Commentary: What Does Seven Million in Budget Cuts Look Like?

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DJUSD knows what it is like to try to reduce a $4.5 million deficit because they attempted to do so last year. $4.5 million would have meant at least 114 teacher layoffs, possibly a closed school, definitely some ended programs like music, art, maybe da Vinci High as well–at least as they knew it. But while Davis experienced threats, they never had to go through with it. The May revise came in better than the midyear budget estimates. The Democratic legislature restored funding cuts. Davis used one-time monies from its reserves and got a $1.7 million gift and was able to escape last year largely unfazed.

I say all of that because at its core, $4.5 million in budget cuts would have been devastating. Now imagine $7 million in cuts. That is what Woodland is facing right now. That is what the Woodland School Board did on Thursday night, they voted to reduce expenses by $7 million. That is more than twice the deficit Davis is facing right now. How does one cut $7 million? The Woodland Daily Democrat hardly gives a vivid description of this. Although apparently the public outcry got them to restore a number of programs including the elementary music program.

“Trustees also allotted $793,773 in funds to restore several programs and positions — two high school vice principals, zero and seventh period, the Elementary Music Program, a high school librarian, an elementary school counselor and an extra teacher for Pioneer High School’s Block Scheduling — that were set to be cut.”

It continues:

“While the elementary music program was restored, the board made several reductions to other programs, school budgets and at the district level.

School sites throughout the district froze open positions and cut 10 percent of discretionary funds, the enrollment center was restructured, elementary vice principal positions were cut, and teachers were reduced along with many other cuts. After much discussion, the board agreed to close both Grafton and Willow Spring Elementary schools.”

That’s right Woodland voted to close two elementary schools.

“Willow Spring and Grafton elementary schools were hotly debated reductions with many parents speaking in favor of leaving the schools open, to no success.

While Trustees Carol Souza Cole and Rosario Ruiz-Dark said they were not in favor of making these decisions without more information or more community input, other trustees said the schools were already set to be closed and students would get a good education no matter where they went. The board voted 5-2, with Trustees Souza Cole and Ruiz-Dark opposing the recommended cuts.”

I will leave it to our friends at the Woodland Journal to work out the rest of the details. I have heard enough. This is not about picking on Woodland. Woodland is not alone. School districts all across the state are having to make veritable Sophie’s choices between closing down programs and closing down schools. Many will have to do both.

Davis is quite fortunate in a lot of different ways. Some people have suggested in light of certain decisions that they regret voting for Measure W. Well let’s do the math. Without Measure W just add another $2.5 million to the deficit that Davis has. That would put Davis’ deficit for next year up over $5 million. Take out the generosity of the Davis residents and their $1.7 million in donations last year. We would be looking at the kind of cuts that Woodland is right now.

In other words, Davis is fortunate. A wealthy school district, in a wealthy community that is generous and supports its schools. That is a great thing.

The horrible thing is that across the state many students are not nearly so lucky. They do not live in communities that can dip into their bank accounts like Davis did last year. Heck, Davis probably could not do it so easily this year as they did last year. The economic crisis has hit home in this state. The unemployment rate is over 10%. Tax receipts are way down. The state is slashing billions from schools. That means millions slashed from local school districts, most of whom do not get parcel tax money to make up the difference.

The result of this is that the relatively wealthy and well off students in places like Davis will get by just fine. Their community will give just enough to avoid the kind of wholesale draconian cuts that Woodland is facing. We will tighten our belts. Our teachers may have to take pay cuts or face a small number of layoffs. But at the core our programs will survive and our students will thrive.

There are people on this blog who seem to take these things for granted. They seem to believe that schools have failed us. They seem to believe that there will be no consequences from cutting billions across the state from schools. I disagree with that assessment. I don’t think schools have failed us. I think we’ve failed our schools. Not in Davis, but across the state of California.

California ranks in the middle of the country in per pupil spending, and that was data from a few years ago before the latest round of cuts. California was below the national average. And those are in absolute dollars, it does not account for the higher cost of living in California compared to many of the states below California in per pupil spending.

There was good breakdown last year in my other publication, the California Progress Report.

