Davis Joint Unified School District Expenditures

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The Vanguard has received data from the Davis Joint Unified School district that examines district general fund expenditures. We have charts showing the historical spending by specific activity area from 2003 through next year. Over this time period, the district consistently spends of 80% of the budget on direct student support. The next largest line item is operations which keep school sites clean, safe and operational. With operations added to direct student support, the district spends over 90% of the budget on operating schools and teaching students.

The district only spends roughly 7% of its general fund budget on administration. That percentage has actually gone down slightly over the seven year period of time we track. In raw numbers, spending on administration rose by only a slight amount from $4.5 million to $5.2 million.

During the entire period, total spending rose from $59 million to $73 million. Of that $14 million increase over a seven year period, $13 million of that spending was in the classroom and $10 million went to teachers, aides, and books. Compare that small increase in cost to the rapid increase in Davis City expenditures on salary over a similar period which was upwards of $26 million in total compensation.

The first chart shows the spending broken down by category both in dollars and percentages of the total budget.

Next a pie chart shows the percentage breakdown by category.

Next we see the trendline of spending broken down by category which shows both the magnitude of teacher spending compared to other categories and also the rate of increase for teacher spending compared to the other categories.

Next the same trendline except the categories are broken down into classroom spending and non-classroom spending compared with total spending.

Finally two charts which show the same categories except broken down by percentage of the budget–here again you see relative stability in the categories across time.


COMMENTARY

Why are we looking only at general fund expenditures? The budget crisis occurring is a general fund budget crisis rather than a facilities fund budget crisis. For all of the talk of fiscal mismanagement by critics of the school district, the expenditure figures look relatively healthy. The majority of funding goes directly into the classroom. The percentage that goes to administration is small at around 7%.

A second point that needs to be made is that while teachers got a healthy pay increase a couple of years ago, overall, their salaries have not gone up by that much. If you compare teacher salaries to city employee salaries, particular fire salaries, they not only have gone up by nearly two-thirds less in percentage terms, but in absolute terms they are well below those in city government.

In other words, one can really not argue that the budget crisis for the school district was created by runaway spending. On the contrary, the roughly 24% budget increase in spending roughly mirrors that of inflation and does not keep pace with rising costs of housing and living in Davis. Nor does it keep pace with the astronomical rise of salaries in other sectors.

If one is looking for reasons to vote against the parcel tax, irresponsible spending increases by the school district does not appear to be one of them. Cuts to the budget, even if dispersed equitably across categories would necessarily have to more heavily impact money going directly into the classroom, toward core curriculum programs.

The bottom line here is that the public will have a choice–they can continue the high level of education in the district by supporting the parcel tax at an additional $120 per year or they can face cutting teachers and programs in the district. To me, that choice is very clear.

—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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76 thoughts on “Davis Joint Unified School District Expenditures”

  1. Troubled

    Where is there any attempt to make funding less dependent on the state? How will the parcel tax address all the school district needs? The answer is it won’t. For instance, it has become pretty clear Emerson may be on the chopping block next. It will not be saved by a parcel tax. There are too many unanswered questions.

    Another interesting thing to note. I happened to run across an old newspaper article about Measure Q, the last parcel tax we passed. The language describing what it was for looks exactly like what Measure W is supposedly for. Smaller class sizes, to save programs like music, art, athletics, same old, same old. Yet we are being told the two are for distinctly different things.

    It is this constant double speak that I find very troubling.

  2. Troubled

    Where is there any attempt to make funding less dependent on the state? How will the parcel tax address all the school district needs? The answer is it won’t. For instance, it has become pretty clear Emerson may be on the chopping block next. It will not be saved by a parcel tax. There are too many unanswered questions.

    Another interesting thing to note. I happened to run across an old newspaper article about Measure Q, the last parcel tax we passed. The language describing what it was for looks exactly like what Measure W is supposedly for. Smaller class sizes, to save programs like music, art, athletics, same old, same old. Yet we are being told the two are for distinctly different things.

    It is this constant double speak that I find very troubling.

  3. Troubled

    Where is there any attempt to make funding less dependent on the state? How will the parcel tax address all the school district needs? The answer is it won’t. For instance, it has become pretty clear Emerson may be on the chopping block next. It will not be saved by a parcel tax. There are too many unanswered questions.

    Another interesting thing to note. I happened to run across an old newspaper article about Measure Q, the last parcel tax we passed. The language describing what it was for looks exactly like what Measure W is supposedly for. Smaller class sizes, to save programs like music, art, athletics, same old, same old. Yet we are being told the two are for distinctly different things.

    It is this constant double speak that I find very troubling.

  4. Troubled

    Where is there any attempt to make funding less dependent on the state? How will the parcel tax address all the school district needs? The answer is it won’t. For instance, it has become pretty clear Emerson may be on the chopping block next. It will not be saved by a parcel tax. There are too many unanswered questions.

    Another interesting thing to note. I happened to run across an old newspaper article about Measure Q, the last parcel tax we passed. The language describing what it was for looks exactly like what Measure W is supposedly for. Smaller class sizes, to save programs like music, art, athletics, same old, same old. Yet we are being told the two are for distinctly different things.

    It is this constant double speak that I find very troubling.

  5. Doug Paul Davis

    “Where is there any attempt to make funding less dependent on the state?”

    Proposition 13 pretty much forced school districts to be reliant on the state because it made it almost impossible in most communities to raise funds locally.

    Obviously, the parcel tax would make the district less reliant on the state, but of course you seem to be opposed to those efforts.

    As I said yesterday, if you are concerned about Emerson being closed, the last thing you ought to do is vote against the parcel tax. I’m going to lay out that case in some commentary coming up early next week.

  6. Doug Paul Davis

    “Where is there any attempt to make funding less dependent on the state?”

