari is also the dimwit that started Da Vinci with an initial grant, without making sure there would be funding to continue the school. Why would she care – she had moved up into the administration. She got what she wanted out of Da Vinci.

    “My kids have positively benefited from the schools, and I want that to continue. One has been involved in special ed, two in the elementary ELL, and all have benefited from programs not found elsewhere.”

    If your kids had been taught at VO, how will their great EL experience be continued? If Emerson is closed, how will that “continue” Davis programs? Your logic escapes me here.

    “The current school board and district staff are the ones who run the show, so those are the ones we have to deal w/. It doesn’t help to have a broad, pessimistic and complete mistrusting view of everyone in the district as your comments suggest.”

    Would you rather just blindly except their decisions without question? If you do, then count on Emerson Junior High closing.

    “You have called them all idiots. I don’t know whether that was just venting on your part, or whether you genuinely believe they have seriously impaired mental faculties.”

    Don’t you find the decision to close two schools, one that serves the entire west end of town, the other served our most at-risk students idiotic? Apparently a lot of Davisites thought the same way I do, because the School Board was forced to take the idea of closing Emerson off the table as too hot to handle at the time. But make no mistake, the School Board will mount a disingenous campaign to close it down in order to put their fiscal house in order, rather than taking a trip to Woodland to find out what that city is doing right.

    “Those VO kids will continue to go to school, most of them to other Davis schools. They still need advocates to make sure that their needs and interests are met.”

    What they needed was for their school to be left intact. With any luck, Bill Storm will resurrect VO as a Charter School – and idea whose time has long since come.

    “I am not completely trusting of everyone in the process, but I have to trust that they are open to listening to my point of view and maybe responding positively once in a while.”

    Have you ever spoken out at a School Board meeting? Receptive they are not.

    “In watching the most recent 3-4 months of board meetings, a significant amount of discussion has involved a back and forth clarification of what Measure Q does and does not guarantee.”

    Now why do you think “clarification” was needed? Supposedly what Measure Q was to be spent on was razor sharp and to the point as listed in the Davis Enterprise – but then when it came time to implement the thing, it became very, very fuzzy. I wonder why? Because circumstances had changed, because the School District needed that money for other things. And some of those things may or may not have been something voters would want the money spent on. In essence, the School District broke faith with its citizens, and tried to finesse spending the money on other than what it was originally designed for, a not uncommon occurrence. It has happened before.

    “If something isn’t right at that point, then it is important to bring it up immediately. That’s how we, the public, hold the school board and district accountable.”

    Like the matter of VO was brought up? And how did we hold the School Board/District accountable for that?

    “I am comfortable that Measure Q is not being violated for now. But I still remain vigilent.”

    Still vigilent? You could have fooled me!

    Truly, this is not an attempt to attack you personally. In making my comments, the only thing I am trying to achieve is to make citizens more aware of what is going on, to make sure it is not “business as usual”. Davis has remained far too complacent over the years, and allowed rampant corruption to seep into the school budgeting process. Because of a few minor changes, some now trust the School Board will do the right thing.

    I, for one, do not see that happening. Closing Emerson does not seem like a very good solution to budgeting shortfalls to me, just as closing VO was not a good solution. Furthermore, I am trying to highlight the very real problem of creating programs and building facilities, without making sure there is operating expense money to run them. We have some serious problems within our School District that need drastic change. If citizens don’t wise up, and stand up to be heard and loudly, we are going to get more of the same. And the closing of another school will be the result.

  85. wdf

    “You mean like the police swooping down on kids like a SWAT Team, as was initially suggested and retracted?”

    I didn’t follow the early details of the policy. I liked what I heard last Thursday, though. Was the early version so bad that we should fire her?

    “Mari is also the dimwit that started Da Vinci with an initial grant, without making sure there would be funding to continue the school.”

    I actually think Da Vinci is a great school. I didn’t know that Mari actually started DVHS, but if she did, I now think a little more highly of her. DVHS teaches in an environment that better reflects the work and college environment that our students will graduate into.

    I also like that the program seems to build a really strong community among the kids. Teens really need that.

    I don’t know what you mean about not having funding to continue the school. Da Vinci is not a drag on district spending any more than DHS is. In fact, DVHS is probably more efficiently run than DHS, from a budget perspective. They run larger classes on average, they have on average younger teachers (less salary burden), plenty of parent involvement. I liked what I saw when I attended their fundraising auction earlier this year.

    If your point has to do w/ 8-9 of their teachers getting pink slips, that is a different issue. That was because many had low seniority (Da Vinci is a newer school).

    If DVHS is supposed to be an example of wasteful spending, I don’t see it. Please explain.

    “Now why do you think “clarification” was needed?”

    Probably in part because Hammond and Colby were new to the district.

    “Have you ever spoken out at a School Board meeting? Receptive they are not.”

    I have. I would rather talk w/ them (board members, district staff) one on one by phone, in person, or by e-mail. I rarely speak at board meetings.

    “Would you rather just blindly except their decisions without question?”

    I think you may assume too many things about me.

    “”My kids have positively benefited from the schools, and I want that to continue. One has been involved in special ed, two in the elementary ELL, and all have benefited from programs not found elsewhere.”

    If your kids had been taught at VO, how will their great EL experience be continued? If Emerson is closed, how will that “continue” Davis programs? Your logic escapes me here.”

    I’m not sure what else there is to explain. I’ve had a good experience w/ my kids in the Davis schools, and that’s what motivates me to advocate — to point out what I see working and to keep those things. The things that haven’t worked as well for them, I’ve advocated for until we could get the best possible solution.

    “What they needed was for their school to be left intact. With any luck, Bill Storm will resurrect VO as a Charter School – and idea whose time has long since come.”

    I’ve never had the privilege to talk with him (Mr. Storm), but I have heard many good things about him. I wish him and his colleagues well on their project.

    I am sorry that so many kids at Valley Oak have to go through this. And I’m sure these last two weeks will be very bittersweet for many.

    “Davis has remained far too complacent over the years, and allowed rampant corruption to seep into the school budgeting process. Because of a few minor changes, some now trust the School Board will do the right thing.”

