Coastsider endorses Measure E

Editorial

Posted by
Thu, May 20, 2010


I don’t know about you, but my high school counselor was an idiot.

But I also know from personal experience that the counselors in Coastside schools do great work for the students they serve. I know this from the experience of our two children who attended HMBHS and Cunha. I also know it from the dozens of students who spoke poignantly to the Cabrillo Unified School District governing board, begging them to preserve the district’s counselors.

If Measure E fails, all counselors will be eliminated at Half Moon Bay High School and Cunha Intermediate School. Life will go on as usual, but unknown numbers of Coastside teens will suffer as a result. Their parents will lose a direct link to the school.

My daughter has a particularly awesome second grade teacher. That teacher and many others may be laid off next year, because if Measure E fails the district will eliminate class size reductions in elementary school.

A couple dozen of this year’s first graders and their parents will have no idea what they’re missing if she’s not here. They will continue to soldier on, but they will be in much more crowded classrooms.

My kids tell me that the high school library is a refuge and a welcome place for many students.  They credit one person with this: high school librarian Brian Gerber.  If Measure E fails, the high school librarian will be gone.

The district will cut maintenance, groundskeeping, athletics funding, and more. If Measure E fails, the district will have to cut $2.5 million from its budget.

The district has announced it has reached an agreement with the teachers’ union that could save hundreds of thousands of dollars. This could be used to mitigate some of these cuts, but this year’s budget uses half a million dollars in one-time stimulus funds for ongoing operations.  If Measure E fails, even more essential services will be cut in 2011. I don’t know how they’ll do it.

Don’t vote against Measure E—or fail to vote at all—because you don’t like the school board. You’ll get an opportunity to vote against the incumbent board members in November. Don’t take it out on the district’s students.

You can’t sit this one out. This is a tough election in which to propose a new tax.  Republicans have a couple of big primaries on the ballot and they’re going to be turning out in large numbers.

If you care about the future public education in the Coastside, please show up and vote yes on Measure E.


Thanks for your support, Coastsider!

Republicans have a couple of big primaries on the ballot and they’re going to be turning out in large numbers.

Huh… what does that mean?! Is that stereotypical fearmongering? If so, be sure to throw in some Tea Party reference as well…

Republicans are more likely to vote against any increase in taxes at any time for any reason.

I believe that all the Republican candidates in the Senate and Governor’s primary would describe that as their policy, because they know they can’t get nominated if they said otherwise. I’m not saying that all Republicans believe this, only most of them—a larger percentage of them than of Democrats or Independents.

Thanks for your comments Barry; my husband and I moved to the Coastside 12 years ago and have the utmost respect and admiration for the schools and the teachers. Ms Weber of course has been a wonderful, thoughtful and supportive counsellor for my boys. All through Cunha and Farallone View we have been overwhelmed by the dedication and high quality of the teachers and support staff. It’s painful to hear that so many good folks (like Amy Rhoades and Eric Denault among other wonderful educators we have had direct experience with) have jobs on the line and that class sizes for the littlest ones might go up. (Among other cuts)
Other districts pony up more cash for their schools than we do; on the other hand I know times are tough. Besides putting more into the school directly it would be great if those of us who could afford it could come up with a fund to cover the parcel tax for those who would otherwise vote Yes on E but are just too strapped to do so.
Hell yes I’d buy a vote or two!
People who don’t or won’t try to understand where the money is going will still vote “NO” but it would be more than just a vote of confidence for the teachers and our students if we could pass this tax. It’s essential for the future of our community.

>>Republicans are more likely to vote against any increase in taxes at any time for any reason.

Democrats are more likely vote for any increase in education/social funding at any time for any reason (see California Ballot Box budgeting ad nauseum).

Given that less than 30% of the Cabrillo Unified District (HS-CAB0) registered voters are Republicans, this should be a landslide, no? I’ll be shocked if this passes.

>>People who don’t or won’t try to understand where the money is going will still vote “NO” but it would be more than just a vote of confidence for the teachers and our students if we could pass this tax.

Amy I’m voting yes, but please understand that the NO vote is tired of throwing money into a leaky system. It’s a partial scam to tie in music, science, art and class size (or the flavor-du-jour) on the south side of the budgetary guillotine… but we see this all the time. For instance, when the state says we’re out of money (AKA they spend too much), so we’ll close the beaches, parks, and nursing homes vs. cutting back on the public employee pension fraud and bureaucratic bloat. The bloat and union fraud isn’t held accountable and the public’s heartstrings are pulled on elsewhere so they believe more taxation willingness = beaches stay open, parks keep garbage can pickups, and rescue homes for kittens.

