Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Community Voices: Misplaced Anger (Prop E)


There is nothing wrong with having a good healthy civil argument – in fact it is a great American tradition and, if done with civility, can end up making a community stronger. The most important part of having a good argument is to know how to stay calm and be respectful. With that in mind I read with dismay the angry, divisive, insulting and inaccurate posts regarding Prop E that attack the school board and CUSD staff – and frankly I’m ashamed of those writers. Please engage us with reason and facts (truthful and verifiable ones).

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CUSD has a budget crisis, yes – and it was not created by anyone in Coronado.

Please take the time to educate yourself on how that happened and then, if you feel a need to stomp your feet, point your fingers and say mean things you can at least direct it to the people who caused the problem. That would be your elected officials in Sacramento; Toni Atkins (your state assembly representative) and Marty Block (your state senator). Ask them why, despite our pleas and their acknowledgement of the situation, they are not advocating for us. They are part of the super-majority in Sacramento led by Governor Brown that changed how public schools are funded and left Coronado schools in the 8% of loser districts.

The new formula, in which Sacramento still takes our property tax money, same as they always have, now re-distributes our tax dollars in a (even more) disproportionate way. San Diego USD will now receive over $1,000 more per student than Coronado USD. If we got their rate we would have over $3M more in our annual budget. Is this infuriating? Yes. Is it fair? No.

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Should we just sit here and “take it?” That’s what the community of Coronado needs to decide and that’s why the school board voted to give that decision to the voters. Sacramento doesn’t care if we bail them out or not. No one sitting in Sacramento cares what we do (unless we don’t do one of their unfunded mandates).

We need to debate (in a civil manner please) whether or not we value a quality education for the next generation and want to keep great schools in our town. Because, if that’s what we want, we are going to have to pay for it. Public school funding is extremely complicated and there is no easy way to work your way through it. Our district staff has done a tremendous job with links to every question imaginable on the website (www.coronadousd.net).

If an online search for information doesn’t work for you then come to the next Budget Study workshop, which is open to the public and provides opportunity for dialogue. I continue to look for some of the notorious misinformed letter writers, who beg for transparency and throw out figures that make no sense at all, at these workshops and have yet to see any of them there.

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Our goal, the goal of Prop E, is simple: protect the outstanding quality of education in Coronado schools.

Related stories: Prop E

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