“The Census Bureau numbers show that California still spends $652 less per student than the national average, even though their figures on “student spending” include funds from outside the state that never make it into the classroom, which arguably inflate the figures. The Census Bureau estimates lump in payments made into the state retirement system, as well as federal funding beyond what the state spends. But even including those calculations, California’s significantly below-average spending on students is abysmal. By comparison, the non-partisan national publication Education Week issued a report showing that California spends $1,900 less than the national average, because it only includes the actual funds spent by each state on each student.”

Also:

“even though we have extremely high costs, housing in particular, our teachers are still paid below the national average on a per pupil basis: $3,479 in California – compared to the national average of $3,811.”

The bottom line is that we get what we pay for. If California were near the top of the barrel in terms of students scores, then maybe, just maybe we could justify our lack of spending. But it is not. It is towards the bottom.

For years we are told that the problem is just that we pay too much on administrators. Sorry folks, the district has laid the budget numbers bare. Only a tiny percentage of DJUSD’s general fund budget goes to administrators. And that percentage has gone down. Davis has cut out it’s Associate Superintendent of Education Position, it has cut to the bone its fiscal office. There is nowhere else to cut. The raised salaries that people are moaning about do not amount to a hill of beans in the scheme of things–and even they are probably coming off the books and then some.

Davis is not alone. Across the state, districts have done the same. This is not pork. Many of these are essential positions and their absence requires other people to do more work for no additional pay. A lot of additional work. For years, teachers have had to purchase educational supplies out of their own pockets. The same teachers who are paid below national average per pupil–which means that we are teaching to more kids than the national average. California teachers teach to about 22 kids whereas their counterparts teach to 15 kids. Think that might make a difference in the service they receive in return?

The sad thing is that all of the numbers I have just shared with you are numbers that existed before we cuts roughly $7 billion from the state’s educational budget this year on top of whatever cuts were accrued last year and the lack of COLA for increased costs of living.

We indeed balanced our budget temporarily through huge real cuts (not simply slowing down the increases to programs, but actual cuts) and tax increases, but we did at a huge cost. Go to Woodland and you can see the very human cost it is going to take.

Remember that this is the childhood of those kids. This is their education. This is their future.

One final note: Somebody had the audacity of accusing me of being a Republican yesterday because I favor fiscal responsibility in the city of Davis and will not support new taxes without an assurance of accountability and responsible new contracts for upper level city employees. What these individual apparently do not get is that we do not have the money and resources anymore to be living the way we did in the 1990s or even the 2000s. We have to pick and choose what programs to support. For me, education has to be THE priority. Everything else has to come second.

The priorities in the city of Davis are out of whack. We are sitting on a $13 million deficit of unmet needs. That’s road repairs and infrastructure upgrades. If we do not get our public employee compensation and pension system under control, we cannot keep up with the things that we really need to put money into.

Sorry but there is really not one pot of money for schools and one pot for the city. It is but one pot of money and we have to make tough choices.

A liberal in these times has to be fiscally responsible because there is no money to just throw around anymore.

—David M. Greenwald 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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80 thoughts on “Commentary: What Does Seven Million in Budget Cuts Look Like?”

  1. wdf

    And this ignores that Dixon schools have been in a worse situation (also dealing with school closures on a smaller budget). Washington Unified (West Sacramento) would be worth a look, but they don't seem to have any news source covering them! Winters school may have come out relatively unscathed.If one wanted to bring down a community, cutting back lots of funding of the local public school system would be a very effective place to start.

  2. wdf

    The Woodland School Board is an insult to the students it is entrusted to educate.And one reason it is so effective at bringing down the community is that it has a way of turning residents on each other. If a foreign enemy bombed our city, we would at least be more unified in blaming a common enemy.

  3. Anonymous

    The bottom line is that we get what we pay for.No, we get micro-management-by-legislation. The CA Ed Code runs to Section 101060, with the last reform effort I can remember (Eastin) being essentially trashed and shelved. We are getting precisely what narrow interests have demanded over the past (at least) 40 years, and now live within a straight-jacketed, inflexible system, incapable of responding rapidly to change.