    Hiring a new SI and CBO was definitely a big change in the right direction.

    I hope we get out of this budget mess quickly. I’m hoping by this time next year we have a balanced budget that doesn’t rely on DSF funds. It’s what I want to see, but I don’t think it’s likely.

  86. wdf

    “You mean like the police swooping down on kids like a SWAT Team, as was initially suggested and retracted?”

    I didn’t follow the early details of the policy. I liked what I heard last Thursday, though. Was the early version so bad that we should fire her?

    “Mari is also the dimwit that started Da Vinci with an initial grant, without making sure there would be funding to continue the school.”

    I actually think Da Vinci is a great school. I didn’t know that Mari actually started DVHS, but if she did, I now think a little more highly of her. DVHS teaches in an environment that better reflects the work and college environment that our students will graduate into.

    I also like that the program seems to build a really strong community among the kids. Teens really need that.

    I don’t know what you mean about not having funding to continue the school. Da Vinci is not a drag on district spending any more than DHS is. In fact, DVHS is probably more efficiently run than DHS, from a budget perspective. They run larger classes on average, they have on average younger teachers (less salary burden), plenty of parent involvement. I liked what I saw when I attended their fundraising auction earlier this year.

    If your point has to do w/ 8-9 of their teachers getting pink slips, that is a different issue. That was because many had low seniority (Da Vinci is a newer school).

    If DVHS is supposed to be an example of wasteful spending, I don’t see it. Please explain.

    “Now why do you think “clarification” was needed?”

    Probably in part because Hammond and Colby were new to the district.

    “Have you ever spoken out at a School Board meeting? Receptive they are not.”

    I have. I would rather talk w/ them (board members, district staff) one on one by phone, in person, or by e-mail. I rarely speak at board meetings.

    “Would you rather just blindly except their decisions without question?”

    I think you may assume too many things about me.

    “”My kids have positively benefited from the schools, and I want that to continue. One has been involved in special ed, two in the elementary ELL, and all have benefited from programs not found elsewhere.”

    If your kids had been taught at VO, how will their great EL experience be continued? If Emerson is closed, how will that “continue” Davis programs? Your logic escapes me here.”

    I’m not sure what else there is to explain. I’ve had a good experience w/ my kids in the Davis schools, and that’s what motivates me to advocate — to point out what I see working and to keep those things. The things that haven’t worked as well for them, I’ve advocated for until we could get the best possible solution.

    “What they needed was for their school to be left intact. With any luck, Bill Storm will resurrect VO as a Charter School – and idea whose time has long since come.”

    I’ve never had the privilege to talk with him (Mr. Storm), but I have heard many good things about him. I wish him and his colleagues well on their project.

    I am sorry that so many kids at Valley Oak have to go through this. And I’m sure these last two weeks will be very bittersweet for many.

    “Davis has remained far too complacent over the years, and allowed rampant corruption to seep into the school budgeting process. Because of a few minor changes, some now trust the School Board will do the right thing.”

    Hiring a new SI and CBO was definitely a big change in the right direction.

    I hope we get out of this budget mess quickly. I’m hoping by this time next year we have a balanced budget that doesn’t rely on DSF funds. It’s what I want to see, but I don’t think it’s likely.

  87. wdf

    “You mean like the police swooping down on kids like a SWAT Team, as was initially suggested and retracted?”

    I didn’t follow the early details of the policy. I liked what I heard last Thursday, though. Was the early version so bad that we should fire her?

    “Mari is also the dimwit that started Da Vinci with an initial grant, without making sure there would be funding to continue the school.”

    I actually think Da Vinci is a great school. I didn’t know that Mari actually started DVHS, but if she did, I now think a little more highly of her. DVHS teaches in an environment that better reflects the work and college environment that our students will graduate into.

    I also like that the program seems to build a really strong community among the kids. Teens really need that.

    I don’t know what you mean about not having funding to continue the school. Da Vinci is not a drag on district spending any more than DHS is. In fact, DVHS is probably more efficiently run than DHS, from a budget perspective. They run larger classes on average, they have on average younger teachers (less salary burden), plenty of parent involvement. I liked what I saw when I attended their fundraising auction earlier this year.

    If your point has to do w/ 8-9 of their teachers getting pink slips, that is a different issue. That was because many had low seniority (Da Vinci is a newer school).

    If DVHS is supposed to be an example of wasteful spending, I don’t see it. Please explain.

    “Now why do you think “clarification” was needed?”

    Probably in part because Hammond and Colby were new to the district.

    “Have you ever spoken out at a School Board meeting? Receptive they are not.”

    I have. I would rather talk w/ them (board members, district staff) one on one by phone, in person, or by e-mail. I rarely speak at board meetings.

    “Would you rather just blindly except their decisions without question?”

    I think you may assume too many things about me.

    “”My kids have positively benefited from the schools, and I want that to continue. One has been involved in special ed, two in the elementary ELL, and all have benefited from programs not found elsewhere.”

    If your kids had been taught at VO, how will their great EL experience be continued? If Emerson is closed, how will that “continue” Davis programs? Your logic escapes me here.”

    I’m not sure what else there is to explain. I’ve had a good experience w/ my kids in the Davis schools, and that’s what motivates me to advocate — to point out what I see working and to keep those things. The things that haven’t worked as well for them, I’ve advocated for until we could get the best possible solution.

    “What they needed was for their school to be left intact. With any luck, Bill Storm will resurrect VO as a Charter School – and idea whose time has long since come.”

    I’ve never had the privilege to talk with him (Mr. Storm), but I have heard many good things about him. I wish him and his colleagues well on their project.

    I am sorry that so many kids at Valley Oak have to go through this. And I’m sure these last two weeks will be very bittersweet for many.

    “Davis has remained far too complacent over the years, and allowed rampant corruption to seep into the school budgeting process. Because of a few minor changes, some now trust the School Board will do the right thing.”

    Hiring a new SI and CBO was definitely a big change in the right direction.

    I hope we get out of this budget mess quickly. I’m hoping by this time next year we have a balanced budget that doesn’t rely on DSF funds. It’s what I want to see, but I don’t think it’s likely.

