Education emergency declared
Join the discussion below, or Read more at Monterey County Herald.
#1 Jan 7, 2011
Schools are masters at public relations Their news releases follow a pattern. Some years ago the schools decided to take every penny they could get and spend even more That way they could say they are bankrupt bail us out. You ever notice there are never any facts just wild assertions based on give us more money. Why don't they consolidate the 1000 districts into 58 for a start. When they say they have laid off a teacher is that because of declining enrollment and how many of these teachers were hired back What is the real teacher to student ratio. My granddaughter went to pioneer HS in 2009 She was in an AP class in english She said they did no work and the whole class was a waste of time.
#2 Jan 7, 2011
Please...CA has been in an "education emergency" for many years now. Want to save billions throughout the state? Cut off benefits to the illegal aliens. Deport the illegals and there will be far fewer children in the CA public schools. This would leave more resources for American citizens and legal immigrants. From looking at MPUSD, no way will I ever vote for increased taxes for the schools. MPUSD can't manage their district now. Why give them more of OUR money to throw away?
Birds Landing, CA
#3 Jan 7, 2011
Have you ever seen a Union improve an organization? I didn't think so.
The Teachers Union is not a source of honest answers. Look at the expensive Pensions and Benefits for the Union members and the Union Bosses.
If we are honest with ourselves, we'll scale those back to the realities that the rest of the Middle Class lives with and put the money into the schools and programs, not the Unions.
#5 Jan 7, 2011
That California has 1,077 separate school districts, superintendents and associated administrative staffs speaks to the total resistance of the education establishment toward reinventing itself under current economic realities. By removing the big cities' relatively large districts, this lowers the average number of students per district to a very small number. Bringing the discussion to a local level, should the Monterey Peninsula have so many 'little' districts if efficient operations were the paramount concern of school districts rather than protecting their fiefdoms?
Rather than giving an addict another hit of alcohol or drugs, the public schools need to make some (for them) radical changes in the way they do business. Until they do so, they can cry, scare and complain all they want about the impending funding cuts, but they have done virtually nothing to fix the problems they have created through decades of poor management and cozy arrangements with the intransigent teachers' unions.
Classroom teachers are not the place to cut, but school districts have chosen that area to make students, their parents and society 'pay' for refusing to increase funding year after year. Cities are no different; they choose to lay off front-line fire and police personnel, while preserving the back-office administrative types who push paper around but provide no genuinely productive public service.
California will have to declare bankruptcy to wipe the slate clean and begin a total restructuring of its state and local governments as they have demonstrated a total inability to manage themselves
#6 Jan 7, 2011
Brent, I pretty much always agree with you. BUT it is much more serious than "lets just fix it". Some group of conspirators has paid for this debacle. California went from the best schools to the worst. This was buy design, believe it or not. In our own MPUSD we had Cypress Grove Charter High School for 5 years. It consistently got the best results for the least amount of money, and it was "screwed over" by a group of elected representatives who continue to lie about what it is they are doing. They are skirting the law which mandated Charter Schools in 1992. But they are lying to us about everything (a half truth is a lie).
A 52-member Transition Advisory Team will help the department "see how we can stretch every dime out of every dollar," Torlakson said. The team includes Bill Barr, former Monterey County superintendent of schools.
( Is the team being paid like the NFL?)
If you give the kids every dollar then get a bunch of "educators" to stretch every dime out of every dollar, you won't have anything left for the kids.
The main reason local Charters work is that they don't operate the same as the State. It's not about giving and taking and compromising our children. The Staff and trustees work harder and longer. Everything they do is about "GIVING , NOT TAKING".
#7 Jan 8, 2011
Please if your interested in where your money is being spent go to the school board meetings, join each sites school site council, donate your time, open your eyes and see the facts rather than assumptions or judgements. California ranks 48th in the country in per pupil spending and it has the 8th largest economy in the world. I'm. not saying throwing money at the problem but there has been a deficient amount of money being spent by not meeting the minimum spending requirements voted in by voters. 18 billion over the last 3 years is no drop in the bucket.
With the charter schools, they can pick and choose who they accept, can ask for a "donation" of thousands of dollars, require parents to volunteer a set number of hours, reject special needs students,and not be evaluated in the same way as public schools with standardized tests.
