School Board to Put $198 Parcel Tax on the Ballot

Joe DiNunzio speaks on this issue in April

For much of this year, the school board led by subcommittee Alan Fernandes and Joe DiNunzio examined the DJUSD finances, looked at potential ways to cut costs and increased revenues, and wound up with a single solution to the teacher compensation gap – put a parcel tax before the voters.

Following a brief discussion, that is precisely where the board ended up – putting a $198 parcel tax forward on a 5-0 vote.  District administration will now be asked to come back with language that could go to the voters sometime in 2020.

Board member Alan Fernandes, who seconded the motion by Joe DiNunzio, pointed out that this is an issue that was identified several years ago and one that the board has been grappling with for some time.

“We started down the road of first recognizing that there is a gap and then understanding what that gap is,” he said.

He noted that they have come to this conclusion, after recognizing the historical reasons for the gap and the ability of the board to solve that gap.

“What we as a community know, maybe better than most communities, is the ways in which we can increase our revenue – and the manner with which we can control our costs are somewhat limited,” Mr. Fernandes stated.

He said that the school really lacks a lot of authority and discretion.

“The reality is most of what we do is either required by law and the funding that we get is predominantly from the state,” he said.

“We looked at what our options are,” he said.  “The parcel tax is the most direct and honest way to approach the topic.

“Where we are today is, in my view, at a decision point whether we continue down this path of asking the voters, explaining to the voters, and ultimately asking them to value teachers the way we value teachers here at the district,” he said.  He said the best way is to “proceed with the parcel tax for teacher compensation.”

Joe DiNunzio, who made the motion and served with Alan Fernandes on the subcommittee, said: “It has to be clear to the community that it’s the right thing to do, it’s the fiscally responsible thing to do, and it’s the clearest path to achieve our goals.”

He called this “an issue of fairness, a moral imperative to make sure that we are compensating our employees and treating them as well as we possibly can.”

He said there is a “practical element here” which is “compensation is a big part of why someone would join an organization and a school district.”

For Mr. DiNunzio, there was not a lot of appetite in this community for cutting programs.

“The analysis showed that we are already running an efficient operation,” he continued.  “The options above bringing more revenue in is going to require cutting staff – and that means cutting programs.  And we saw in all of these meetings, no appetite for that.”

He said that “this gap is a parcel tax.”

Tom Adams said, “The big emphasis tonight is local control.  We get a certain amount from the state, but that’s pretty much what we’re going to get for a while.”

He said there will be cost-of-living adjustments, “but there isn’t really enough to create the investment that we need to have.”

“Davis needs to realize that Davis needs to take another round of investment to get us to where we need to be,” he said.  “The good thing is that Davis solves problems.”

He added, “If we don’t match our investment to our aspirations we’re not going to get very far.”

He said, “Call the question on the issue, let’s move forward on it.”

Board President Bob Poppenga quickly added, “I think it is important to realize the state of funding from the state of California is not going to get us where we want to go.  We’ve gone from an 8 percent reserve down to a 3 percent reserve.  It can’t go anywhere else.”

The board then passed a motion to have administration bring back language for a $198 a year parcel tax to fund teacher and employee compensation increases.

—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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66 Comments

    1. David Greenwald

      Two issues not covered by the school board. The motion was literally to ask the administration to come back with language on a $198 parcel tax. No details provided.

  1. Ron Glick

    I wouldn’t be surprised if it included a cola and was perpetual. Otherwise the district would be in a continuing cycle of needing to risk massive cuts on a periodic basis and ever increasing rates when they would go back to the voters.

    As a parent, homeowner and retired teacher I will support the proposal.

    1. Bill Marshall

      As a parent, homeowner, and spouse of a retired teacher (but not DJUSD, except for a couple of years as a pre-K teacher), am still “on the fence”… need more info as to the ‘structure’ of the levy, as to duration and ‘inflators’… the ‘principle’ of the thing… and why the same isn’t proposed by the City for City employees…

      As Dad taught me, “it’s not that I didn’t like High School, it was the principal of the thing…”

      I find it instructive (pun intended) that $198 is the proposal… not $190, not $195, not $200… reminds me of gasoline prices, or other “pricing” that pretends to avoid a ‘hinge point’, to get “customers” to buy in… disingenuous, and manipulative to my way of thinking… one of the reasons I’m “on the fence”… the amount is dishonest… like David implies on City Sales Tax… if the money is truly needed, justified, the rate should be $200, or $240 ($20/mo.)… they could always build reserves… don’t have to spend immediately… would help avoid going ‘back to the well’ in the near term.