  88. wdf

    “You mean like the police swooping down on kids like a SWAT Team, as was initially suggested and retracted?”

    I didn’t follow the early details of the policy. I liked what I heard last Thursday, though. Was the early version so bad that we should fire her?

    “Mari is also the dimwit that started Da Vinci with an initial grant, without making sure there would be funding to continue the school.”

    I actually think Da Vinci is a great school. I didn’t know that Mari actually started DVHS, but if she did, I now think a little more highly of her. DVHS teaches in an environment that better reflects the work and college environment that our students will graduate into.

    I also like that the program seems to build a really strong community among the kids. Teens really need that.

    I don’t know what you mean about not having funding to continue the school. Da Vinci is not a drag on district spending any more than DHS is. In fact, DVHS is probably more efficiently run than DHS, from a budget perspective. They run larger classes on average, they have on average younger teachers (less salary burden), plenty of parent involvement. I liked what I saw when I attended their fundraising auction earlier this year.

    If your point has to do w/ 8-9 of their teachers getting pink slips, that is a different issue. That was because many had low seniority (Da Vinci is a newer school).

    If DVHS is supposed to be an example of wasteful spending, I don’t see it. Please explain.

    “Now why do you think “clarification” was needed?”

    Probably in part because Hammond and Colby were new to the district.

    “Have you ever spoken out at a School Board meeting? Receptive they are not.”

    I have. I would rather talk w/ them (board members, district staff) one on one by phone, in person, or by e-mail. I rarely speak at board meetings.

    “Would you rather just blindly except their decisions without question?”

    I think you may assume too many things about me.

    “”My kids have positively benefited from the schools, and I want that to continue. One has been involved in special ed, two in the elementary ELL, and all have benefited from programs not found elsewhere.”

    If your kids had been taught at VO, how will their great EL experience be continued? If Emerson is closed, how will that “continue” Davis programs? Your logic escapes me here.”

    I’m not sure what else there is to explain. I’ve had a good experience w/ my kids in the Davis schools, and that’s what motivates me to advocate — to point out what I see working and to keep those things. The things that haven’t worked as well for them, I’ve advocated for until we could get the best possible solution.

    “What they needed was for their school to be left intact. With any luck, Bill Storm will resurrect VO as a Charter School – and idea whose time has long since come.”

    I’ve never had the privilege to talk with him (Mr. Storm), but I have heard many good things about him. I wish him and his colleagues well on their project.

    I am sorry that so many kids at Valley Oak have to go through this. And I’m sure these last two weeks will be very bittersweet for many.

    “Davis has remained far too complacent over the years, and allowed rampant corruption to seep into the school budgeting process. Because of a few minor changes, some now trust the School Board will do the right thing.”

    Hiring a new SI and CBO was definitely a big change in the right direction.

    I hope we get out of this budget mess quickly. I’m hoping by this time next year we have a balanced budget that doesn’t rely on DSF funds. It’s what I want to see, but I don’t think it’s likely.

  89. former teacher

    “I hope we get out of this budget mess quickly. I’m hoping by this time next year we have a balanced budget that doesn’t rely on DSF funds. It’s what I want to see, but I don’t think it’s likely.”

    Exactly my point. It is not likely the budget mess is going to be solved anytime soon, because it is a domino effect. Because one too many schools were built, the end result was the closing of VO. Next will be Emerson. Citizens have to fight against that sort of solution. Closing a junior high that serves the entire west end of town is not the answer to the School District’s budgeting problem. Why is the School District unwilling to look at Woodland schools, and find out if there is something to be emulated about their way of doing things fiscally?

    “I’m not sure what else there is to explain. I’ve had a good experience w/ my kids in the Davis schools, and that’s what motivates me to advocate — to point out what I see working and to keep those things.”

    We needed to keep VO – it has the best EL program in Davis elementary schools. Parents at VO had good experiences too, but despite their arguments to keep the school, the School Board/District ignored their pleas and chose to shut down a school that was serving our most at-risk children. Not smart.

    “I don’t know what you mean about not having funding to continue the school. Da Vinci is not a drag on district spending any more than DHS is. In fact, DVHS is probably more efficiently run than DHS, from a budget perspective. They run larger classes on average, they have on average younger teachers (less salary burden), plenty of parent involvement. I liked what I saw when I attended their fundraising auction earlier this year. If your point has to do w/ 8-9 of their teachers getting pink slips, that is a different issue.”

    Mari used seed money from the Bill and Linda Gates Foundation to start the school, which built up her reputation just enough to get a promotion to the administration. However, no effort was made to make sure there would be continuted funding for the school. If you think DaVinci does not cost any extra to run, think again. It has to have separate portable classrooms, a separate school principal, and other operating expenses. If the Gates Foundation gives money to start such schools, then let the Gates Foundation continue to fund them as well. Davis clearly does not have the funding to do it, if they are talking about having to close Emerson.

  90. former teacher

    “I hope we get out of this budget mess quickly. I’m hoping by this time next year we have a balanced budget that doesn’t rely on DSF funds. It’s what I want to see, but I don’t think it’s likely.”

    Exactly my point. It is not likely the budget mess is going to be solved anytime soon, because it is a domino effect. Because one too many schools were built, the end result was the closing of VO. Next will be Emerson. Citizens have to fight against that sort of solution. Closing a junior high that serves the entire west end of town is not the answer to the School District’s budgeting problem. Why is the School District unwilling to look at Woodland schools, and find out if there is something to be emulated about their way of doing things fiscally?

    “I’m not sure what else there is to explain. I’ve had a good experience w/ my kids in the Davis schools, and that’s what motivates me to advocate — to point out what I see working and to keep those things.”

    We needed to keep VO – it has the best EL program in Davis elementary schools. Parents at VO had good experiences too, but despite their arguments to keep the school, the School Board/District ignored their pleas and chose to shut down a school that was serving our most at-risk children. Not smart.