#8 Jan 8, 2011
If only people would do the analysis, when illegal immigration increased and schools were forced to invest in trying to educate these parasites, California's standing in education dropped!
The Unions and the Democrats know that the best way to waste money, and employ useless democratic supporters is to tell people that the doe-eyed American children are suffering and we, the Americans need to pay more taxes to help them. When in the end, all that money will go to useless teachers, unions and illegal immigrants.
When the useless politicians, Federal, State, County and city, fix the problem, rather than spend money on the symptoms caused by the problem, then and then should we consider paying for it.
Think of it this way, would you spend time and money on trying to find the clean end of a turd?
#9 Jan 8, 2011
I take you back in the "time machine" for one reason only. "Those that choose to ignore history continue to repeat it."
In our overall MPUSD Community, we have a ratio of renters to home owners of over 60% renters. In what are technically designated as "healthy communities" we have 70% home ownership. We are UNHEALTHY (what an ugly word). We are a Community that is being controlled by our "Masters." I know da Masters. I was born here.
When MPUSD "finally" hit the news in the very late 1990's, they bought new "public figure" distict Superintendents (at least four come to mind during that period). Each got large "payoffs", I mean salaries to buy time and separate past indiscressions from becoming know.
Each payoff helped to put the district "integrety" that much further in the "toilet". What we're left with is NO LONGER A FAILUE TO COMMUNICATE (HUD Paul Newman - 1963) but a failure to FLUSH! It's time for the PUBLIC to get PUBLIC! Someone has got to reach down there and stur the $@! before we try to FLUSH! We just got a little constipation going here. Too much good eatin for two few for too Long. CHARTER SCHOOLS ROCK!
#10 Jan 8, 2011
PLEASE!!! Do not be part of the deliberate sabotage facing Charter Schools in Monterey County.
While I agree with you on much of your post, you have made some assumptions regarding Charters which are not based in fact.
The Laws pertaining to the operation of Charter Schools in California DO NOT ALLOW THEM TO DISCRIMINATE PERIOD!!!!!!!
I think it is very disingenuous of you to make these claims. Obviously you have not read the Law's and therefore you are making accusations based on personal belief or you have an emotional reaction based on fear. Charter Schools here in Monterey County HAVE to have their students take the STAR test!! They just do not have to spend the whole year prepping for it!
However, your statement regarding, fund raising, volunteers and community and business input are correct. I wish there was a way individual schools in MPUSD could be sponsered or adopted by foundations, but at the moment, it is not allowed by law, though there are movements underway in California that are looking at having individual schools become independant foundations without being DEPENDENT Chater Schools.
As for parents involvement on Site Councils, I absolutely agree with you. I am shocked at the lack of involvement by parents and even more shocked that parents do not bother to attend school board meetings. Though many, like myself, do read the packets available on line at the MPUSD web site. I am a parent who initially was opposed to Measure P but the more research I did and the more I looked at our facilities and spent countless hours reading and talking to various people, I realised we had to vote for P and I become a supporter.I must admit that I thought it would pass or fail by a narrow margin and was blown away by the enormous support.
Just because I am pro Charter School, it does not mean I am anti MPUSD. I volunteer in several MPUSD schools and will continue even though I am an advocate for Charter schools. I wish that the administration would see that there are benefits to other types of school and that it does not have to be a "them or us" mentality.I believe there is a way to provide both and at the same time work together with the school district to bring sustainable change for ALL the children. Until we are prepared to move out of our comfort zones and are willingly to embrace change and learn from each other, then we really are all setting a tone and standard for our children that will be detrimental to them, and to our communities that we profess to be working for!
#11 Jan 8, 2011
What would be the harm in a tax levied against parents of school age children? Instead of asking everyone (including those people who do not have children - for reasons of infertility or choice) why not place the burden of funding schools on those CA residents who have children? Call it a Child Tax. Mark the tax for exclusive use for Education expenditures in the budget. Those people who have the most to gain from Education would then reap the benefits.
#12 Jan 8, 2011
Currently, as a society, more resources are devoted to the elderly than to children. Social Security and Medicare are subsidized by younger workers.
Even if you do not have children, they are an investment for society. They will grow up, but the question is what will they have to offer society when they get older. You can invest in them now at a fraction of the price so that they may be able to partially subsidize you later in life or subsidize them later in life and pay more for yourself later.
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