  4. Anonymous

    …Its teacher salaries rank highest in the nation, $64,424 this school year, according to the National Education Association….I wonder how California firefighters and police officers rank in salary, nationally.If DTA and CTA are recommending against taking salary cuts, then how are we to understand that we're working in an environment of shared sacrifice?In the past 6-7 years, the only group so far to have suffered layoffs are the classified staff (~2004). Maybe administrators, too, if you want to count Ginni Davis last year.When will teachers make the case that they, too, are sharing in sacrifice?I have belonged to and appreciated unions for some of the good things that they do, but at this point in time I sense that some collective bargaining groups feel like they are …more equal… than other workers.

  5. Anonymous

    …A liberal in these times has to be fiscally responsible because there is no money to just throw around anymore….Interesting! So conservatives never thought there was money to throw around and therefore were fiscally responsible and liberals and now figuring out what conservatives knew all along. I think DG sounds more like Arnold than a Republican.

  6. Michael

    I wonder how California firefighters and police officers rank in salary, nationally.The average fireman in Davis makes $175,000 a year, counting base + overtime + pension + cafeteria benefits. If you include retiree medical, the total is $190,000.

  7. Save Emerson

    As for recent history, I do agree that financing of Montgomery Elementary started to get messy and questionable, but beyond that I am mostly satisfied with DJUSD fiscal policy.yes. I agree. Ten bucks says the school will never touch Margaret Montgomery, in spite of the fact that they cannot afford this brand new school.

  8. Anonymous

    If you want to be fiscally responsible then adopt a voucher system. The schools that have the highest success rate will benefit. It does not matter if we spend more than any other State on a per pupil basis if we do not teach our children. The WJUSD board has been devious, if not criminal about spending the taxpayers money, this may be why they are in such disrepair. If the bloggers on this site are so wealthy why dont you just donate the necessary funding to cover the school district instead of wanting everyone else to pay for this. Oh excuse me, most liberals just talk about the problems and want everyone else to pay for it

  9. David M. Greenwald

    …The WJUSD board has been devious, if not criminal about spending the taxpayers money, this may be why they are in such disrepair….I don't disagree, but I would suggest that Woodland is really not alone, as WDF pointed out Dixon and Washington Unified are in just as bad a shape if not worse.

  10. Anonymous

    You don't disagree? How have they been devious or criminal? I would like to know. Pretty serious unsubstantiated accusation….Our teachers may have to take pay cuts or face a small number of layoffs….So far Woodland has chosen layoffs over pay cuts and I bet Davis does too. Why should the teachers subsidize the education of students in a community they can't afford to live in. But what is really annoying is the willingness of people like you to be so matter of fact about putting you hand into working peoples pockets. Yeah you sound like a republican and so do most of your posters; anti immigrant, pro-voucher, pro-paycut and then you agree with unsubstantiated accusations while claiming that you have no control over who posts here although you have no problem censoring things when you want to.

  11. David M. Greenwald

    I'm not really following your post….Pretty serious unsubstantiated accusation….See the Grand Jury report combined with some of the coverage in the Woodland Journal. …So far Woodland has chosen layoffs over pay cuts and I bet Davis does too….I agree….Why should the teachers subsidize the education of students in a community they can't afford to live in….I don't think it's a matter of that….But what is really annoying is the willingness of people like you to be so matter of fact about putting you hand into working peoples pockets….How have I done this?…Yeah you sound like a republican and so do most of your posters; anti immigrant, pro-voucher, pro-paycut…I'm certainly not anti-immigrant or pro-voucher. I am undecided as to whether I am pro-paycut, but given the numbers at this time, probably not….then you agree with unsubstantiated accusations…I disagree that they are unsubstantiated. They are un-adjudicated, but there is something to them, imo….you have no control over who posts…I do not control who posts here nor do I censor people's opinions….you have no problem censoring things when you want to…Unfortunately there are people that do not have the maturity to disagree with people's opinions without getting personal or making little snide putdowns. That is not what this blog is about and I will not tolerate it. I have never censored opinions on here, I will continue to delete comments that do not adhere to the standards set forth above.

  12. Anonymous

    I've seen the grand jury report and so has the community as well and guess what, Woodland is in the process of moving into its new central office.Even the grand jury didn't accuse them of any crime. The district's response to the grand jury was just because some people don't like something doesn't mean there is something inappropriate. So instead of challenging unsubstatiated accusations, especially from a grand jury in a county where the grand jury has a history of being a right wing, racist, tool of the establishment as outlined by David Serena and Matt Gonzales, you praise the GJ and concur with some annonymous poster because the GJ went after the Davis Fire Department, this blogs favorite whipping boy.