    “I don’t know what you mean about not having funding to continue the school. Da Vinci is not a drag on district spending any more than DHS is. In fact, DVHS is probably more efficiently run than DHS, from a budget perspective. They run larger classes on average, they have on average younger teachers (less salary burden), plenty of parent involvement. I liked what I saw when I attended their fundraising auction earlier this year. If your point has to do w/ 8-9 of their teachers getting pink slips, that is a different issue.”

    Mari used seed money from the Bill and Linda Gates Foundation to start the school, which built up her reputation just enough to get a promotion to the administration. However, no effort was made to make sure there would be continuted funding for the school. If you think DaVinci does not cost any extra to run, think again. It has to have separate portable classrooms, a separate school principal, and other operating expenses. If the Gates Foundation gives money to start such schools, then let the Gates Foundation continue to fund them as well. Davis clearly does not have the funding to do it, if they are talking about having to close Emerson.

  91. former teacher

    “I hope we get out of this budget mess quickly. I’m hoping by this time next year we have a balanced budget that doesn’t rely on DSF funds. It’s what I want to see, but I don’t think it’s likely.”

    Exactly my point. It is not likely the budget mess is going to be solved anytime soon, because it is a domino effect. Because one too many schools were built, the end result was the closing of VO. Next will be Emerson. Citizens have to fight against that sort of solution. Closing a junior high that serves the entire west end of town is not the answer to the School District’s budgeting problem. Why is the School District unwilling to look at Woodland schools, and find out if there is something to be emulated about their way of doing things fiscally?

    “I’m not sure what else there is to explain. I’ve had a good experience w/ my kids in the Davis schools, and that’s what motivates me to advocate — to point out what I see working and to keep those things.”

    We needed to keep VO – it has the best EL program in Davis elementary schools. Parents at VO had good experiences too, but despite their arguments to keep the school, the School Board/District ignored their pleas and chose to shut down a school that was serving our most at-risk children. Not smart.

    “I don’t know what you mean about not having funding to continue the school. Da Vinci is not a drag on district spending any more than DHS is. In fact, DVHS is probably more efficiently run than DHS, from a budget perspective. They run larger classes on average, they have on average younger teachers (less salary burden), plenty of parent involvement. I liked what I saw when I attended their fundraising auction earlier this year. If your point has to do w/ 8-9 of their teachers getting pink slips, that is a different issue.”

    Mari used seed money from the Bill and Linda Gates Foundation to start the school, which built up her reputation just enough to get a promotion to the administration. However, no effort was made to make sure there would be continuted funding for the school. If you think DaVinci does not cost any extra to run, think again. It has to have separate portable classrooms, a separate school principal, and other operating expenses. If the Gates Foundation gives money to start such schools, then let the Gates Foundation continue to fund them as well. Davis clearly does not have the funding to do it, if they are talking about having to close Emerson.

  92. former teacher

    “I hope we get out of this budget mess quickly. I’m hoping by this time next year we have a balanced budget that doesn’t rely on DSF funds. It’s what I want to see, but I don’t think it’s likely.”

    Exactly my point. It is not likely the budget mess is going to be solved anytime soon, because it is a domino effect. Because one too many schools were built, the end result was the closing of VO. Next will be Emerson. Citizens have to fight against that sort of solution. Closing a junior high that serves the entire west end of town is not the answer to the School District’s budgeting problem. Why is the School District unwilling to look at Woodland schools, and find out if there is something to be emulated about their way of doing things fiscally?

    “I’m not sure what else there is to explain. I’ve had a good experience w/ my kids in the Davis schools, and that’s what motivates me to advocate — to point out what I see working and to keep those things.”

    We needed to keep VO – it has the best EL program in Davis elementary schools. Parents at VO had good experiences too, but despite their arguments to keep the school, the School Board/District ignored their pleas and chose to shut down a school that was serving our most at-risk children. Not smart.

    “I don’t know what you mean about not having funding to continue the school. Da Vinci is not a drag on district spending any more than DHS is. In fact, DVHS is probably more efficiently run than DHS, from a budget perspective. They run larger classes on average, they have on average younger teachers (less salary burden), plenty of parent involvement. I liked what I saw when I attended their fundraising auction earlier this year. If your point has to do w/ 8-9 of their teachers getting pink slips, that is a different issue.”

    Mari used seed money from the Bill and Linda Gates Foundation to start the school, which built up her reputation just enough to get a promotion to the administration. However, no effort was made to make sure there would be continuted funding for the school. If you think DaVinci does not cost any extra to run, think again. It has to have separate portable classrooms, a separate school principal, and other operating expenses. If the Gates Foundation gives money to start such schools, then let the Gates Foundation continue to fund them as well. Davis clearly does not have the funding to do it, if they are talking about having to close Emerson.

  93. wdf

    “Mari used seed money from the Bill and Linda Gates Foundation to start the school, which built up her reputation just enough to get a promotion to the administration. However, no effort was made to make sure there would be continuted funding for the school. If you think DaVinci does not cost any extra to run, think again. It has to have separate portable classrooms, a separate school principal, and other operating expenses. If the Gates Foundation gives money to start such schools, then let the Gates Foundation continue to fund them as well. Davis clearly does not have the funding to do it, if they are talking about having to close Emerson.”

    Hypothetically you can shut down DVHS. You are still responsible for providing classrooms for those teachers. They would likely have to stay out in those same portables, because you really can’t get anymore classroom space in DHS. They were talking about adding portables (a facilities expense, by the way, separate from an operating expense — paying teachers — which is where the deficit is) to DHS if they were to add 9th grade there. You still have to pay custodian costs for those classrooms.

    How many principals and vice principals a secondary school gets is determined by an enrollment formula. The more students you have, the more adminstrative staff you are assigned. DVHS has a half time principal — Matt Best — who teaches the rest of the time. A secretary — Adela — who works according to the same proportional formula. If you folded the DVHS students into DHS (which assumes that no students would opt for DSIS), you bulk up the DHS population to where the lost half-time principal and secretary is added to the DHS front office.

    In this case, it’s a wash.

    Through 3-4 months of public comment at school board meetings, questions like this came up for Cesar Chavez, GATE, Da Vinci, and Montessori on a regular basis. Bilingual teachers do not get paid any more than monolingual teachers. So if you shut down Chavez (one of the larger elementary populations, by the way), those students will end up having more or less the same teachers, just not teaching Spanish Immersion. The same is true w/ Montessori.