    Proposition 13 pretty much forced school districts to be reliant on the state because it made it almost impossible in most communities to raise funds locally.

    Obviously, the parcel tax would make the district less reliant on the state, but of course you seem to be opposed to those efforts.

    As I said yesterday, if you are concerned about Emerson being closed, the last thing you ought to do is vote against the parcel tax. I’m going to lay out that case in some commentary coming up early next week.

  7. Doug Paul Davis

    “Where is there any attempt to make funding less dependent on the state?”

    Proposition 13 pretty much forced school districts to be reliant on the state because it made it almost impossible in most communities to raise funds locally.

    Obviously, the parcel tax would make the district less reliant on the state, but of course you seem to be opposed to those efforts.

    As I said yesterday, if you are concerned about Emerson being closed, the last thing you ought to do is vote against the parcel tax. I’m going to lay out that case in some commentary coming up early next week.

  8. Doug Paul Davis

    “Where is there any attempt to make funding less dependent on the state?”

    Proposition 13 pretty much forced school districts to be reliant on the state because it made it almost impossible in most communities to raise funds locally.

    Obviously, the parcel tax would make the district less reliant on the state, but of course you seem to be opposed to those efforts.

    As I said yesterday, if you are concerned about Emerson being closed, the last thing you ought to do is vote against the parcel tax. I’m going to lay out that case in some commentary coming up early next week.

  9. Anon

    “As I said yesterday, if you are concerned about Emerson being closed, the last thing you ought to do is vote against the parcel tax. I’m going to lay out that case in some commentary coming up early next week.”

    DPD, it is one thing for you to opine that if Measure W passes, Emerson will survive. I don’t hear the School Board/District saying it! Can you convince them to do that? I suspect if you could, more folks would be on board (pun intended) with Measure W.

  10. Anon

    “As I said yesterday, if you are concerned about Emerson being closed, the last thing you ought to do is vote against the parcel tax. I’m going to lay out that case in some commentary coming up early next week.”

    DPD, it is one thing for you to opine that if Measure W passes, Emerson will survive. I don’t hear the School Board/District saying it! Can you convince them to do that? I suspect if you could, more folks would be on board (pun intended) with Measure W.

  11. Anon

    “As I said yesterday, if you are concerned about Emerson being closed, the last thing you ought to do is vote against the parcel tax. I’m going to lay out that case in some commentary coming up early next week.”

    DPD, it is one thing for you to opine that if Measure W passes, Emerson will survive. I don’t hear the School Board/District saying it! Can you convince them to do that? I suspect if you could, more folks would be on board (pun intended) with Measure W.

  12. Anon

    “As I said yesterday, if you are concerned about Emerson being closed, the last thing you ought to do is vote against the parcel tax. I’m going to lay out that case in some commentary coming up early next week.”

    DPD, it is one thing for you to opine that if Measure W passes, Emerson will survive. I don’t hear the School Board/District saying it! Can you convince them to do that? I suspect if you could, more folks would be on board (pun intended) with Measure W.

  13. Wanting to know

    “Obviously, the parcel tax would make the district less reliant on the state, but of course you seem to be opposed to those efforts.”

    How did Woodland, that was not going to lay off any teachers, manage it? Or West Sac, that was going to lay off only a few teachers? It would be great if you could explain the reasons for this phenomenon.

  14. Wanting to know

    “Obviously, the parcel tax would make the district less reliant on the state, but of course you seem to be opposed to those efforts.”

    How did Woodland, that was not going to lay off any teachers, manage it? Or West Sac, that was going to lay off only a few teachers? It would be great if you could explain the reasons for this phenomenon.

  15. Wanting to know

    “Obviously, the parcel tax would make the district less reliant on the state, but of course you seem to be opposed to those efforts.”

    How did Woodland, that was not going to lay off any teachers, manage it? Or West Sac, that was going to lay off only a few teachers? It would be great if you could explain the reasons for this phenomenon.

  16. Wanting to know

    “Obviously, the parcel tax would make the district less reliant on the state, but of course you seem to be opposed to those efforts.”

    How did Woodland, that was not going to lay off any teachers, manage it? Or West Sac, that was going to lay off only a few teachers? It would be great if you could explain the reasons for this phenomenon.

  17. Doug Paul Davis

    Wanting to Know:

    As I explained in the other thread:

    Woodland is surviving at the moment doing the same policies that Davis was doing three years ago–plunging into their reserves. These are the same policies that led Davis into trouble. They will get hammered fairly soon if the state budget stays where it is. West Sac is in disastrous shape and cannot get the voters to fund projects that are in desperate need. I would think you could find two better examples as districts that are doing well.

  18. Doug Paul Davis

    Wanting to Know:

    As I explained in the other thread:

    Woodland is surviving at the moment doing the same policies that Davis was doing three years ago–plunging into their reserves. These are the same policies that led Davis into trouble. They will get hammered fairly soon if the state budget stays where it is. West Sac is in disastrous shape and cannot get the voters to fund projects that are in desperate need. I would think you could find two better examples as districts that are doing well.

  19. Doug Paul Davis

    Wanting to Know:

    As I explained in the other thread:

    Woodland is surviving at the moment doing the same policies that Davis was doing three years ago–plunging into their reserves. These are the same policies that led Davis into trouble. They will get hammered fairly soon if the state budget stays where it is. West Sac is in disastrous shape and cannot get the voters to fund projects that are in desperate need. I would think you could find two better examples as districts that are doing well.

  20. Doug Paul Davis

    Wanting to Know:

    As I explained in the other thread:

    Woodland is surviving at the moment doing the same policies that Davis was doing three years ago–plunging into their reserves. These are the same policies that led Davis into trouble. They will get hammered fairly soon if the state budget stays where it is. West Sac is in disastrous shape and cannot get the voters to fund projects that are in desperate need. I would think you could find two better examples as districts that are doing well.