  13. David M. Greenwald

    Their response to the Grand Jury report was essentially to ignore it. The DFD will probably get off largely scott free as well, that doesn't mean they didn't behave improperly.

  14. David M. Greenwald

    I guess it depends on how you characterize a Brown Act violation:>When asked if the grand jury findings about Brown Act violations were accurate, Glover said,

  15. Anonymous

    ……………Anonymous said…Class Title: Firefighter I Class Code: 42000 Salary: $23.88 – $29.03 hourly$2,674.57 – $3,250.96 biweekly$5,794.90 – $7,043.74 monthly$69,538.85 – $84,524.88 annuallyBased on 2912 on duty hours per year2/24/09 1:58 PM …………………………The average fireman in Davis makes $175,000 a year, counting base + overtime + pension + cafeteria benefits. If you include retiree medical, the total is $190,000.2/28/09 2:39 PM …………This speaks volumes about how truthful cybergossip can be !!!

  16. David M. Greenwald

    You're basically comparing apples to oranges in citing those two different posts. The first post you cite, the total only accounts for base salary and doesn't include the other factors such as overtime, medical, pension, and cafeteria benefits that the second poster mentioned.

  17. Anonymous

    …………… David M. Greenwald said…You're basically comparing apples to oranges in citing those two different posts. The first post you cite, the total only accounts for base salary and doesn't include the other factors such as overtime, medical, pension, and cafeteria benefits that the second poster mentioned.2/28/09 8:07 PM ……………This example is how you slap a stigma on the best working group of middle class workers that there are.Your a very hurtful person who walks all over the good name of a great group of workers .Fellow workers unite , and tell this guy how it really is .

  18. Anonymous

    David Grenwald, I saw you at the Farmer's Mkt. today, you appear much younger than I thought you were. One of the anon posters here said you are anti immigrant and another talked about costs to the school system of children of illegal immigrants. That brings up a couple of questions. Are you for or against illegal immigration? Do you know how much it costs Yolo county school system, per year, to educate children of illegal immigrants? Having seen some of these types of topics on your blog previously I was wondering where you stand.

  19. Anonymous

    …This example is how you slap a stigma on the best working group of middle class workers that there are.Your a very hurtful person who walks all over the good name of a great group of workers .Fellow workers unite , and tell this guy how it really is….I'm missing something. How is Greenwald slapping a stigma or being a hurtful person? I know K-12 teachers in Davis who deserve $200,000/yr salary, but the district budget won't handle it.There isn't the money to be paying exhorbitant salaries.

  20. wdf

    as WDF pointed out Dixon and Washington Unified are in just as bad a shape if not worse.Dixon is definitely dealing with a tough time. Their district is smaller than Davis'. Here is a link to a story on what they are dealing with, possibly closing a school.The best info I have on Washington Unified is from the recent February 12 meeting agenda. What I see is that they have to cut ~$3M, for this year and next. They are a little smaller than Davis, by ~1,000 students. Their budget may be slightly easier to balance than Davis'.

  21. David M. Greenwald

    …I saw you at the Farmer's Mkt. today, you appear much younger than I thought you were….Good start, thank you….One of the anon posters here said you are anti immigrant and another talked about costs to the school system of children of illegal immigrants.That brings up a couple of questions. Are you for or against illegal immigration?…I am in favor of liberalizing immigration laws and some form of amnesty….Do you know how much it costs Yolo county school system, per year, to educate children of illegal immigrants?…No idea.

  22. Anonymous

    The Woodland School Board is an insult to the students it is entrusted to educate.This statement would more effectively apply to the California K-12 education system.