The problem, as I noted, is that the no-tax no-how crowd is going to turn out in big numbers this time around because they being heavily courted in staggeringly expensive TV campaigns. So they will be a lot more than 30% of the electorate this time around.

Regarding scams: We’re all sick and tired of watching music and art teachers lighting Cohibas with sawbucks and parking their Navigators in two parking spots at once. So, I understand why working stiffs like Carly, Meg, Steve, and Arnold stand in opposition to the arts & science & K-3 grifters who are bleeding the taxpayers dry. If this keeps up we won’t be able to afford any more prisons. Then, what’ll we do?

There is only one part of Barry editorial I agree with - please vote! Who should vote for and against this measure is a different story.

CUSD Teacher Union members should vote for it. Maybe Barry had additional inside information, but if you go to the School District website, here is what you find:

May 13, 2010 - PRESS RELEASE
“The Cabrillo Unified School District and the Cabrillo Unified Teachers’ Association reached a tentative agreement earlier today on a new two-year agreement. Details of the agreement are confidential at this time pending notice and ratification processes by the two parties. The two parties expect to jointly release the terms of the agreement on May 18.”

[There are no further Press Releases on the item]

Apparently the “Press Release” was cynically timed for the gullible with the mailing of absentee ballots. There is no apparent agreement as both the School Board and the Teacher Union membership must vote affirmatively on the TENATIVE Agreement. There are no further details.  It is for a two year ‘agreement’ and the Parcel Tax is five years long.

Last year the Teacher Union refused to even consider any give financially - of course there was no Parcel Tax on the ballot that they might influence. The Teachers Union threw the other union’s members under the proverbial bus - so much for solidatry!

Even if Barry is correct and the agreement according to Barry “could save hundreds of thousands of dollars” that doesn’t cover the extra increases in pay and benefits paid. The Teacher Union may hear your pain through The Great Depression II; they just don’t want to endure it with everyone else.

The Teacher Union members have been demanding and receiving pay increases through out The Great Depression II. You would call it a Pay Raise; they call it a COLA, Cost Of Living Allowance, Step and Grade or months with a R in them.

Don’t get me wrong, great teachers should be getting more money. But CUSD is tied as the least effective district in the county. Shouldn’t their pay increases reflect to some degree the effectiveness of their teaching - school districts throughout the country are implementing some form of ‘pay for performance’ contracts and most notably Washington D C. 

Barry makes liberal use of the word “will” in describing what can happen rather than a more correct “may”. There is a $23 billion emergency funding bill to prevent the teacher layoffs in Congress now. If you look at the CDE, California Department of Education, website you will see the lobbying effort. That is the correct solution!

I didn’t oppose the $35,000.000 Bond Measure - it was needed! The School Board squandered half of the available funds - the same people who will decide how this Measure funds will be spent or squandered! 

I supported a Parcel Tax that had true Accountability to the public, funded education for ALL the students and would do more good than harm - that sadly isn’t Measure E.

Please read Measure E’s text carefully. You won’t find any more Accountability to the public than exists today. You will find that the language is written specifically to allow the School Board to spend ‘wily nilly’ on what ever meets their fancy. You will find that it will require keeping KINGS MOUNTAIN ELEMENTARY - an idyllic little school for roughly 80, yeah Eighty kids, open even if has the highest cost per child in the district. Why? Because anyone who will require keeping it open will receive reelection full support.

Barry wrote “You’ll get an opportunity to vote against the incumbent board members in November.” He doesn’t get it that Measure E IS the beginning of THEIR re-election campaign!

We should instead be seeing editorials seeking three very determined new people who can form a new School Board majority - a majority that believes School Boards should be about Education and not Land Use Politics. Latinas please apply!

Ken Johnson

“The Teacher Union members have been demanding and receiving pay increases through out The Great Depression II. You would call it a Pay Raise; they call it a COLA, Cost Of Living Allowance, Step and Grade or months with a R in them.”

Just to be clear:  I have not had a pay increase of any kind in the last four years:  no COLA, no step increase….nada. I’ve been with the district for 20 years.