      For us, it’s not the $$$… it’s the principle of how it has been presented, without being transparent as to duration and ‘inflators’.  DJUSD is NOT known for transparency!

      Will also ask what DJUSD unfunded liability is for CalSTRS and retiree medical… will bet that will never be disclosed… at least the City does that! (As to PERS and retiree benefits)

       

      1. Ron Glick

        Fair enough, the devil could be in the details, but I did speculate in how I think the final product will look. Right now it isn’t about a lack of transparency. What they did was direct staff to draft a proposal. When that proposal is finally adopted it should be clear what is and isn’t in the proposal.

      2. Don Shor

        I find it instructive (pun intended) that $198 is the proposal… not $190, not $195, not $200… reminds me of gasoline prices, or other “pricing” that pretends to avoid a ‘hinge point’, to get “customers” to buy in… disingenuous, and manipulative to my way of thinking… one of the reasons I’m “on the fence”… the amount is dishonest…

        They do it (98 and 99) because it works, it’s tested and proven. Good description here:
        https://www.livescience.com/33045-why-do-most-prices-end-in-99-cents-.html

  2. Ron Oertel

    Yeah – “what fiscal deficit”, for the city.

    Apparently, DJUSD couldn’t care less about it.

    What a disgrace. Can hardly wait until they’re forced to shut down a school.

      1. Ron Oertel

        I don’t believe you, but I’ll expand:

        Taxpayers are only willing/able to pay so much.  Given the city’s fiscal deficit (that you constantly harp on), this isn’t the time to be raising salaries.

        This action shows how much DJUSD “cares” about the city.

        1. Ron Glick

          I find it interesting that someone who continuously advocates against growth is also opposed to paying the increased amounts that lack of growth necessitates.

          1. David Greenwald

            He’s afraid that if the city lacks money it will become a reason to develop more. (Although ironically the school district lacking money could result in the same push).

        2. Ron Oertel

          “I find it interesting that someone who continuously advocates against growth is also opposed to paying the increased amounts that lack of growth necessitates.”

          That’s the line that’s constantly put forth, by those who can’t foresee a sustainable society.

          Note that my comment was based upon observations regarding taxpayers at large (and the blatant lack of concern for the city’s fiscal situation by the school district), not necessarily what I personally prefer.

          The bottom line is that there’s only so much that taxpayers will approve. I would not put a “raise” at the top of the priority list, especially in a district with declining enrollment (vs. a city with more basic and essential needs). It’s frankly irresponsible and selfish.
          Ignore

      1. Ron Oertel

        They might need to shut down another one, at some point.

        It’s well-past time to make the school district adjust to the community’s needs, rather than the other-way around.

        Despite what some seem to believe, schools are not sacrosanct.

        1. David Greenwald

          I would be very surprised if.  They shut down a school in the foreseeable future.  You just had the school board say that the community does not want to cut programs.  They definitely don’t want to close schools.

        2. Ron Oertel

          They definitely don’t want to close schools.

          My guess is that “they” don’t want to pay the cost of educating students from other communities, or artificially keeping schools open for such purposes.

          Perhaps responses would depend upon the wording of the question.

        3. Ron Oertel

          If that was the case, then the existing, several-hundred dollar parcel tax wouldn’t be needed.  All students would be a “net plus”. And yet, we know that’s not true.

          And again, there doesn’t seem to be any concern whatsoever, regarding the impact to the school districts which are being “poached” for students.

          But again, this latest effort is about seeking a raise for teachers – at a time when the city apparently has greater needs.

          1. Don Shor

            The cost of educating each child is determined by the state. The child who transfers does not cost the home district that amount any more, so they lose that for the funding that is based on the ADA. The child transfers to the new district and becomes part of the ADA count there, so the district is funded for that child at whatever that district’s cost is.
            So it should be a wash. Neither district gains or loses. Nobody is “poaching” anybody.
            But I don’t know for sure how the Local Control Funding Formula may have affected that.
            The wrinkle here is that Davis voters have passed parcel taxes to fund specific school expenses. Those funds have no direct relationship to the number of students. They are based on the number of parcels. There is not a direct connection between who pays parcel taxes and who is in the schools.