  23. For Fiscal Responsibility

    …A liberal in these times has to be fiscally responsible because there is no money to just throw around anymore….Absolutely. Fiscal responsibility is an absolute necessity, no matter which party you affiliate with.CA has been overspending for years, e.g. offered a free college education to every student who could qualify. Now those profligate ways have come home to roost. I find it very ironic that the Governator is asking to reinstate the vehicle tax, when the elimination of it was the very issue he got elected on! Bottom line is that a certain amount of tax revenue must be generated to pay for services provided. If you don’t have enough tax money, then you cannot provide the same level of services unless you increase taxes. Problem is, the taxpayers’ collective pocket is EMPTY. CA has been picking the pocket of taxpayers for years, and now there is no more to be had at the moment.However, there is plenty of pork in the budget – we see this starkly at the local level. Bloated gov’t employee salaries, getting benefits way out of whack w what is reasonable. Especially at the high end of the scale.But there is also a lot of creative bookkeeping that has been going on for years. Gov’t borrows, obfuscates the true picture, uses voodoo economics to send whatever fiscal message is convenient at the time. We saw this at DJUSD. Then when tough ecomomic times hit, so does such abysmal fiscal policies hit home hard – where it hurts.

  24. Save Emerson

    This piece is very similar in how the Enterprise injects bias into its own reporting. You start with …the template,… the main idea you are trying to get across. In this case, …don’t blame the school board or hold them accountable for finances. If the school board decides to close Emerson, it isn’t their fault…. Then you find the facts that fit that template. In this case, you go to Woodland an note they are having to close schools as well. Then you cry a river about how the state is not funding schools. Point being, it is irresponsible to base your reporting on an agenda, which in this case is to let the school board completely off the hook for everything.

  25. wdf

    it is irresponsible to base your reporting on an agendaIn Greenwald’s defense, the first word of today’s article is Commentary:. I don’t view the piece as much of any major reporting on his part. It is an opinion piece.Obviously you’re free to disagree with his opinion.

  26. Davis parent

    …Gov’t borrows, obfuscates the true picture, uses voodoo economics to send whatever fiscal message is convenient at the time. We saw this at DJUSD….What do you refer to?As for recent history, I do agree that financing of Montgomery Elementary started to get messy and questionable, but beyond that I am mostly satisfied with DJUSD fiscal policy.

  27. Close Montgomery

    it has cut to the bone its fiscal office. There is nowhere else to cut.

    James hammond’s hefty six figure salary is not what I call “cutting to the bone”

    second, they can close down Margaret Montgomery Elementary since they shouldn’t have built it in the first place. They built one too many schools. Now we are in a fiscal mess and are suffering for that bad decision. The school board needs to make the tough choice and close that school because they didn’t have the funds to run it.

  28. David M. Greenwald

    They are talking about cutting his salary somewhat, but you are not going to get much savings from that. The total administration budget is roughly 10% of the general fund. You just aren’t going to get much savings there and they’ve already whole sale cut several positions.

    I think you mean Korematsu, and no they cannot close another elementary school after they closed Valley Oak.

  29. Anonymous

    David Greenwald, 3/1/09,
    Illegal immigration is a big part of the problem with schools here in Calif.,and other states. You gave a non anwer to the question. And why does someone have to send you a private e-mail for you to answer the questions?
    Tell everyone on your blog what you think. You said you had no idea what the cost for illegal immigrants children to go to school in Yolo county. Do you want to find out? Do you just want to ignore it? It’s real whether you believe it or not, and it’s costly.

  30. wdf

    The Davis Enterprise has a Sunday Op-Ed piece on the DHS stadium renovation by the Pres. of the Blue and White Foundation.

    A recent article on Elk Grove schools (62,000 students), and teacher contract issues.

    Lodi USD planning to issue 390 layoff notices (~31,000 students).

  31. David M. Greenwald

    “I saw you at the Farmer’s Mkt. today, you appear much younger than I thought you were.”

    Good start, thank you.

    “One of the anon posters here said you are anti immigrant and another talked about costs to the school system of children of illegal immigrants.
    That brings up a couple of questions. Are you for or against illegal immigration?”

    I am in favor of liberalizing immigration laws and some form of amnesty.

    “Do you know how much it costs Yolo county school system, per year, to educate children of illegal immigrants?”

    No idea.

  32. Anonymous

    I never said David was anti-immigrant but I was pointing out the conservative turn this blog has taken with xenophobes posting regularly as part of the criticism.

  33. Don Shor

    “Do you know how much it costs Yolo county school system, per year, to educate children of illegal immigrants?”

    For those who are counted accurately among as part of the Average Daily Attendance, it is a net gain for the district; i.e., the district is paid by the state because they are part of the enrollment, legal or not.

  34. Anonymous

    Also, there is no reason that children of illegal immigrants would cost the state more in education dollars than it would to educate the children of people who are here legally.