    You could begin to argue that the district could eliminate the GATE program and save the cost of the GATE coordinator position at the district office, but that’s probably too much of a desired program in the district to pull that off.

    “Why is the School District unwilling to look at Woodland schools, and find out if there is something to be emulated about their way of doing things fiscally?”

    Why do you assume District staff in Davis don’t talk w/ other districts? I think you’d find that at least w/ in Yolo county school districts, there is some regular communication. They are all beholden to the Yolo County Department of Education.

    Have you asked Bruce Colby (DJUSD COB) this question? He is a public employee and as you are a local taxpayer (I assume) he has an obligation to give you an answer if you ask a reasonable question. I think you ask a reasonable question. Every month or so, I go to the district office and fill out those public information request forms. They are supposed to give you a response w/ in 10 days.

    I will ask this question, although it seems like you are the more skeptical one on this issue. Or are you only asking the question for rhetorical points?

  94. wdf

    “Mari used seed money from the Bill and Linda Gates Foundation to start the school, which built up her reputation just enough to get a promotion to the administration. However, no effort was made to make sure there would be continuted funding for the school. If you think DaVinci does not cost any extra to run, think again. It has to have separate portable classrooms, a separate school principal, and other operating expenses. If the Gates Foundation gives money to start such schools, then let the Gates Foundation continue to fund them as well. Davis clearly does not have the funding to do it, if they are talking about having to close Emerson.”

    Hypothetically you can shut down DVHS. You are still responsible for providing classrooms for those teachers. They would likely have to stay out in those same portables, because you really can’t get anymore classroom space in DHS. They were talking about adding portables (a facilities expense, by the way, separate from an operating expense — paying teachers — which is where the deficit is) to DHS if they were to add 9th grade there. You still have to pay custodian costs for those classrooms.

    How many principals and vice principals a secondary school gets is determined by an enrollment formula. The more students you have, the more adminstrative staff you are assigned. DVHS has a half time principal — Matt Best — who teaches the rest of the time. A secretary — Adela — who works according to the same proportional formula. If you folded the DVHS students into DHS (which assumes that no students would opt for DSIS), you bulk up the DHS population to where the lost half-time principal and secretary is added to the DHS front office.

    In this case, it’s a wash.

    Through 3-4 months of public comment at school board meetings, questions like this came up for Cesar Chavez, GATE, Da Vinci, and Montessori on a regular basis. Bilingual teachers do not get paid any more than monolingual teachers. So if you shut down Chavez (one of the larger elementary populations, by the way), those students will end up having more or less the same teachers, just not teaching Spanish Immersion. The same is true w/ Montessori.

    You could begin to argue that the district could eliminate the GATE program and save the cost of the GATE coordinator position at the district office, but that’s probably too much of a desired program in the district to pull that off.

    “Why is the School District unwilling to look at Woodland schools, and find out if there is something to be emulated about their way of doing things fiscally?”

    Why do you assume District staff in Davis don’t talk w/ other districts? I think you’d find that at least w/ in Yolo county school districts, there is some regular communication. They are all beholden to the Yolo County Department of Education.

    Have you asked Bruce Colby (DJUSD COB) this question? He is a public employee and as you are a local taxpayer (I assume) he has an obligation to give you an answer if you ask a reasonable question. I think you ask a reasonable question. Every month or so, I go to the district office and fill out those public information request forms. They are supposed to give you a response w/ in 10 days.

    I will ask this question, although it seems like you are the more skeptical one on this issue. Or are you only asking the question for rhetorical points?

  95. wdf

    “Mari used seed money from the Bill and Linda Gates Foundation to start the school, which built up her reputation just enough to get a promotion to the administration. However, no effort was made to make sure there would be continuted funding for the school. If you think DaVinci does not cost any extra to run, think again. It has to have separate portable classrooms, a separate school principal, and other operating expenses. If the Gates Foundation gives money to start such schools, then let the Gates Foundation continue to fund them as well. Davis clearly does not have the funding to do it, if they are talking about having to close Emerson.”

    Hypothetically you can shut down DVHS. You are still responsible for providing classrooms for those teachers. They would likely have to stay out in those same portables, because you really can’t get anymore classroom space in DHS. They were talking about adding portables (a facilities expense, by the way, separate from an operating expense — paying teachers — which is where the deficit is) to DHS if they were to add 9th grade there. You still have to pay custodian costs for those classrooms.

    How many principals and vice principals a secondary school gets is determined by an enrollment formula. The more students you have, the more adminstrative staff you are assigned. DVHS has a half time principal — Matt Best — who teaches the rest of the time. A secretary — Adela — who works according to the same proportional formula. If you folded the DVHS students into DHS (which assumes that no students would opt for DSIS), you bulk up the DHS population to where the lost half-time principal and secretary is added to the DHS front office.

    In this case, it’s a wash.

    Through 3-4 months of public comment at school board meetings, questions like this came up for Cesar Chavez, GATE, Da Vinci, and Montessori on a regular basis. Bilingual teachers do not get paid any more than monolingual teachers. So if you shut down Chavez (one of the larger elementary populations, by the way), those students will end up having more or less the same teachers, just not teaching Spanish Immersion. The same is true w/ Montessori.

    You could begin to argue that the district could eliminate the GATE program and save the cost of the GATE coordinator position at the district office, but that’s probably too much of a desired program in the district to pull that off.

    “Why is the School District unwilling to look at Woodland schools, and find out if there is something to be emulated about their way of doing things fiscally?”

    Why do you assume District staff in Davis don’t talk w/ other districts? I think you’d find that at least w/ in Yolo county school districts, there is some regular communication. They are all beholden to the Yolo County Department of Education.

    Have you asked Bruce Colby (DJUSD COB) this question? He is a public employee and as you are a local taxpayer (I assume) he has an obligation to give you an answer if you ask a reasonable question. I think you ask a reasonable question. Every month or so, I go to the district office and fill out those public information request forms. They are supposed to give you a response w/ in 10 days.