  21. Anonymous

    How did Woodland, that was not going to lay off any teachers, manage it?

    To add to the other comment.

    Woodland gets twice as much federal money ($300 more per student) and they pay teachers 10% less (on average.

    The downside, fewer teachers have credentials, test scores are much lower (709 in Woodland versus 868 in Davis) and the dropout rate is much higher.

    You get what you pay for.

  22. Anonymous

    How did Woodland, that was not going to lay off any teachers, manage it?

    To add to the other comment.

    Woodland gets twice as much federal money ($300 more per student) and they pay teachers 10% less (on average.

    The downside, fewer teachers have credentials, test scores are much lower (709 in Woodland versus 868 in Davis) and the dropout rate is much higher.

    You get what you pay for.

  23. Anonymous

    How did Woodland, that was not going to lay off any teachers, manage it?

    To add to the other comment.

    Woodland gets twice as much federal money ($300 more per student) and they pay teachers 10% less (on average.

    The downside, fewer teachers have credentials, test scores are much lower (709 in Woodland versus 868 in Davis) and the dropout rate is much higher.

    You get what you pay for.

  24. Anonymous

    How did Woodland, that was not going to lay off any teachers, manage it?

    To add to the other comment.

    Woodland gets twice as much federal money ($300 more per student) and they pay teachers 10% less (on average.

    The downside, fewer teachers have credentials, test scores are much lower (709 in Woodland versus 868 in Davis) and the dropout rate is much higher.

    You get what you pay for.

  25. Anonymous

    “….test scores are much lower (709 in Woodland versus 868 in Davis) and the dropout rate is much higher.

    You get what you pay for.”

    This has NOTHING to do with $$$$, as we all well understand.

  26. Anonymous

    “….test scores are much lower (709 in Woodland versus 868 in Davis) and the dropout rate is much higher.

    You get what you pay for.”

    This has NOTHING to do with $$$$, as we all well understand.

  27. Anonymous

    “….test scores are much lower (709 in Woodland versus 868 in Davis) and the dropout rate is much higher.

    You get what you pay for.”

    This has NOTHING to do with $$$$, as we all well understand.

  28. Anonymous

    “….test scores are much lower (709 in Woodland versus 868 in Davis) and the dropout rate is much higher.

    You get what you pay for.”

    This has NOTHING to do with $$$$, as we all well understand.

  29. Anonymous

    This has NOTHING to do with $$$$, as we all well understand.

    Really?? Budgets reflect values. Communities who value education more highly are willing to spend more for it.

    If you don’t value education as much, then why spend the money.

  30. Anonymous

    This has NOTHING to do with $$$$, as we all well understand.

    Really?? Budgets reflect values. Communities who value education more highly are willing to spend more for it.

    If you don’t value education as much, then why spend the money.

  31. Anonymous

    This has NOTHING to do with $$$$, as we all well understand.

    Really?? Budgets reflect values. Communities who value education more highly are willing to spend more for it.

    If you don’t value education as much, then why spend the money.

  32. Anonymous

    This has NOTHING to do with $$$$, as we all well understand.

    Really?? Budgets reflect values. Communities who value education more highly are willing to spend more for it.

    If you don’t value education as much, then why spend the money.

  33. Anonymous

    Sue,

    If you are Sue Greenwald I think it’s hillarious that you of all people are saying that bickering is not productive. Take your own advice. People are discussing and debating.

  34. Anonymous

    Sue,

    If you are Sue Greenwald I think it’s hillarious that you of all people are saying that bickering is not productive. Take your own advice. People are discussing and debating.

  35. Anonymous

    Sue,

    If you are Sue Greenwald I think it’s hillarious that you of all people are saying that bickering is not productive. Take your own advice. People are discussing and debating.

  36. Anonymous

    Sue,

    If you are Sue Greenwald I think it’s hillarious that you of all people are saying that bickering is not productive. Take your own advice. People are discussing and debating.

  37. Doug Paul Davis

    I suspect it is not Sue Greenwald, as she always posts under her full name.

    I also want to remind people not to be taking shots at each other.

  38. Doug Paul Davis

    I suspect it is not Sue Greenwald, as she always posts under her full name.

    I also want to remind people not to be taking shots at each other.

  39. Doug Paul Davis

    I suspect it is not Sue Greenwald, as she always posts under her full name.

    I also want to remind people not to be taking shots at each other.

  40. Doug Paul Davis

    I suspect it is not Sue Greenwald, as she always posts under her full name.

    I also want to remind people not to be taking shots at each other.

  41. Disheartened

    When I mentioned Woodland as an example, I meant why were they able to weather the state cuts, and we were not? DPD has noted one reason – their students get an extra $300 per student in federal funding. Is that every student? Well, is it possible for us to get that sort of federal funding? If not, why not?

    Is that the only reason Woodland weathered the storm? Let me throw something not PC out here as food for thought – does Woodland business support the schools financially? Such as big box retail? Just curious.

    Secondly, I thought I saw somewhere that Woodland pays its teachers slightly more than Davis, not less – at least the beginning salaries. Anyone know for sure?

    Woodland is dipping into its reserves, but Davis has no reserves left. As much money as we have put towards parcel taxes, this should not have happened so soon in Davis. I chalk it up to fiscal mismanagement in the past which resulted in too many schools being built.

    That said, what guarantees do we have that too many schools won’t be built again? That employees are not hired by consulting firms directly from terminating their employment w the school district?

    Nor have I heard any compelling arguments about the loosey-goosey def’n of what “core curricula” consists of.