  35. Anonymous

    Amnesty? What part of Illegal do we not understand? Do you really think that illegals do not impact local, State and Federal budgets? Please explain why bleeding heart liberals continue to support amnesty? I do not get it. These people cost us billions of dollars annually. Our jails are full of illegals, our schools are full of children of illegals, our resident children have a hard time getting help because the schools have to spend more resources teaching children of illegals so they can get through the school system. I know that schools receive income from pupil attendence, the more the merrier, maybe that is why schools are overcrowded, I hear teachers complain that the class sizes are too big and it makes it hard to teach on an individual basis. Come on liberals show me the light

  36. David M. Greenwald

    If you’re interested in my views on illegal immigration, you can shoot me an email. I’m not going to get this topic any more off-track. Someone asked me my position on it, I gave it. That’s as far as I’m going.

  37. Sick of This

    “What these individual apparently do not get is that we do not have the money and resources anymore to be living the way we did in the 1990s or even the 2000s. We have to pick and choose what programs to support.”

    This should always be the case. It should be the case just as much in 1990 as 2000 or 2009. Fiscal responsibility should not be something you neglect AT ANY TIME. The reason is when your govt. has an orgy of spending, its pretty hard to get them to stop once they have started.

    “For me, education has to be THE priority. Everything else has to come second.”

    And that won’t happen until the school board is held accountable.

    The priorities in the city of Davis are out of whack. We are sitting on a $13 million deficit of unmet needs. That’s road repairs and infrastructure upgrades. If we do not get our public employee compensation and pension system under control, we cannot keep up with the things that we really need to put money into.

    Sorry but there is really not one pot of money for schools and one pot for the city. It is but one pot of money and we have to make tough choices.

    These tough choices should have been made long ago, not now when there is a crisis.

    A liberal in these times has to be fiscally responsible because there is no money to just throw around anymore.

    So when there is $ to throw around and waste, its more okay? But when there isn’t and we are in a budget crunch, we should tighten our wallet?

    You don’t look the other way when times are good, then get all responsible when they are not.

  38. David M. Greenwald

    Here’s an example. In a good month, I might be willing to go out to dinner and a movie once a week. However, there have been times when we couldn’t afford that, so we cut out that kind of spending. Does that mean it is irresponsible to go out to a dinner and a movie when you have money? No, it doesn’t.

    Wasting money is never a good thing. I agree, we allowed the compensation to get away from us and that needs to be fixed regardless of the state of the budget.

    However, when times are better you can spend money perhaps on programs that would would not when you are running a deficit. Some of those programs may be very good and may save money in the long run, but you still have to cut them during tough times.

  39. Doesnt Cut it

    For years we are told that the problem is just that we pay too much on administrators. Sorry folks, the district has laid the budget numbers bare. Only a tiny percentage of DJUSD’s general fund budget goes to administrators. And that percentage has gone down. Davis has cut out it’s Associate Superintendent of Education Position, it has cut to the bone its fiscal office. There is nowhere else to cut. The raised salaries that people are moaning about do not amount to a hill of beans in the scheme of things–and even they are probably coming off the books and then some.

    So the excuse a CEO gets is his raise and lucrative salary while the company is going under is it is a tiny percentage of the company so it doesn’t count?
    Should we allow CEO’s to get away with this? If they shouldn’t get away with it then school administrators shouldn’t either.

  40. Upton Sinclair

    Just keep talking anon us diehard dems love you. You cost the Repubs New Mexico, Colorado, Florida and Arizona in the last election. California was lost back in 94 when Wilson played the xenophobe card to get re-elected. Eight republican senators (including Norm Coleman)lost last November that voted against Bush on his immigration bill. So keep it up and watch the Repubs go the way of the Whigs as you become older and whiter while the country becomes younger and more diverse. Oh by the way check out the immigrationprof blog today for an article about how much immigrants contribute to the economy of California. I’m sure you will be surprised by the answer. As for “What part of illegal don’t we understand?” The part that lacks compassion and lashes out against the poor and dispossessed as a scapegoat for all your other problems.