    I will ask this question, although it seems like you are the more skeptical one on this issue. Or are you only asking the question for rhetorical points?

  96. wdf

    “Mari used seed money from the Bill and Linda Gates Foundation to start the school, which built up her reputation just enough to get a promotion to the administration. However, no effort was made to make sure there would be continuted funding for the school. If you think DaVinci does not cost any extra to run, think again. It has to have separate portable classrooms, a separate school principal, and other operating expenses. If the Gates Foundation gives money to start such schools, then let the Gates Foundation continue to fund them as well. Davis clearly does not have the funding to do it, if they are talking about having to close Emerson.”

    Hypothetically you can shut down DVHS. You are still responsible for providing classrooms for those teachers. They would likely have to stay out in those same portables, because you really can’t get anymore classroom space in DHS. They were talking about adding portables (a facilities expense, by the way, separate from an operating expense — paying teachers — which is where the deficit is) to DHS if they were to add 9th grade there. You still have to pay custodian costs for those classrooms.

    How many principals and vice principals a secondary school gets is determined by an enrollment formula. The more students you have, the more adminstrative staff you are assigned. DVHS has a half time principal — Matt Best — who teaches the rest of the time. A secretary — Adela — who works according to the same proportional formula. If you folded the DVHS students into DHS (which assumes that no students would opt for DSIS), you bulk up the DHS population to where the lost half-time principal and secretary is added to the DHS front office.

    In this case, it’s a wash.

    Through 3-4 months of public comment at school board meetings, questions like this came up for Cesar Chavez, GATE, Da Vinci, and Montessori on a regular basis. Bilingual teachers do not get paid any more than monolingual teachers. So if you shut down Chavez (one of the larger elementary populations, by the way), those students will end up having more or less the same teachers, just not teaching Spanish Immersion. The same is true w/ Montessori.

    You could begin to argue that the district could eliminate the GATE program and save the cost of the GATE coordinator position at the district office, but that’s probably too much of a desired program in the district to pull that off.

    “Why is the School District unwilling to look at Woodland schools, and find out if there is something to be emulated about their way of doing things fiscally?”

    Why do you assume District staff in Davis don’t talk w/ other districts? I think you’d find that at least w/ in Yolo county school districts, there is some regular communication. They are all beholden to the Yolo County Department of Education.

    Have you asked Bruce Colby (DJUSD COB) this question? He is a public employee and as you are a local taxpayer (I assume) he has an obligation to give you an answer if you ask a reasonable question. I think you ask a reasonable question. Every month or so, I go to the district office and fill out those public information request forms. They are supposed to give you a response w/ in 10 days.

    I will ask this question, although it seems like you are the more skeptical one on this issue. Or are you only asking the question for rhetorical points?

  97. former teacher

    “Why do you assume District staff in Davis don’t talk w/ other districts? I think you’d find that at least w/ in Yolo county school districts, there is some regular communication. They are all beholden to the Yolo County Department of Education.”

    In a perfect world, I might agree with you. But from what contact I have had with the current and past School Board/District employees, the public is given short shrift. Look at what happened in the case of VO. As far back as 1998, it was clear from records that there was not enough in the way of operating expenses to operate two new elementary schools, but the School Board/District did it anyway. The fix was in to close VO as far back as 1998. Does that sound to you like a School Board/District that is open to suggestion???

    “How many principals and vice principals a secondary school gets is determined by an enrollment formula. The more students you have, the more adminstrative staff you are assigned. DVHS has a half time principal — Matt Best — who teaches the rest of the time. A secretary — Adela — who works according to the same proportional formula. If you folded the DVHS students into DHS (which assumes that no students would opt for DSIS), you bulk up the DHS population to where the lost half-time principal and secretary is added to the DHS front office. In this case, it’s a wash.”

    If that were true, then why close it for budget reasons, as the School District suggested, if it was a wash? Unfortunately, the public is not told the truth very often by the School Board/District. Remember the claim of declining enrollment that was cited numerous times by the School Board/District as the reason for closing VO. Not true, as has been shown numerous times on this blog. Statistics do not back up the claim.

    If you want to believe whatever you are told, feel free to stick your head in the sand like the proverbial ostrich. But that is why we are in the mess we are in – Davisites did not keep their eye on the ball. If they don’t want more of the same, they had better pull their collective heads out of the sand, pay attention, and object loudly when the School Board makes some harebrained decision, like closing Emerson. Or are you one of those who thinks Emerson should close?

  98. former teacher

    “Why do you assume District staff in Davis don’t talk w/ other districts? I think you’d find that at least w/ in Yolo county school districts, there is some regular communication. They are all beholden to the Yolo County Department of Education.”

    In a perfect world, I might agree with you. But from what contact I have had with the current and past School Board/District employees, the public is given short shrift. Look at what happened in the case of VO. As far back as 1998, it was clear from records that there was not enough in the way of operating expenses to operate two new elementary schools, but the School Board/District did it anyway. The fix was in to close VO as far back as 1998. Does that sound to you like a School Board/District that is open to suggestion???

    “How many principals and vice principals a secondary school gets is determined by an enrollment formula. The more students you have, the more adminstrative staff you are assigned. DVHS has a half time principal — Matt Best — who teaches the rest of the time. A secretary — Adela — who works according to the same proportional formula. If you folded the DVHS students into DHS (which assumes that no students would opt for DSIS), you bulk up the DHS population to where the lost half-time principal and secretary is added to the DHS front office. In this case, it’s a wash.”

    If that were true, then why close it for budget reasons, as the School District suggested, if it was a wash? Unfortunately, the public is not told the truth very often by the School Board/District. Remember the claim of declining enrollment that was cited numerous times by the School Board/District as the reason for closing VO. Not true, as has been shown numerous times on this blog. Statistics do not back up the claim.

    If you want to believe whatever you are told, feel free to stick your head in the sand like the proverbial ostrich. But that is why we are in the mess we are in – Davisites did not keep their eye on the ball. If they don’t want more of the same, they had better pull their collective heads out of the sand, pay attention, and object loudly when the School Board makes some harebrained decision, like closing Emerson. Or are you one of those who thinks Emerson should close?