    What I have noticed is that proponents of Measure W think anything and everything is part of the “core curricula” except entire schools. So they favor a parcel tax to fund music, art, athletics, all foreign languages at all levels, Da Vinci, Spanish Emmersion, Independent School, and the like. They could care less if a school like Valley Oak closes.

    Those opposing Measure W have problems funding things like Mandarin Chinese 4 and Da Vinci, while closing entire schools such as Valley Oak and Emerson.

    Proponents counter w the argument that teachers and students are more important than buildings, which entirely misses the point. A school is made up of more than just a building and desks, as proponents are so fond of pointing out. It is made up of neighborhood students and parents, along w teachers and programs. Valley Oak HAD THE BEST EL PROGRAM OF ALL ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS. Close a school and you destroy programs that took years to develop.

    Now how do we bridge the divide? My suggestion, for starters, would be to earmark enough money from the parcel tax to keep Emerson open for another year. I think you are more likely to get buy-in for the parcel tax if you guarantee the survival of Emerson. Since the School Bd/District are keeping mum on the subject, and it wd only take about $20 in parcel tax money to keep Emerson open, I have to assume it is slated for closure.

    I also suspect the School Bd/District is not too concerned about whether the parcel tax passes, since they are asking for an amount greater than recommended by their own paid consultant and the timing is bad as DPD has previously noted. Why would this be? One can only speculate, but my mind keeps turning back to the closure of Emerson. Either that or the School Bd/District are just plain arrogant.

    I have had three children go through Davis schools. They all have college degrees IN SPITE OF their experiences in the Davis school system, not bc of it. I did a tremendous amount of home schooling to fill in the deficits. Too often the schools cater to privileged bright kids that learn the standard way. If your child has learning disabilities, has difficulties at home that make learning a problem, forget it. This type of student is warehoused into programs like “Transition Academy”, which is nothing more than warehousing troublemakers w learning disabled.

    Not all teachers were poor, but unfortunately many were. Administrators (principals, vice-principals) in general were pretty bad. My kids were assaulted physically and emotionally bc they were somehow different either in the way they learned or comported themselves. I was not the least surprised when it was suddenly decided DHS had a bullying problem. Where has everyone been all these years this has been going on? Twice the police became involved to protect my children.

  42. Disheartened

    When I mentioned Woodland as an example, I meant why were they able to weather the state cuts, and we were not? DPD has noted one reason – their students get an extra $300 per student in federal funding. Is that every student? Well, is it possible for us to get that sort of federal funding? If not, why not?

    Is that the only reason Woodland weathered the storm? Let me throw something not PC out here as food for thought – does Woodland business support the schools financially? Such as big box retail? Just curious.

    Secondly, I thought I saw somewhere that Woodland pays its teachers slightly more than Davis, not less – at least the beginning salaries. Anyone know for sure?

    Woodland is dipping into its reserves, but Davis has no reserves left. As much money as we have put towards parcel taxes, this should not have happened so soon in Davis. I chalk it up to fiscal mismanagement in the past which resulted in too many schools being built.

    That said, what guarantees do we have that too many schools won’t be built again? That employees are not hired by consulting firms directly from terminating their employment w the school district?

    Nor have I heard any compelling arguments about the loosey-goosey def’n of what “core curricula” consists of.

    What I have noticed is that proponents of Measure W think anything and everything is part of the “core curricula” except entire schools. So they favor a parcel tax to fund music, art, athletics, all foreign languages at all levels, Da Vinci, Spanish Emmersion, Independent School, and the like. They could care less if a school like Valley Oak closes.

    Those opposing Measure W have problems funding things like Mandarin Chinese 4 and Da Vinci, while closing entire schools such as Valley Oak and Emerson.

    Proponents counter w the argument that teachers and students are more important than buildings, which entirely misses the point. A school is made up of more than just a building and desks, as proponents are so fond of pointing out. It is made up of neighborhood students and parents, along w teachers and programs. Valley Oak HAD THE BEST EL PROGRAM OF ALL ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS. Close a school and you destroy programs that took years to develop.

    Now how do we bridge the divide? My suggestion, for starters, would be to earmark enough money from the parcel tax to keep Emerson open for another year. I think you are more likely to get buy-in for the parcel tax if you guarantee the survival of Emerson. Since the School Bd/District are keeping mum on the subject, and it wd only take about $20 in parcel tax money to keep Emerson open, I have to assume it is slated for closure.

    I also suspect the School Bd/District is not too concerned about whether the parcel tax passes, since they are asking for an amount greater than recommended by their own paid consultant and the timing is bad as DPD has previously noted. Why would this be? One can only speculate, but my mind keeps turning back to the closure of Emerson. Either that or the School Bd/District are just plain arrogant.

    I have had three children go through Davis schools. They all have college degrees IN SPITE OF their experiences in the Davis school system, not bc of it. I did a tremendous amount of home schooling to fill in the deficits. Too often the schools cater to privileged bright kids that learn the standard way. If your child has learning disabilities, has difficulties at home that make learning a problem, forget it. This type of student is warehoused into programs like “Transition Academy”, which is nothing more than warehousing troublemakers w learning disabled.

    Not all teachers were poor, but unfortunately many were. Administrators (principals, vice-principals) in general were pretty bad. My kids were assaulted physically and emotionally bc they were somehow different either in the way they learned or comported themselves. I was not the least surprised when it was suddenly decided DHS had a bullying problem. Where has everyone been all these years this has been going on? Twice the police became involved to protect my children.

  43. Disheartened

    When I mentioned Woodland as an example, I meant why were they able to weather the state cuts, and we were not? DPD has noted one reason – their students get an extra $300 per student in federal funding. Is that every student? Well, is it possible for us to get that sort of federal funding? If not, why not?