          2. Don Shor

            If that was the case, then the existing, several-hundred dollar parcel tax wouldn’t be needed.

            In theory, it isn’t needed. It’s a choice by Davis voters to provide curriculum enrichment, additional instruction, expanded opportunities in foreign language and music, and to reduce class sizes. None of those things are strictly necessary. Most Davisites, based on their voting history, believe those are some of the things that make Davis schools better than they would be otherwise.
            You can see the goals of the ballot measure and how the money is being spent here:
            https://www.djusd.net/UserFiles/Servers/Server_117089/File/Departments/Business_Services/Parcel_Tax_Committee/Parcel%20Tax%20Measures%202018%20Report%20Final.pdf

        4. Ron Oertel

          If they’re not getting 100 cents on the dollar (whatever that means), than the cost of educating students is greater than the amount received.  They are, in fact, a net drain.

          Try this as an “experiment” to prove it – eliminate the existing parcel tax and see what happens.

          Or better yet, right-size the schools in the first place.

        5. Ron Oertel

          Quoting myself:  “If they’re not getting 100 cents on the dollar (whatever that means), than the cost of educating students is greater than the amount received.”

          Actually, the “dollar” came from property taxes in the first place.  So, that amount should be added to the parcel tax, to show the “total” drain.

          I wonder how much that drain is for each property, on average (or via categories, such as single-family vs. apartment complexes).

           

          1. Don Shor

            Actually, the “dollar” came from property taxes in the first place. So, that amount should be added to the parcel tax, to show the “total” drain.

            I strongly suggest you read up on how the schools are funded if you believe this.
            https://ed100.org/lessons/whopays

        6. Ron Oertel

          Don:  “The cost of educating each child is determined by the state. The child who transfers does not cost the home district that amount any more, so they lose that for the funding that is based on the ADA.”

          “The child transfers to the new district and becomes part of the ADA count there, so the district is funded for that child at whatever that district’s cost is.”

          “So it should be a wash. Neither district gains or loses. Nobody is “poaching” anybody.”

          “But I don’t know for sure how the Local Control Funding Formula may have affected that.”

          Do property owners get a “refund” of property taxes paid for schools, as children are poached?  Or, is that money simply transferred to the Davis school district, thereby providing the student’s home district with less funds?

          David’s claim that students are a net fiscal benefit for schools seems to conflict with your claim.

          “The wrinkle here is that Davis voters have passed parcel taxes to fund specific school expenses. Those funds have no direct relationship to the number of students. They are based on the number of parcels.”

          You’re stating that this amount would be the same for one school, as it is for (let’s say) twenty schools?

          “There is not a direct connection between who pays parcel taxes and who is in the schools.”

          Yes – part of the problem.  Especially if an excess number of schools are maintained, to educate out-of-district students.

          1. Don Shor

            Do property owners get a “refund” of property taxes paid for schools, as children are poached?

            There is no direct connection between who pays property taxes and where children go to school. Nobody is poached.

            Or, is that money simply transferred to the Davis school district, thereby providing the student’s home district with less funds?

            Once again, I urge you to do your homework about how schools are funded.
            https://ed100.org/lessons/whopays

            David’s claim that students are a net fiscal benefit for schools seems to conflict with your claim.

            I believe he is wrong, but, again, the LCFF may have changed things. It was neither a fiscal advantage nor a drain to either district for a student to transfer in the past. LCFF gives much greater discretion to the school district as to how to expend funds from the state, though they have to account for it. But so far as I know, the starting point for the process is still the Average Daily Attendance and the per-pupil cost of instruction.

        7. Ron Oertel

          Don:  “There is no direct connection between who pays property taxes and where children go to school. Nobody is poached.”

          They are absolutely being “poached”.  If I recall correctly, this is actually part of DJUSD’s plan to avoid dealing with declining enrollment.  Never mind that it likely results in similar or other problems for other school districts.  And yet, no one seems concerned about the fiscal (or other) impact on the poached school districts.

          It also results in Davis taxpayers/property owners subsidizing out-of-district students, in regard to the “special programs” that the existing parcel tax funds.

