Friday, December 26, 2014

Support excellence in education: Vote yes on Measure E

From page A19 | October 07, 2012 |

By Barbara Archer, et. al.

We are at a crossroads for education in California. Unfortunately, we live in a state that does not fund education well and has been deeply affected by the economic crisis.

But we in Davis have always been a solution-oriented band of folks. We have supplemented our public education system going back to 1984 with school parcel taxes.

Davis is not alone in efforts like this. Communities all over California have done the same. We in Davis have chosen as a community to preserve music, athletics, science, the arts and libraries. We have chosen to preserve broad course offerings to produce well-rounded students.

For many, our excellent schools are the reason they settled in Davis. For others, this is why they stay in Davis — stable home values and a safe community due in large part to an outstanding school system.

Since 2007, Davis Joint Unified has lost $10 million in funding from the state. The district has closed a school. Teachers and administrators took pay cuts. Class sizes increased. This is no longer a matter of “trimming the fat.” There is none left.

Measure E on the ballot this November (vote-by-mail ballots are coming to voters this week) seeks to preserve what we have in place and stem the tide of cuts that are expected to rain down on California schools if Proposition 30 fails.

First, Measure E renews Measure A, which provides $3.2 million of funding to our district. This piece of the current parcel tax simply renews what Davis homeowners already pay to support our schools. Renewal of Measure A amounts to about $17 a month.

Renewing the Measure A piece of Measure E is significant, as it funds:

* Reduced class sizes for K-6, English and math;

* Availability of classes in core subjects such as science and history;

* Availability of multiple foreign language programs;

* Availability of elective course offerings, such as fine art and career technical education;

* Retaining counseling staffing;

* Continued targeted achievement support in reading and math; and

* Continued availability of school site safety and support staff.

The opposition will say that Measure A was supposed to be an emergency tax. We are still in a fiscal state of emergency. In fact, it’s worse than what it was two years ago when Measure A was passed.

Measure E also provides for a contingency tax if Prop. 30 fails. In that dire circumstance, there would be immediate cuts of $3.7 million this school year in our district.

So, to recap: Davis homeowners currently pay about $43 per month to fund Davis schools with Measures A and C.

Measure E seeks to keep that amount steady by renewing Measure A. If, and only if, Prop. 30 fails, Measure E adds a $20-per-month charge for a total of $63 a month to fund K-12 education in Davis. If Prop. 30 passes, the amount homeowners currently pay does not change.

There is no “free lunch” when it comes to funding education. Homeowners in other states like New York and New Jersey pay massive property taxes to fund education. In states where property taxes are lower and schools are not funded well, some parents choose to send students to private schools. Some parents and community members choose to contribute to their home school districts.

The point is: You end up paying somewhere along the line to provide for a good education. A fee of $43 a month (or $63 depending on the outcome of Prop. 30) will continue to provide for excellence in Davis schools.

We cannot imagine what $6.9 million of cuts in one year would look like (on top of the $10 million we have already lost over the last five years). It will be catastrophic. All cuts are on the table at this point — school closures, massive layoffs, extensive reductions in core programs.

The Davis community has chosen time and time again to support excellence in education. We thank Davisites for continually stepping up to ensure that Davis students have a well-rounded education. Excellent schools make our town a great place to live — for parents, for homeowners and, most of all, for students.

Those of us signing this letter come from different perspectives in our lives. Some of us are parents of current students in our schools. Some of us attended Davis schools. Some of us have kids who have graduated from our schools recently or long ago. Some of us do not have kids who went through the school system at all.

We may come from different places, but we all believe in the power of public education.

Please join us in voting yes on Measure E and Proposition 30.

— Barbara Archer, Chad DeMasi, Lori Duisenberg, Lisa Haass, Cathy Farman, Hiram Jackson and Heather Lybbert are parents of Davis Joint Unified School District students; J.D. Denton is the parent of a Davis graduate and owner of Fleet Feet Davis; Delaine Eastin is former state superintendent of public instruction and a Davis resident; Kim Eichorn is a Davis graduate and the parent of Davis grads; Jeff Simons is a parent and owner of Watermelon Music; and Judith Simpson Schreider is a Davis resident and the parent of Davis graduates.



Special to The Enterprise

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .


    Pastor has many plans for CA House

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Exchange students bring the world to Davis

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Transit survey: 47 percent ride bikes to campus

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Special holiday gifts

    By Sue Cockrell | From Page: A3

    Woodland-Davis commute bus service expands

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Learn fruit tree tips at free class

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Davis Bike Club hears about British cycling tour

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Pick up a Davis map at Chamber office

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Sierra Club calendars on sale Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Explorit: Get a rise out of science

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A4

    NAMI meeting offers family support

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Yoga, chanting intro offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8



    How much for the calling birds?

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

    Steve Sack cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

    Many ensured a successful parade

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Thanks for putting food on the table

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10



    Two more for the road for 9-1 Aggie men

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Patterson is college football’s top coach

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Clippers get a win over Golden State

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    NBA roundup: Heat beat Cavs in LeBron’s return to Miami

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B10 | Gallery





    ‘Unbroken': A bit underwhelming

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

    Folk musicians will jam on Jan. 2

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11



    Passat: Roomy, affordable sedan with German engineering

    By Ann M. Job | From Page: B3 | Gallery



    James J. Dunning Jr.

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Floyd W. Fenocchio

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4



    Comics: Friday, December 26, 2014 (set 2)

    By Creator | From Page: B7

    Comics: Thursday, December 26, 2014 (set 1)

    By Creator | From Page: A9