    Is that the only reason Woodland weathered the storm? Let me throw something not PC out here as food for thought – does Woodland business support the schools financially? Such as big box retail? Just curious.

    Secondly, I thought I saw somewhere that Woodland pays its teachers slightly more than Davis, not less – at least the beginning salaries. Anyone know for sure?

    Woodland is dipping into its reserves, but Davis has no reserves left. As much money as we have put towards parcel taxes, this should not have happened so soon in Davis. I chalk it up to fiscal mismanagement in the past which resulted in too many schools being built.

    That said, what guarantees do we have that too many schools won’t be built again? That employees are not hired by consulting firms directly from terminating their employment w the school district?

    Nor have I heard any compelling arguments about the loosey-goosey def’n of what “core curricula” consists of.

    What I have noticed is that proponents of Measure W think anything and everything is part of the “core curricula” except entire schools. So they favor a parcel tax to fund music, art, athletics, all foreign languages at all levels, Da Vinci, Spanish Emmersion, Independent School, and the like. They could care less if a school like Valley Oak closes.

    Those opposing Measure W have problems funding things like Mandarin Chinese 4 and Da Vinci, while closing entire schools such as Valley Oak and Emerson.

    Proponents counter w the argument that teachers and students are more important than buildings, which entirely misses the point. A school is made up of more than just a building and desks, as proponents are so fond of pointing out. It is made up of neighborhood students and parents, along w teachers and programs. Valley Oak HAD THE BEST EL PROGRAM OF ALL ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS. Close a school and you destroy programs that took years to develop.

    Now how do we bridge the divide? My suggestion, for starters, would be to earmark enough money from the parcel tax to keep Emerson open for another year. I think you are more likely to get buy-in for the parcel tax if you guarantee the survival of Emerson. Since the School Bd/District are keeping mum on the subject, and it wd only take about $20 in parcel tax money to keep Emerson open, I have to assume it is slated for closure.

    I also suspect the School Bd/District is not too concerned about whether the parcel tax passes, since they are asking for an amount greater than recommended by their own paid consultant and the timing is bad as DPD has previously noted. Why would this be? One can only speculate, but my mind keeps turning back to the closure of Emerson. Either that or the School Bd/District are just plain arrogant.

    I have had three children go through Davis schools. They all have college degrees IN SPITE OF their experiences in the Davis school system, not bc of it. I did a tremendous amount of home schooling to fill in the deficits. Too often the schools cater to privileged bright kids that learn the standard way. If your child has learning disabilities, has difficulties at home that make learning a problem, forget it. This type of student is warehoused into programs like “Transition Academy”, which is nothing more than warehousing troublemakers w learning disabled.

    Not all teachers were poor, but unfortunately many were. Administrators (principals, vice-principals) in general were pretty bad. My kids were assaulted physically and emotionally bc they were somehow different either in the way they learned or comported themselves. I was not the least surprised when it was suddenly decided DHS had a bullying problem. Where has everyone been all these years this has been going on? Twice the police became involved to protect my children.

  44. Disheartened

    When I mentioned Woodland as an example, I meant why were they able to weather the state cuts, and we were not? DPD has noted one reason – their students get an extra $300 per student in federal funding. Is that every student? Well, is it possible for us to get that sort of federal funding? If not, why not?

    Is that the only reason Woodland weathered the storm? Let me throw something not PC out here as food for thought – does Woodland business support the schools financially? Such as big box retail? Just curious.

    Secondly, I thought I saw somewhere that Woodland pays its teachers slightly more than Davis, not less – at least the beginning salaries. Anyone know for sure?

    Woodland is dipping into its reserves, but Davis has no reserves left. As much money as we have put towards parcel taxes, this should not have happened so soon in Davis. I chalk it up to fiscal mismanagement in the past which resulted in too many schools being built.

    That said, what guarantees do we have that too many schools won’t be built again? That employees are not hired by consulting firms directly from terminating their employment w the school district?

    Nor have I heard any compelling arguments about the loosey-goosey def’n of what “core curricula” consists of.

    What I have noticed is that proponents of Measure W think anything and everything is part of the “core curricula” except entire schools. So they favor a parcel tax to fund music, art, athletics, all foreign languages at all levels, Da Vinci, Spanish Emmersion, Independent School, and the like. They could care less if a school like Valley Oak closes.

    Those opposing Measure W have problems funding things like Mandarin Chinese 4 and Da Vinci, while closing entire schools such as Valley Oak and Emerson.

    Proponents counter w the argument that teachers and students are more important than buildings, which entirely misses the point. A school is made up of more than just a building and desks, as proponents are so fond of pointing out. It is made up of neighborhood students and parents, along w teachers and programs. Valley Oak HAD THE BEST EL PROGRAM OF ALL ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS. Close a school and you destroy programs that took years to develop.

    Now how do we bridge the divide? My suggestion, for starters, would be to earmark enough money from the parcel tax to keep Emerson open for another year. I think you are more likely to get buy-in for the parcel tax if you guarantee the survival of Emerson. Since the School Bd/District are keeping mum on the subject, and it wd only take about $20 in parcel tax money to keep Emerson open, I have to assume it is slated for closure.

    I also suspect the School Bd/District is not too concerned about whether the parcel tax passes, since they are asking for an amount greater than recommended by their own paid consultant and the timing is bad as DPD has previously noted. Why would this be? One can only speculate, but my mind keeps turning back to the closure of Emerson. Either that or the School Bd/District are just plain arrogant.

    I have had three children go through Davis schools. They all have college degrees IN SPITE OF their experiences in the Davis school system, not bc of it. I did a tremendous amount of home schooling to fill in the deficits. Too often the schools cater to privileged bright kids that learn the standard way. If your child has learning disabilities, has difficulties at home that make learning a problem, forget it. This type of student is warehoused into programs like “Transition Academy”, which is nothing more than warehousing troublemakers w learning disabled.