  41. Bushs Fist

    Just keep talking anon us diehard dems love you. You cost the Repubs New Mexico, Colorado, Florida and Arizona in the last election. California was lost back in 94 when Wilson played the xenophobe card to get re-elected. Eight republican senators (including Norm Coleman)lost last November that voted against Bush on his immigration bill. So keep it up and watch the Repubs go the way of the Whigs as you become older and whiter while the country becomes younger and more diverse. Oh by the way check out the immigrationprof blog today for an article about how much immigrants contribute to the economy of California. I’m sure you will be surprised by the answer. As for “What part of illegal don’t we understand?” The part that lacks compassion and lashes out against the poor and dispossessed as a scapegoat for all your other problems.

    Don’t get cocky. It was not long ago when the Reps controlled everything Mr. Sinclair. Very quickly the country got fed up and voted them out. Now the dems control everything. The country can get just as fed up with Obama for his failures as the country can get fed up with Bush and his.

    Right now, Obama is screwing up. He puts in Cabinet members with tax problems. He gives speeches that cause the stock market to tank. He spends nearly a trillion dollars we don’t have on programs and then talks about fiscal responsibility in the next breath and calls it hope and change.

    Second, if the illegal immigrant problem gets out of control and we are less safe, people are going to re-think the “open the borders” policy we have in place at the moment.

  42. Anony

    Mr. Sinclair I say that Liberalism and the Democratic Party are cruel to the poor and to the immigrants. This rhetoric may make you feel good about yourself but I say that your thought process is wrong. The United States of America is made up of immigrants. What programs have the liberal base provided to help the poor or the ethnic groups that you so depend on? Welfare? Some people are born into it and never get out, why? Because you want the gov’t to control the lives of the citizens. Intellectuals such as you can not fathom the thought losing control. As far as the repubs losing, they drifted from the conservative base and deserved to lose. David I apologize for getting off track, my posts will end here

  43. Close Montgomery

    it has cut to the bone its fiscal office. There is nowhere else to cut.

    James hammond’s hefty six figure salary is not what I call “cutting to the bone”

    second, they can close down Margaret Montgomery Elementary since they shouldn’t have built it in the first place. They built one too many schools. Now we are in a fiscal mess and are suffering for that bad decision. The school board needs to make the tough choice and close that school because they didn’t have the funds to run it.

  44. Close Montgomery

    it has cut to the bone its fiscal office. There is nowhere else to cut.

    James hammond’s hefty six figure salary is not what I call “cutting to the bone”

    second, they can close down Margaret Montgomery Elementary since they shouldn’t have built it in the first place. They built one too many schools. Now we are in a fiscal mess and are suffering for that bad decision. The school board needs to make the tough choice and close that school because they didn’t have the funds to run it.

  45. Close Montgomery

    it has cut to the bone its fiscal office. There is nowhere else to cut.

    James hammond’s hefty six figure salary is not what I call “cutting to the bone”

    second, they can close down Margaret Montgomery Elementary since they shouldn’t have built it in the first place. They built one too many schools. Now we are in a fiscal mess and are suffering for that bad decision. The school board needs to make the tough choice and close that school because they didn’t have the funds to run it.

  46. David M. Greenwald

    They are talking about cutting his salary somewhat, but you are not going to get much savings from that. The total administration budget is roughly 10% of the general fund. You just aren’t going to get much savings there and they’ve already whole sale cut several positions.

    I think you mean Korematsu, and no they cannot close another elementary school after they closed Valley Oak.

  47. David M. Greenwald

    They are talking about cutting his salary somewhat, but you are not going to get much savings from that. The total administration budget is roughly 10% of the general fund. You just aren’t going to get much savings there and they’ve already whole sale cut several positions.

    I think you mean Korematsu, and no they cannot close another elementary school after they closed Valley Oak.

  48. David M. Greenwald

    They are talking about cutting his salary somewhat, but you are not going to get much savings from that. The total administration budget is roughly 10% of the general fund. You just aren’t going to get much savings there and they’ve already whole sale cut several positions.

    I think you mean Korematsu, and no they cannot close another elementary school after they closed Valley Oak.

  49. Anonymous

    David Greenwald, 3/1/09,
    Illegal immigration is a big part of the problem with schools here in Calif.,and other states. You gave a non anwer to the question. And why does someone have to send you a private e-mail for you to answer the questions?
    Tell everyone on your blog what you think. You said you had no idea what the cost for illegal immigrants children to go to school in Yolo county. Do you want to find out? Do you just want to ignore it? It’s real whether you believe it or not, and it’s costly.