  99. former teacher

    “Why do you assume District staff in Davis don’t talk w/ other districts? I think you’d find that at least w/ in Yolo county school districts, there is some regular communication. They are all beholden to the Yolo County Department of Education.”

    In a perfect world, I might agree with you. But from what contact I have had with the current and past School Board/District employees, the public is given short shrift. Look at what happened in the case of VO. As far back as 1998, it was clear from records that there was not enough in the way of operating expenses to operate two new elementary schools, but the School Board/District did it anyway. The fix was in to close VO as far back as 1998. Does that sound to you like a School Board/District that is open to suggestion???

    “How many principals and vice principals a secondary school gets is determined by an enrollment formula. The more students you have, the more adminstrative staff you are assigned. DVHS has a half time principal — Matt Best — who teaches the rest of the time. A secretary — Adela — who works according to the same proportional formula. If you folded the DVHS students into DHS (which assumes that no students would opt for DSIS), you bulk up the DHS population to where the lost half-time principal and secretary is added to the DHS front office. In this case, it’s a wash.”

    If that were true, then why close it for budget reasons, as the School District suggested, if it was a wash? Unfortunately, the public is not told the truth very often by the School Board/District. Remember the claim of declining enrollment that was cited numerous times by the School Board/District as the reason for closing VO. Not true, as has been shown numerous times on this blog. Statistics do not back up the claim.

    If you want to believe whatever you are told, feel free to stick your head in the sand like the proverbial ostrich. But that is why we are in the mess we are in – Davisites did not keep their eye on the ball. If they don’t want more of the same, they had better pull their collective heads out of the sand, pay attention, and object loudly when the School Board makes some harebrained decision, like closing Emerson. Or are you one of those who thinks Emerson should close?

  100. former teacher

    “Why do you assume District staff in Davis don’t talk w/ other districts? I think you’d find that at least w/ in Yolo county school districts, there is some regular communication. They are all beholden to the Yolo County Department of Education.”

    In a perfect world, I might agree with you. But from what contact I have had with the current and past School Board/District employees, the public is given short shrift. Look at what happened in the case of VO. As far back as 1998, it was clear from records that there was not enough in the way of operating expenses to operate two new elementary schools, but the School Board/District did it anyway. The fix was in to close VO as far back as 1998. Does that sound to you like a School Board/District that is open to suggestion???

    “How many principals and vice principals a secondary school gets is determined by an enrollment formula. The more students you have, the more adminstrative staff you are assigned. DVHS has a half time principal — Matt Best — who teaches the rest of the time. A secretary — Adela — who works according to the same proportional formula. If you folded the DVHS students into DHS (which assumes that no students would opt for DSIS), you bulk up the DHS population to where the lost half-time principal and secretary is added to the DHS front office. In this case, it’s a wash.”

    If that were true, then why close it for budget reasons, as the School District suggested, if it was a wash? Unfortunately, the public is not told the truth very often by the School Board/District. Remember the claim of declining enrollment that was cited numerous times by the School Board/District as the reason for closing VO. Not true, as has been shown numerous times on this blog. Statistics do not back up the claim.

    If you want to believe whatever you are told, feel free to stick your head in the sand like the proverbial ostrich. But that is why we are in the mess we are in – Davisites did not keep their eye on the ball. If they don’t want more of the same, they had better pull their collective heads out of the sand, pay attention, and object loudly when the School Board makes some harebrained decision, like closing Emerson. Or are you one of those who thinks Emerson should close?

  101. wdf

    “”How many principals and vice principals a secondary school gets is determined by an enrollment formula. The more students you have, the more adminstrative staff you are assigned. DVHS has a half time principal — Matt Best — who teaches the rest of the time. A secretary — Adela — who works according to the same proportional formula. If you folded the DVHS students into DHS (which assumes that no students would opt for DSIS), you bulk up the DHS population to where the lost half-time principal and secretary is added to the DHS front office. In this case, it’s a wash.”

    If that were true, then why close it for budget reasons, as the School District suggested, if it was a wash? Unfortunately, the public is not told the truth very often by the School Board/District.”

    “If you want to believe whatever you are told, feel free to stick your head in the sand like the proverbial ostrich.”

    It seems like you’re missing the point. Da Vinci was never slated to close. Neither the district nor the school board ever officially proposed to close DVHS. The reason that the DV students were up in arms was that roughly nine of it’s teachers had low seniority and were threatened w/ being laid off.

    I don’t know how to respond to you. Yes, I’ve heard the district staff say it would not reduce the deficit to close Da Vinci, but I know DVHS teachers, I’ve sat in their classes and counted students, I’ve spoken to Adela and learned about Mr. Best’s schedule and Adela’s schedule, I’ve spoken w/ DV students and parents, and quite frankly it all checks out.

    Quite frankly, I’m not entirely a believer in what I’m told, either. I try to find a way to see w/ my own eyes when I can. I have happened to have the privilege to do so w/ DVHS, and you’re telling me I’m not supposed to believe it.

    This is starting to sound like the old line about WMDs. You’re trying to convince me to not believe what I have taken the time to research w/ my own eyes. You have to offer something more substantial than that (don’t believe them) to make a convincing case.

    If DVHS is a boondoggle as you suggest (initiated by a “dimwit” and “idiot” whom you suggest) and is draining money from the district, you have to be more specific than you’ve been on this.

    You’ve raised some really intelligent questions (which I appreciate) in this comment section, but your case against DVHS is not your best.

    There is always the chance that the district staff and the school board could be right, you know.

    No, I’m not necessarily going to believe it just because they (district) tells me, but we have to agree on a reality and agree to respect each other if we’re going to help the kids.

  102. wdf

    “”How many principals and vice principals a secondary school gets is determined by an enrollment formula. The more students you have, the more adminstrative staff you are assigned. DVHS has a half time principal — Matt Best — who teaches the rest of the time. A secretary — Adela — who works according to the same proportional formula. If you folded the DVHS students into DHS (which assumes that no students would opt for DSIS), you bulk up the DHS population to where the lost half-time principal and secretary is added to the DHS front office. In this case, it’s a wash.”