    Not all teachers were poor, but unfortunately many were. Administrators (principals, vice-principals) in general were pretty bad. My kids were assaulted physically and emotionally bc they were somehow different either in the way they learned or comported themselves. I was not the least surprised when it was suddenly decided DHS had a bullying problem. Where has everyone been all these years this has been going on? Twice the police became involved to protect my children.

  45. Doug Paul Davis

    “That said, what guarantees do we have that too many schools won’t be built again? That employees are not hired by consulting firms directly from terminating their employment w the school district?”

    I’ll address these two points. I agree with you, there was some fiscal mismanagement on the part of the district with regards to the reserves, some of that was due to the fact that David Murphy gave the board false information (either knowingly or unknowingly about the fiscal ability of the district to cover a 6% teachers salary hike–I reported on that last month).

    In terms of the first question, the voters have control over which projects to allocate, given the current circumstances I think we would not see even the remotest possibility of new school openings in the next three years and realistically the next 10 and beyond.

    On the second, there are no guarantees on that. That really was not the problem with TSS. The problem with TSS was simultaneous employment of employees which is now expressly forbidden and also the conflict of interest of Tahir Ahad acting as CBO of the district and director of his consulting firm simultaneously. That arrangement cannot happen again. An employee moving to a consulting firm is a lesser concern and not a true conflict.

  46. Doug Paul Davis

    “That said, what guarantees do we have that too many schools won’t be built again? That employees are not hired by consulting firms directly from terminating their employment w the school district?”

    I’ll address these two points. I agree with you, there was some fiscal mismanagement on the part of the district with regards to the reserves, some of that was due to the fact that David Murphy gave the board false information (either knowingly or unknowingly about the fiscal ability of the district to cover a 6% teachers salary hike–I reported on that last month).

    In terms of the first question, the voters have control over which projects to allocate, given the current circumstances I think we would not see even the remotest possibility of new school openings in the next three years and realistically the next 10 and beyond.

    On the second, there are no guarantees on that. That really was not the problem with TSS. The problem with TSS was simultaneous employment of employees which is now expressly forbidden and also the conflict of interest of Tahir Ahad acting as CBO of the district and director of his consulting firm simultaneously. That arrangement cannot happen again. An employee moving to a consulting firm is a lesser concern and not a true conflict.

  47. Doug Paul Davis

    “That said, what guarantees do we have that too many schools won’t be built again? That employees are not hired by consulting firms directly from terminating their employment w the school district?”

    I’ll address these two points. I agree with you, there was some fiscal mismanagement on the part of the district with regards to the reserves, some of that was due to the fact that David Murphy gave the board false information (either knowingly or unknowingly about the fiscal ability of the district to cover a 6% teachers salary hike–I reported on that last month).

    In terms of the first question, the voters have control over which projects to allocate, given the current circumstances I think we would not see even the remotest possibility of new school openings in the next three years and realistically the next 10 and beyond.

    On the second, there are no guarantees on that. That really was not the problem with TSS. The problem with TSS was simultaneous employment of employees which is now expressly forbidden and also the conflict of interest of Tahir Ahad acting as CBO of the district and director of his consulting firm simultaneously. That arrangement cannot happen again. An employee moving to a consulting firm is a lesser concern and not a true conflict.

  48. Doug Paul Davis

    “That said, what guarantees do we have that too many schools won’t be built again? That employees are not hired by consulting firms directly from terminating their employment w the school district?”

    I’ll address these two points. I agree with you, there was some fiscal mismanagement on the part of the district with regards to the reserves, some of that was due to the fact that David Murphy gave the board false information (either knowingly or unknowingly about the fiscal ability of the district to cover a 6% teachers salary hike–I reported on that last month).

    In terms of the first question, the voters have control over which projects to allocate, given the current circumstances I think we would not see even the remotest possibility of new school openings in the next three years and realistically the next 10 and beyond.

    On the second, there are no guarantees on that. That really was not the problem with TSS. The problem with TSS was simultaneous employment of employees which is now expressly forbidden and also the conflict of interest of Tahir Ahad acting as CBO of the district and director of his consulting firm simultaneously. That arrangement cannot happen again. An employee moving to a consulting firm is a lesser concern and not a true conflict.

  49. Anonymous

    Disheartened – Thank you for sharing your experiences with DJUSD. It’s sad and it’s the “dirty little secret” that everyone knows is true but doesn’t want to talk about. The amount of bullying against those who are on the lower end of the economic scale, gay students, mexican and black students, students with disabilities, etc. I know 5 families who moved from Davis for these reasons and their children are happier and performing quite well in school. I also know families who were forced to sue the school district and won, because their children were not being given special needs education that the state provides funding for.

    I have not made up my mind on W. There are some changes I want to see now and not later with disclosure and accountability.

  50. Anonymous

    Disheartened – Thank you for sharing your experiences with DJUSD. It’s sad and it’s the “dirty little secret” that everyone knows is true but doesn’t want to talk about. The amount of bullying against those who are on the lower end of the economic scale, gay students, mexican and black students, students with disabilities, etc. I know 5 families who moved from Davis for these reasons and their children are happier and performing quite well in school. I also know families who were forced to sue the school district and won, because their children were not being given special needs education that the state provides funding for.

    I have not made up my mind on W. There are some changes I want to see now and not later with disclosure and accountability.

  51. Anonymous

    Disheartened – Thank you for sharing your experiences with DJUSD. It’s sad and it’s the “dirty little secret” that everyone knows is true but doesn’t want to talk about. The amount of bullying against those who are on the lower end of the economic scale, gay students, mexican and black students, students with disabilities, etc. I know 5 families who moved from Davis for these reasons and their children are happier and performing quite well in school. I also know families who were forced to sue the school district and won, because their children were not being given special needs education that the state provides funding for.

