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March 31, 2008


LDF Alameda

From Colorado, Dr. Metablog, alias Vivian de St. Vrain, writer of classic poetry ("My Underwear") comes west to remind us "we're all in this together."

Yes, public education is vital, when the running of schools and the curriculum are treated as such. But sports beyond physical education, portable classrooms instead of planning and so many closings with consolidations indicate vital needs in education were ignored long ago.

We're told how much more other school districts spend per pupil. We are not "other school districts." What is our enrollment and change over time? What are the graduation/attrition/and holdback rates? What is student performance in Alameda, compared to other districts? Why do people who love to teach end up managing buildings, maintenance, construction and operations?

The proposed "supplementary" parcel tax is added to $109 begun in 2002, increased to $189 in 2005 and now projected to go to $309, lasting an additional 5 years. The proposal needs to pass by two-thirds of voters. Don't hold your breath.

Sticking together means hard work. Going to the Gubernator and telling him "Hands Off" school funding. And then we make hard choices about what is financed, partially or fully, by government at local and state levels. Filling schools and/or filling potholes? Schools and/or health care? Schools and/or business development? Hey! There's an idea! The businesses that benefit from Johnny reading, writing and doing at least arithmetic, put out more funds for their future workforce! A PBA in addition to a PTA.

Should only parents with kids in schools pay the "supplementary" bill? Maybe, if we can get them out of gas-guzzling cars, driven 3 blocks each morning and afternoon to drop the little tykes into their porta-potties. We'd all breath easier.

Dr M, let us know when your visit has concluded. We'll be at the border, waving goodbye because we are all in this together and live here.

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