  50. Anonymous

    David Greenwald, 3/1/09,
    Illegal immigration is a big part of the problem with schools here in Calif.,and other states. You gave a non anwer to the question. And why does someone have to send you a private e-mail for you to answer the questions?
    Tell everyone on your blog what you think. You said you had no idea what the cost for illegal immigrants children to go to school in Yolo county. Do you want to find out? Do you just want to ignore it? It’s real whether you believe it or not, and it’s costly.

  51. Anonymous

    David Greenwald, 3/1/09,
    Illegal immigration is a big part of the problem with schools here in Calif.,and other states. You gave a non anwer to the question. And why does someone have to send you a private e-mail for you to answer the questions?
    Tell everyone on your blog what you think. You said you had no idea what the cost for illegal immigrants children to go to school in Yolo county. Do you want to find out? Do you just want to ignore it? It’s real whether you believe it or not, and it’s costly.

  52. Upton Sinclair

    Anon 11:50,

    I thought you were rather incoherent talking about control. I’m thinking what is this guy talking about so I figured I’d just ignore it. Then just to see what the conservatives were thinking I listened to Rush Limbaugh at the CPAC convention on U Tube. Now I understand that you were parroting Rush since he was using the same lexicon. I still don’t get what you mean by control but at least I understand where you are coming from, you’re a dittohead, taking your cues from a DJ that never debates anyone. Well that’s entertainment.

    Oh and what do liberals want to offer undocumented immigrants; education, access to health care, acceptance, compassion, labor protections and justice.

  53. Upton Sinclair

    Anon 11:50,

    I thought you were rather incoherent talking about control. I’m thinking what is this guy talking about so I figured I’d just ignore it. Then just to see what the conservatives were thinking I listened to Rush Limbaugh at the CPAC convention on U Tube. Now I understand that you were parroting Rush since he was using the same lexicon. I still don’t get what you mean by control but at least I understand where you are coming from, you’re a dittohead, taking your cues from a DJ that never debates anyone. Well that’s entertainment.

    Oh and what do liberals want to offer undocumented immigrants; education, access to health care, acceptance, compassion, labor protections and justice.

  54. Upton Sinclair

    Anon 11:50,

    I thought you were rather incoherent talking about control. I’m thinking what is this guy talking about so I figured I’d just ignore it. Then just to see what the conservatives were thinking I listened to Rush Limbaugh at the CPAC convention on U Tube. Now I understand that you were parroting Rush since he was using the same lexicon. I still don’t get what you mean by control but at least I understand where you are coming from, you’re a dittohead, taking your cues from a DJ that never debates anyone. Well that’s entertainment.

    Oh and what do liberals want to offer undocumented immigrants; education, access to health care, acceptance, compassion, labor protections and justice.

  55. Don Shor

    “You said you had no idea what the cost for illegal immigrants children to go to school in Yolo county. Do you want to find out? Do you just want to ignore it? It’s real whether you believe it or not, and it’s costly.”
    It costs Yolo County nothing.
    It costs DJUSD nothing. In fact, it is a net gain to the district.

  56. Don Shor

    “You said you had no idea what the cost for illegal immigrants children to go to school in Yolo county. Do you want to find out? Do you just want to ignore it? It’s real whether you believe it or not, and it’s costly.”
    It costs Yolo County nothing.
    It costs DJUSD nothing. In fact, it is a net gain to the district.

  57. Don Shor

    “You said you had no idea what the cost for illegal immigrants children to go to school in Yolo county. Do you want to find out? Do you just want to ignore it? It’s real whether you believe it or not, and it’s costly.”
    It costs Yolo County nothing.
    It costs DJUSD nothing. In fact, it is a net gain to the district.

  58. john

    6:38 This is what the other anon was talking about when they were talking control. Education, Health Care, Labor Protections, etc… Why don’t all the hard working AMERICANS just hand over their paychecks then let our so called leaders control where the monies are to be spent. You are spouting socialism and I do not agree with it. The people that I know want everyone to succeed, not have the gov’t limit what they can or feel that they can accomplish. That seems to be your thought process. I believe in legalized immigration, get them out working so they contribute to society. Do you have a problem with that?

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