    I have not made up my mind on W. There are some changes I want to see now and not later with disclosure and accountability.

  52. Anonymous

    Disheartened – Thank you for sharing your experiences with DJUSD. It’s sad and it’s the “dirty little secret” that everyone knows is true but doesn’t want to talk about. The amount of bullying against those who are on the lower end of the economic scale, gay students, mexican and black students, students with disabilities, etc. I know 5 families who moved from Davis for these reasons and their children are happier and performing quite well in school. I also know families who were forced to sue the school district and won, because their children were not being given special needs education that the state provides funding for.

    I have not made up my mind on W. There are some changes I want to see now and not later with disclosure and accountability.

  53. why I will support Measure W

    Disheartened:

    I, too, have been putting kids through Davis schools. One has a learning disability, some lack of social skills, etc. He has been picked on, and had some lousy teachers, some great teachers, changed schools to make things work, and has relied on plenty of home tutoring. We have another younger child who may show some similar traits. I know personally that it requires tremendous patience, hard work, luck, and personal faith to make things work for such kids.

    I can’t be as critical as you about Davis schools, because we have been in another district that was much less accomodating and offered fewer options. Perhaps you should consider if any nearby district would likely have provided a better experience for your children.

    The programs that you might like to call frills are some of the very programs that have kept this child engaged in school — music, sports, Da Vinci. When our child faced the possibility of social ostracism in school, it was structured, team-type activities that kept him connected and interested in school.

    When these programs are your lifeline to keep your child connected to school, *they’re not frills*. If the district could spend time focusing on other issues besides ongoing budget problems, they could use these very programs to help address aspects of the “achievement gap”. One of the conclusions of the district’s achievement gap report is that at-risk students do not feel socially connected to school. These are programs with a good track record in that area.

    In my generation, at risk students had plenty of viable options if they didn’t finish high school 30-40 years ago. Today the goal has to be to get every kid through high school, because the alternatives are now much worse.

    To answer your question about Woodland, their schools did not offer as many options as Davis schools. I attribute that to a higher level of community interest and participation in schools in Davis.

    God bless.

  54. why I will support Measure W

    Disheartened:

    I, too, have been putting kids through Davis schools. One has a learning disability, some lack of social skills, etc. He has been picked on, and had some lousy teachers, some great teachers, changed schools to make things work, and has relied on plenty of home tutoring. We have another younger child who may show some similar traits. I know personally that it requires tremendous patience, hard work, luck, and personal faith to make things work for such kids.

    I can’t be as critical as you about Davis schools, because we have been in another district that was much less accomodating and offered fewer options. Perhaps you should consider if any nearby district would likely have provided a better experience for your children.

    The programs that you might like to call frills are some of the very programs that have kept this child engaged in school — music, sports, Da Vinci. When our child faced the possibility of social ostracism in school, it was structured, team-type activities that kept him connected and interested in school.

    When these programs are your lifeline to keep your child connected to school, *they’re not frills*. If the district could spend time focusing on other issues besides ongoing budget problems, they could use these very programs to help address aspects of the “achievement gap”. One of the conclusions of the district’s achievement gap report is that at-risk students do not feel socially connected to school. These are programs with a good track record in that area.

    In my generation, at risk students had plenty of viable options if they didn’t finish high school 30-40 years ago. Today the goal has to be to get every kid through high school, because the alternatives are now much worse.

    To answer your question about Woodland, their schools did not offer as many options as Davis schools. I attribute that to a higher level of community interest and participation in schools in Davis.

    God bless.

  55. why I will support Measure W

    Disheartened:

    I, too, have been putting kids through Davis schools. One has a learning disability, some lack of social skills, etc. He has been picked on, and had some lousy teachers, some great teachers, changed schools to make things work, and has relied on plenty of home tutoring. We have another younger child who may show some similar traits. I know personally that it requires tremendous patience, hard work, luck, and personal faith to make things work for such kids.

    I can’t be as critical as you about Davis schools, because we have been in another district that was much less accomodating and offered fewer options. Perhaps you should consider if any nearby district would likely have provided a better experience for your children.

    The programs that you might like to call frills are some of the very programs that have kept this child engaged in school — music, sports, Da Vinci. When our child faced the possibility of social ostracism in school, it was structured, team-type activities that kept him connected and interested in school.

    When these programs are your lifeline to keep your child connected to school, *they’re not frills*. If the district could spend time focusing on other issues besides ongoing budget problems, they could use these very programs to help address aspects of the “achievement gap”. One of the conclusions of the district’s achievement gap report is that at-risk students do not feel socially connected to school. These are programs with a good track record in that area.

    In my generation, at risk students had plenty of viable options if they didn’t finish high school 30-40 years ago. Today the goal has to be to get every kid through high school, because the alternatives are now much worse.

    To answer your question about Woodland, their schools did not offer as many options as Davis schools. I attribute that to a higher level of community interest and participation in schools in Davis.

    God bless.

  56. why I will support Measure W

    Disheartened:

    I, too, have been putting kids through Davis schools. One has a learning disability, some lack of social skills, etc. He has been picked on, and had some lousy teachers, some great teachers, changed schools to make things work, and has relied on plenty of home tutoring. We have another younger child who may show some similar traits. I know personally that it requires tremendous patience, hard work, luck, and personal faith to make things work for such kids.

    I can’t be as critical as you about Davis schools, because we have been in another district that was much less accomodating and offered fewer options. Perhaps you should consider if any nearby district would likely have provided a better experience for your children.