    If that were true, then why close it for budget reasons, as the School District suggested, if it was a wash? Unfortunately, the public is not told the truth very often by the School Board/District.”

    “If you want to believe whatever you are told, feel free to stick your head in the sand like the proverbial ostrich.”

    It seems like you’re missing the point. Da Vinci was never slated to close. Neither the district nor the school board ever officially proposed to close DVHS. The reason that the DV students were up in arms was that roughly nine of it’s teachers had low seniority and were threatened w/ being laid off.

    I don’t know how to respond to you. Yes, I’ve heard the district staff say it would not reduce the deficit to close Da Vinci, but I know DVHS teachers, I’ve sat in their classes and counted students, I’ve spoken to Adela and learned about Mr. Best’s schedule and Adela’s schedule, I’ve spoken w/ DV students and parents, and quite frankly it all checks out.

    Quite frankly, I’m not entirely a believer in what I’m told, either. I try to find a way to see w/ my own eyes when I can. I have happened to have the privilege to do so w/ DVHS, and you’re telling me I’m not supposed to believe it.

    This is starting to sound like the old line about WMDs. You’re trying to convince me to not believe what I have taken the time to research w/ my own eyes. You have to offer something more substantial than that (don’t believe them) to make a convincing case.

    If DVHS is a boondoggle as you suggest (initiated by a “dimwit” and “idiot” whom you suggest) and is draining money from the district, you have to be more specific than you’ve been on this.

    You’ve raised some really intelligent questions (which I appreciate) in this comment section, but your case against DVHS is not your best.

    There is always the chance that the district staff and the school board could be right, you know.

    No, I’m not necessarily going to believe it just because they (district) tells me, but we have to agree on a reality and agree to respect each other if we’re going to help the kids.

  103. wdf

    “”How many principals and vice principals a secondary school gets is determined by an enrollment formula. The more students you have, the more adminstrative staff you are assigned. DVHS has a half time principal — Matt Best — who teaches the rest of the time. A secretary — Adela — who works according to the same proportional formula. If you folded the DVHS students into DHS (which assumes that no students would opt for DSIS), you bulk up the DHS population to where the lost half-time principal and secretary is added to the DHS front office. In this case, it’s a wash.”

    If that were true, then why close it for budget reasons, as the School District suggested, if it was a wash? Unfortunately, the public is not told the truth very often by the School Board/District.”

    “If you want to believe whatever you are told, feel free to stick your head in the sand like the proverbial ostrich.”

    It seems like you’re missing the point. Da Vinci was never slated to close. Neither the district nor the school board ever officially proposed to close DVHS. The reason that the DV students were up in arms was that roughly nine of it’s teachers had low seniority and were threatened w/ being laid off.

    I don’t know how to respond to you. Yes, I’ve heard the district staff say it would not reduce the deficit to close Da Vinci, but I know DVHS teachers, I’ve sat in their classes and counted students, I’ve spoken to Adela and learned about Mr. Best’s schedule and Adela’s schedule, I’ve spoken w/ DV students and parents, and quite frankly it all checks out.

    Quite frankly, I’m not entirely a believer in what I’m told, either. I try to find a way to see w/ my own eyes when I can. I have happened to have the privilege to do so w/ DVHS, and you’re telling me I’m not supposed to believe it.

    This is starting to sound like the old line about WMDs. You’re trying to convince me to not believe what I have taken the time to research w/ my own eyes. You have to offer something more substantial than that (don’t believe them) to make a convincing case.

    If DVHS is a boondoggle as you suggest (initiated by a “dimwit” and “idiot” whom you suggest) and is draining money from the district, you have to be more specific than you’ve been on this.

    You’ve raised some really intelligent questions (which I appreciate) in this comment section, but your case against DVHS is not your best.

    There is always the chance that the district staff and the school board could be right, you know.

    No, I’m not necessarily going to believe it just because they (district) tells me, but we have to agree on a reality and agree to respect each other if we’re going to help the kids.

  104. wdf

    “”How many principals and vice principals a secondary school gets is determined by an enrollment formula. The more students you have, the more adminstrative staff you are assigned. DVHS has a half time principal — Matt Best — who teaches the rest of the time. A secretary — Adela — who works according to the same proportional formula. If you folded the DVHS students into DHS (which assumes that no students would opt for DSIS), you bulk up the DHS population to where the lost half-time principal and secretary is added to the DHS front office. In this case, it’s a wash.”

    If that were true, then why close it for budget reasons, as the School District suggested, if it was a wash? Unfortunately, the public is not told the truth very often by the School Board/District.”

    “If you want to believe whatever you are told, feel free to stick your head in the sand like the proverbial ostrich.”

    It seems like you’re missing the point. Da Vinci was never slated to close. Neither the district nor the school board ever officially proposed to close DVHS. The reason that the DV students were up in arms was that roughly nine of it’s teachers had low seniority and were threatened w/ being laid off.

    I don’t know how to respond to you. Yes, I’ve heard the district staff say it would not reduce the deficit to close Da Vinci, but I know DVHS teachers, I’ve sat in their classes and counted students, I’ve spoken to Adela and learned about Mr. Best’s schedule and Adela’s schedule, I’ve spoken w/ DV students and parents, and quite frankly it all checks out.

    Quite frankly, I’m not entirely a believer in what I’m told, either. I try to find a way to see w/ my own eyes when I can. I have happened to have the privilege to do so w/ DVHS, and you’re telling me I’m not supposed to believe it.

    This is starting to sound like the old line about WMDs. You’re trying to convince me to not believe what I have taken the time to research w/ my own eyes. You have to offer something more substantial than that (don’t believe them) to make a convincing case.

    If DVHS is a boondoggle as you suggest (initiated by a “dimwit” and “idiot” whom you suggest) and is draining money from the district, you have to be more specific than you’ve been on this.

    You’ve raised some really intelligent questions (which I appreciate) in this comment section, but your case against DVHS is not your best.

    There is always the chance that the district staff and the school board could be right, you know.

    No, I’m not necessarily going to believe it just because they (district) tells me, but we have to agree on a reality and agree to respect each other if we’re going to help the kids.

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