          Me:  “Or, is that money simply transferred to the Davis school district, thereby providing the student’s home district with less funds?”
          Don:  “Once again, I urge you to do your homework about how schools are funded.”
          https://ed100.org/lessons/whopays

          Yes – I saw that after my last comment.  (I believe that we posted around the same time, so I didn’t see it until afterward.)  Thanks for clarifying that (on average), regular property taxes apparently pay about 1/4 of the cost of schools.  In the case of say (Dixon), that would apparently mean that the 1/4 would essentially be flowing to DJUSD, instead of the Dixon school district – along with the other 3/4 provided by the state.

          Me:  “David’s claim that students are a net fiscal benefit for schools seems to conflict with your claim.”

          Don:  “I believe he is wrong . . .”

          I’m not sure what to believe regarding the conflicting claims, other than the reality that taxpayers may be at the end of their willingness to increase taxes.  If that’s the case, then perhaps it’s a matter of priorities, regarding the needs of the city vs. increased salaries for teachers.

           

           

          1. Don Shor

            In the case of say (Dixon), that would apparently mean that the 1/4 would essentially be flowing to DJUSD, instead of the Dixon school district – along with the other 3/4 provided by the state.

            It’s irrelevant. No money is flowing one way or the other. The state backfills the difference between property taxes and ADA. Basically the money comes from the state. In respect to basic funding, the property taxes are basically irrelevant.
            No district loses, no district gains.

            They are absolutely being “poached”. If I recall correctly, this is actually part of DJUSD’s plan to avoid dealing with declining enrollment. Never mind that it likely results in similar or other problems for other school districts. And yet, no one seems concerned about the fiscal (or other) impact on the poached school districts.

            This is a completely false assertion. DJUSD does not harm other districts. It creates no problems for them. It enables Davis to keep schools open that they would otherwise have to close. I know you could not care less about that, but I guarantee many people do. They are people who have children in the schools. I suggest their priorities are different than yours.
            But the other district loses nothing. It creates no harm to other districts. There is no adverse fiscal impact.

        8. Ron Oertel

          And in the case of a student attending Davis (vs. Dixon) schools, there’s a net “loss” to the region from the state, due to the local funding formula – as a result of enrollment decisions.

          Now, unless it’s actually “cheaper” to send a kid to a Davis school, I suspect that you are correct regarding a net loss created by each out-of-district enrollment. (Not including the existing parcel tax, which is absolutely a subsidized loss for out-of-district enrollments.)

          Unless you’re also claiming that the total cost of these specially-subsidized programs are the “same” for one student, vs. 20.

          1. Don Shor

            And in the case of a student attending Davis (vs. Dixon) schools, there’s a net “loss” to the region from the state, due to the local funding formula – as a result of enrollment decisions.

            What “region” are you talking about?

        9. Ron Oertel

          Regarding “poaching” of students from other districts, also wondering if it’s the so-called “best and brightest” who are choosing to attend Davis schools (instead of their own), and who also have parents who believe schools are “sacrosanct”.

          If so, what impact would that have on the kids left-behind, in the under-performing district?  (Which suddenly/also has less funds as a result of the little geniuses leaving? Not to mention a lack of programs funded by the existing parcel tax (that Davis uniquely has).

          What “incentive” would they have to create their own special programs/funding, if those who are interested are gaining access to such programs “for free” at DJUSD, on the backs of Davis taxpayers/property owners?

          1. Don Shor

            also wondering if it’s the so-called “best and brightest” who are choosing to attend Davis schools (instead of their own),

            A completely unsubstantiated speculation on your part. Since it’s neither provable nor falsifiable, it’s pointless.

            If so, what impact would that have on the kids left-behind, in the under-performing district?

            Which district is “under-performing”?

            What “incentive” would they have to create their own special programs/funding, if those who are interested are gaining access to such programs “for free” at DJUSD, on the backs of Davis taxpayers/property owners?

            Why are you pretending to care about other districts, when you have repeatedly urged that DJUSD close schools, that teachers not be given raises, and that you probably oppose this parcel tax?
            Your deep concern for other districts seems a little misplaced, particularly when it is founded on an unsubstantiated notion on your part about which students are transferring, and an apparent complete lack of understanding of how the schools are funded in the first place.

          2. David Greenwald

            “What “incentive” would they have to create their own special programs/funding, if those who are interested are gaining access to such programs “for free” at DJUSD, on the backs of Davis taxpayers/property owners?”