    The programs that you might like to call frills are some of the very programs that have kept this child engaged in school — music, sports, Da Vinci. When our child faced the possibility of social ostracism in school, it was structured, team-type activities that kept him connected and interested in school.

    When these programs are your lifeline to keep your child connected to school, *they’re not frills*. If the district could spend time focusing on other issues besides ongoing budget problems, they could use these very programs to help address aspects of the “achievement gap”. One of the conclusions of the district’s achievement gap report is that at-risk students do not feel socially connected to school. These are programs with a good track record in that area.

    In my generation, at risk students had plenty of viable options if they didn’t finish high school 30-40 years ago. Today the goal has to be to get every kid through high school, because the alternatives are now much worse.

    To answer your question about Woodland, their schools did not offer as many options as Davis schools. I attribute that to a higher level of community interest and participation in schools in Davis.

    God bless.

  57. Anonymous

    David Greenwald,
    I know it is difficult for you to read some these remarks. People will never stop taking verbal shots when they can be anon.

    I know why the Woodland School system gets more Fed money. I know why the teachers are not qualified. I know why they have a hig dropout rate. But to define any of those things here would create more verbal potshots and odious labeling by people that are are un-informed or refuse to hear.

    I think everyone agrees about what it takes to have a great school system. They just can’t get past their personal isssues to get it settled. Thanks for your time.

  58. Anonymous

    David Greenwald,
    I know it is difficult for you to read some these remarks. People will never stop taking verbal shots when they can be anon.

    I know why the Woodland School system gets more Fed money. I know why the teachers are not qualified. I know why they have a hig dropout rate. But to define any of those things here would create more verbal potshots and odious labeling by people that are are un-informed or refuse to hear.

    I think everyone agrees about what it takes to have a great school system. They just can’t get past their personal isssues to get it settled. Thanks for your time.

  59. Anonymous

    David Greenwald,
    I know it is difficult for you to read some these remarks. People will never stop taking verbal shots when they can be anon.

    I know why the Woodland School system gets more Fed money. I know why the teachers are not qualified. I know why they have a hig dropout rate. But to define any of those things here would create more verbal potshots and odious labeling by people that are are un-informed or refuse to hear.

    I think everyone agrees about what it takes to have a great school system. They just can’t get past their personal isssues to get it settled. Thanks for your time.

  60. Anonymous

    David Greenwald,
    I know it is difficult for you to read some these remarks. People will never stop taking verbal shots when they can be anon.

    I know why the Woodland School system gets more Fed money. I know why the teachers are not qualified. I know why they have a hig dropout rate. But to define any of those things here would create more verbal potshots and odious labeling by people that are are un-informed or refuse to hear.

    I think everyone agrees about what it takes to have a great school system. They just can’t get past their personal isssues to get it settled. Thanks for your time.

  61. Anonymous

    anon 12:36 —

    There’s a difference between personal speculation and evidence supported facts.

    I could probably guess at some of the things you want to say.

    If you present personal speculation, you will probably have your biases questioned, and I may be one of those who would do so.

    If you can present soundly-interpretted evidence (non-anecdotal, quantitative, from a third party), then I think you would generate some more thoughtful discussion here.

  62. Anonymous

    anon 12:36 —

    There’s a difference between personal speculation and evidence supported facts.

    I could probably guess at some of the things you want to say.

    If you present personal speculation, you will probably have your biases questioned, and I may be one of those who would do so.

    If you can present soundly-interpretted evidence (non-anecdotal, quantitative, from a third party), then I think you would generate some more thoughtful discussion here.

  63. Anonymous

    anon 12:36 —

    There’s a difference between personal speculation and evidence supported facts.

    I could probably guess at some of the things you want to say.

    If you present personal speculation, you will probably have your biases questioned, and I may be one of those who would do so.

    If you can present soundly-interpretted evidence (non-anecdotal, quantitative, from a third party), then I think you would generate some more thoughtful discussion here.

  64. Anonymous

    anon 12:36 —

    There’s a difference between personal speculation and evidence supported facts.

    I could probably guess at some of the things you want to say.

    If you present personal speculation, you will probably have your biases questioned, and I may be one of those who would do so.

    If you can present soundly-interpretted evidence (non-anecdotal, quantitative, from a third party), then I think you would generate some more thoughtful discussion here.

  65. Anonymous

    To the anon above,

    There is no personal speculation here. It is only supported by the facts of the issues mentioned. It sounds like you have either made up your mind or are second guessing what would be said. People who make statements like yours always have something to say, even when it is incorrect.

    Can or will you present some sound interpretation of some of the issues? Then perhaps we can have an exchange of ideas to better the issues/problems.

    Do you see your approach?

  66. Anonymous

    To the anon above,

    There is no personal speculation here. It is only supported by the facts of the issues mentioned. It sounds like you have either made up your mind or are second guessing what would be said. People who make statements like yours always have something to say, even when it is incorrect.

    Can or will you present some sound interpretation of some of the issues? Then perhaps we can have an exchange of ideas to better the issues/problems.

    Do you see your approach?

  67. Anonymous

    To the anon above,

    There is no personal speculation here. It is only supported by the facts of the issues mentioned. It sounds like you have either made up your mind or are second guessing what would be said. People who make statements like yours always have something to say, even when it is incorrect.

    Can or will you present some sound interpretation of some of the issues? Then perhaps we can have an exchange of ideas to better the issues/problems.

    Do you see your approach?

  68. Anonymous

    To the anon above,

    There is no personal speculation here. It is only supported by the facts of the issues mentioned. It sounds like you have either made up your mind or are second guessing what would be said. People who make statements like yours always have something to say, even when it is incorrect.

    Can or will you present some sound interpretation of some of the issues? Then perhaps we can have an exchange of ideas to better the issues/problems.

    Do you see your approach?

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