I am proud of the residents of Davis and their stalwart support for our children and their schools. At a time when the state of California has made historic cuts to our schools, this community has stood by its children by passing parcel taxes and contributing foundation support.
While other communities were cutting music programs, Davis Joint Unified and a great many concerned citizens kept our music, and the musical children of Davis won a Grammy. When other districts were cutting art, physical education, drama, science and social science classes, Davis residents did the patriotic thing and supported our children by continuing additional support in the form of parcel taxes.
Now, in the coming election, we have an opportunity to continue that support with a vote for Measure E. This proposition will allow us to continue with our important work and to secure great futures for the children of this community. And in the sad case where both Propositions 30 and 38 go down to defeat, it has a safety clause to backfill some of the lost state support.
California is 47th in per-pupil funding and it is a disgrace from where I sit. I look at my parents’ generation coming out of a Great Depression and a Great War, and I marvel at their commitment to our generation. Where is the courage, vision and heart that built California?
To those thinking my children are grown or I have no children, think of Measure E as homeowner’s insurance. Ask any Realtor in this town, and they will assure you that home values stayed higher in Davis because of the quality of our schools. And if you are a senior citizen, you can be exempt from paying the parcel tax.
As the former superintendent of public instruction for the state of California, I am certain that if our nation and its values are to prevail, we must do what both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson advocated — we must invest in education. Neil Postman observed, “Children are a message we send to a time we will never see.” Neighbors, what message will we send? Please vote yes on Measure E.