            How it works is that the state collects property taxes, each district then is granted a base level based on average daily attendance. No one is accessing our programs for free. Every student in California is entitled to attend a public school. The state then pays for their attendance. Because DJUSD has a lower number of at-risk or Title I students than other districts, DJUSD only gets $10,333 per pupil while the average district in the state received $12,228. The district then augments that with the parcel tax which appears to take DJUSD from 84.5% of the state average to 95% of state average.

            DJUSD has then prioritized programs that other districts don’t have and that has ultimately come at the expense of things like teacher compensation.

            The students from other districts are not getting anything for free any more than they do anywhere else. Most of the transfers are people whose parents work at UC Davis and in many cases, they started out in Davis schools and maintained their attendance after moving out of town.

            If you are referring to parcel tax payment, bear in mind that a majority of students at DJUSD are children of renters. Meaning their parents for the most part do not pay the parcel tax either. There is no coupling of students to parcel tax money.

            Also bear further in mind that parcel tax money is not a replacement for general fund money. In other words, parcel tax money is not going into basic classroom expenses. Instead it supplements added expenses like the 7 period day, counseling, librarians, art and music and things of that sort.

            What would be different about this parcel tax is that it would go to fund/ augment employee compensation salary.

        10. Hiram Jackson

          D. Greenwald:  “If you are referring to parcel tax payment, bear in mind that a majority of students at DJUSD are children of renters.”

          I accept that there are many children in the district who live in rental situations, but a *majority*?  How do we know that?

  3. Ron Oertel

    By the way, what did the city survey show regarding increased taxes for local schools?  (If I recall correctly, school district desires were not at the top of most respondent’s concerns.)

    As a side note, “poaching” students from other districts is another less-than-savory tactic to avoid “right-sizing” schools. Not one peep on here regarding the impact that such tactics have on those other school districts.

        1. Ron Oertel

          That isn’t the survey I was referring to.

          I’m referring to the survey that the city conducted (e.g., the one in which respondents “rated” the Vanguard, itself).

  4. Ron Glick

    “That’s the line that’s constantly put forth, by those who can’t foresee a sustainable society.”

    First I’ve never put forth that line before. Second, I question your vision of a sustainable society if it doesn’t include a competitive salary for the people who educate the next generation.

    1. Ron Oertel

      Here’s what you said to me, above:

      “I find it interesting that someone who continuously advocates against growth is also opposed to paying the increased amounts that lack of growth necessitates.”

      This is the same line that all development activists use, to justify the Ponzi scheme of never-ending growth and development.

      Also, I never said that I’m personally opposed to “competitive salaries” – or even the proposed raise for teachers, via another parcel tax.

      I am concerned that there’s a limit to how much voters will approve, and that the city’s actual needs (as “reported” on this very blog – almost daily) will (once again) take a back seat to the school district’s goals.

  5. Todd Edelman

    Sigh, another opportunity missed to fund a school bus program for the kids too young to ride Unitrans or too far from their school to ride their bikes… I assume that a lot of parents would prefer to do something else than drive their kids to school.

     

    1. Ron Glick

      Todd,

      While I respect your commitment to the idea of school buses in Davis you have never really revisited why the district has made the choice not to have buses. I don’t know the history but I know that it was a policy choice made years ago. I think to make the argument for buses you need to do a cost benefit analysis that shows that the benefits of providing buses outweighs the costs to the district itself. I’m sure that showing the benefits outweigh the costs is easy from transportation and environmental standpoints but the problem is that the costs of driving kids to schools are borne by the parents while the cost of buses would need to be offset by cuts to other district programs. I think you need to come forward with a plan that doesn’t negatively impact the current district budget if you want people to take this issue seriously.

  6. Ron Glick

    “This is the same line that all development activists use, to justify the Ponzi scheme of never-ending growth and development.”

    By definition Ponzi schemes end their growth and collapse. Never ending growth wouldn’t be a Ponzi scheme.

    Anyway, blaming developers or activists for  the underfunding of city liabilities is misplaced. Growth generates revenue for the city and schools in multiple ways. Money the city and schools both need. Pretending that Davis can be both fiscally sound and no growth without those already here paying more to close the shortfall of unfunded liabilities and non-competitive salaries denies the reality of the situation.

    By the way compensation at the city is generally better than compensation at the school district.

    1. Ron Oertel

      By definition Ponzi schemes end their growth and collapse. Never ending growth wouldn’t be a Ponzi scheme.

      Glad to see that you’re acknowledging what you actually support.

      Unfortunately, the Ponzi schemes aren’t supporting their own weight even while pursuing that “policy”.

      Pretending that Davis can be both fiscally sound and no growth . . .”

      Ultimately, every place will be forced to do so, one way or another.  The only question is whether or not it’s planned for, or allowed to collapse on its own.  Seems like you’re advocating for the latter.

       

      1. Ron Glick

        At some point the sun will turn into a red giant and the earth will be destroyed. If the time frame is infinity you are correct about collapse. For a more defined period of our lifetimes I’m pretty sure your prediction of collapse is a low probability event.

        Care to predict a date of collapse for Davis?

        1. Ron Oertel

          According to some, it’s “already occurring” regarding fiscal collapse – in Davis, around the state and beyond.  Even in the communities that pursue “Ponzi Schemes”. (More so in the “Ponzi scheme” communities – e.g,, when housing markets and the economy contract or collapse.)

          On a broader environmental level, climate change is another sign.  As is the wholesale destruction of natural habitat, and loss of natural, life-sustaining systems (for humans and other life).

          But, I suspect that things will simply become worse, during our lifetimes.  More traffic, more heat and severe weather, less water availability, possibly greater chasms between the truly wealthy and “everyone else”. Perhaps leading to greater social upheaval, worldwide.

          Maybe genetic engineering will help stave off the inevitable, by crossing pigs with corn (or some such thing).  😉

        2. Ron Oertel

          By the way – if you want to see a truly unsustainable, local hellhole – check out all the recent construction activity in Natomas.  There’s a reason it’s called a “basin”.  (A factual term, rather than a derogatory one.)

          Perhaps unsustainable in the “short term”, as well. Both fiscally, and hydro-logically.

          That’s o.k., taxpayers will “bail them out” figuratively, or literally if/when that occurs. The developers will be long-gone (along with their money), by then.

          Same old, same old.

        3. Ron Oertel

          Forgot to mention that taxpayers are the ones making that land “temporarily buildable” (and profitable for developers) in the first place.

          And, no one seems to care. That lack of concern (and the political system which allows it in the first place) is yet another reason for the inevitable collapse.

  7. Ron Oertel

    David:  “The students from other districts are not getting anything for free any more than they do anywhere else.”

    That is a demonstrably and provable false statement.  And, it likely impacts the quality of schools in districts that are being “poached”.

    David:  “If you are referring to parcel tax payment, bear in mind that a majority of students at DJUSD are children of renters. Meaning their parents for the most part do not pay the parcel tax either. There is no coupling of students to parcel tax money.”

    That is yet another problem with the parcel tax, in that apartment complexes (regardless of size) are charged the same amount as single-family dwellings.  Also  – if I’m not mistaken, Affordable complexes are entirely exempt from the tax.

    It further weakens the Vanguard’s credibility, to claim that the city is experiencing a fiscal meltdown while simultaneously advocating for a raise for teachers.

    1. Hiram Jackson

      Oertel:  “That is yet another problem with the parcel tax, in that apartment complexes (regardless of size) are charged the same amount as single-family dwellings.  Also  – if I’m not mistaken, Affordable complexes are entirely exempt from the tax.”

      That’s setting up the perfect to be the enemy of the good.  The points you raise are limitations in how school parcel taxes can be legally assessed.  If we waited until all conditions were absolutely perfect, then we’d all be dead.

      As someone who can own a home in Davis, I don’t mind subsidizing a family who can’t.  At some point nearly all of us have had such services subsidized for us.  It’s what facilitates social mobility.

      1. Ron Oertel

        The way it’s set-up is far from even being “good”.

        But, that ship has sailed.  The only question now is what’s more important – the city’s “fiscal crisis” (as harped on by the Vanguard), or raises for teachers? (At least, from the standpoint of the majority of voters.)

        These two concerns do not have “equal weight”.

    2. Don Shor

      And, it likely impacts the quality of schools in districts that are being “poached”.

      False premise, false narrative, and once again you appear to be pretending to care about what is happening in other districts when you have repeatedly called for closing schools in DJUSD and advocate policies that would materially harm the quality of education here.

  8. Ron Oertel

    Don:  “Why are you pretending to care about other districts, when you have repeatedly urged that DJUSD close schools, that teachers not be given raises, and that you probably oppose this parcel tax?”

    There is so much wrong with this statement (including the underlying lack of logic or any connection to the premise), but really should start with the fact that the moderator himself made it (and sees nothing wrong with it).

    This is why some wisely stay off the Vanguard, as well as the reason that those with “unaligned” views are treated rather viciously at times. (Goes back to credibility and objectivity of the publication, itself – which is often also “off limits” for discussion.) A complete “circle”, if you will.

    1. Ron Oertel

      For one thing, “right-sizing” schools to match the needs of a community does not correlate with a decline in quality.

      It can, however, be viewed as a threat to those associated with the school district. To the point where they’d vigorously undermine any attempt to do so, despite what might be best for a given community.

      This could ultimately include personal attacks against anyone pointing this out.

      1. Don Shor

        Don: ” [when you have repeatedly urged that DJUSD close schools,] that teachers not be given raises. . . “

        And this comment is not accurate (to put it politely), from the moderator himself.

        Per Ron Oertel:

        But again, this latest effort is about seeking a raise for teachers – at a time when the city apparently has greater needs. — 9/6 8:45 pm

        The bottom line is that there’s only so much that taxpayers will approve. I would not put a “raise” at the top of the priority list, especially in a district with declining enrollment (vs. a city with more basic and essential needs). It’s frankly irresponsible and selfish. — 9/6 3:19 pm

        Given the city’s fiscal deficit (that you constantly harp on), this isn’t the time to be raising salaries. — 9/6 9:08 am

        … forget trying to raise teacher salaries, for now. — 7/29 10:52 am

        If I were advocating for an increase in teacher salaries, I would just state it as such (with no additional claims regarding its impact on schools). Personally, I think such an effort is ill-timed. — 7/1 9:10 am

        I don’t really think this is the right time for such a significant increase for teacher salaries, if simultaneous claims are being made regarding the city’s fiscal challenges. — 6/30

        And this is duly noted:

        Can hardly wait until they’re forced to shut down a school. — 9/6 8:58 am

        1. Ron Oertel

          You left out this, from me:

          “Note that my comment was based upon observations regarding taxpayers at large (and the blatant lack of concern for the city’s fiscal situation by the school district), not necessarily what I personally prefer.”

          But yeah, I do think they should close any unneeded schools.  And it’s true that I don’t think it will occur, unless it’s essentially “forced” upon the district.  I also fully expect those associated with the district (as well as some parents) to fight it “tooth and nail”, despite what might be best for Davis (or other communities).  This will include personal attacks to anyone pointing this out, as has occurred to me (to some degree) today, and in previous articles.  It’s difficult for me to muster up a lot of empathy for those impacted, when it reaches that level.

          My main point (which is being purposefully and continuously misconstrued) is that salary increases for teachers are not of “equal weight” to the city’s fiscal concerns, which are constantly being harped upon by the Vanguard itself.

        2. Ron Oertel

          So, if you want to state that I’m personally “against” salary increases for teachers, it would not be accurate.  My concern is based upon the probable, larger impacts of a decision by a majority of voters at large.  Resulting in a continued shortchanging of funds for the city, which strangely seems to be “missing” from the Vanguard’s concerns, today.

          Again, there’s only so much that voters will approve, as noted elsewhere on this page. Since that’s a fact, what is the “priority”? Here’s a hint – it can’t (or more accurately “won’t” be “everything”), on the backs of those who pay parcel taxes.

          It does seem rather disingenous to continuously point out the city’s fiscal challenges, but only until teachers want a raise.

  9. Ron Oertel

    So, here are the results of the survey I was referring to, along with a link to the comment in which I originally noted the following:

    “The survey shows that “Education/lack of funding/more pay for teachers” is the “most important problem” for just 6% of respondents.”

    https://www.davisvanguard.org/2019/07/community-survey-shows-overwhelming-need-for-affordable-housing-overall-satisfaction-with-city/#comment-409846

    And here’s a link to the actual survey:
    http://documents.cityofdavis.org/Media/CityManagersOffice/Documents/PDF/CMO/Press-Releases/2019-07-09-EMC-Research-City-Council-Presentation.pdf

  10. Ron Oertel

    Might have been the guy who collected and pasted a series of comments made over time (in response to repetitive challenges), in an apparent effort to discredit and attribute meaning which isn’t there.

    Not likely that those comments will be “cleaned up”.

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