Teen Wire: A student's take on bigger classes, school budget crisis Comments on Stories, posted by , a resident of , on Mar 2, 2010 at 9:06 am
Teen columnist Daniel Morizono talks about the difference smaller classes make in the ninth grade, based on his personal observations from when he was a freshman, [Web Link in his latest blog], on the school budget crisis. "Talking with some of the teachers and staff at my high school, I've come to realize just how complex our current financial situation is," he says. "Neither Mr. Enoch, the superintendent, nor the teacher unions want to see the San Ramon Valley Unified School District become insolvent."
Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, March 1, 2010, 1:53 PM
Posted by Ms. Bunny, a resident of San Ramon, on Mar 2, 2010 at 9:06 am
For those of us who have lived in this valley many years, reared our children here in all the schools, - the SRUSD budget has pretty much always been a source of consternation. My husband and I voted for every ballot measure increasing funding for many years - in fact up until just recently in the past 5 years. The reason? LACK OF ACCOUNTABILITY. Honest to God failure on the part of administation to demonstrate fiscal responsibility. We finally figured out it was like pouring money into something we didn't receive any concrete accounting for. So we stopped. We are not alone, that I'm fully aware of. When this entity can do a substantially better job of showing us all in a line by line accounting of where the money goes, we will support again, further ballot measures. Until that day arrives, I have little sympathy for the district's money woes.
Posted by Concerned San Ramon Resident, a resident of San Ramon, on Mar 2, 2010 at 9:18 am
Well said, Ms. Bunny. Couldn't agree with you more. For those of you in further doubt....take a look at your property tax bill. I count 5 school taxes/assessments for the 2009-2010 amounting to $509.23. This in addition to what the state funds....hey, where is all of this money going???? If this is the level of accountability the administration is held to, I shudder on the level of accountability these same administrators hold for the teachers.
Posted by Nancy Vandell, a resident of San Ramon, on Mar 3, 2010 at 9:47 am
The truth is that San Ramon Valley schools are among the lowest funded in the State in a state that is ranked 47th in the nation in per pupil funding. The District has had to deal with over 18% in cuts from the State over the past two years, and is looking at further cuts this year with the Governor's proposed budget. The parcel tax passed last May accounts for only 7% of the District's budget - almost all of the rest comes from the State.
In spite of this, the District's test scores are among the highest in the State. SRVUSD already has one of the lowest administrator to teacher ratios, and has made severe cuts to as many programs as possible away from the classroom.
We need to advocate for more State funding now! Our schools and children are not getting an adequate education. I am a parent and PTA leader. Please go to www.capta.org for more information on how you can help advocate for children.
Posted by Amy Johns, a resident of San Ramon, on Mar 3, 2010 at 10:26 am
I think it is time to step back here and take a look at the big picture. Over the last several years the State of California has cut education funding by $17 Billion and plans to cut another $2.4 billion over the next 2 years. That translates to about 18% of the District's budget. With another $30 million to be cut over the next 2 years, if the proposed budget is approved. SRVUSD is categorized as a "low wealth school district", this means that they receive less than the average per pupil funding from the state.
As to the accusations that the district is mismanaging its funding, I think you need to take a closer look. This is not an issue of mismanagement, far from it. And it never has been. SRVUSD has been recognized as a leader in how to do things right. District budgets are posted online on their website. There is a high level of transparency in what they are doing and how they handle the money you entrust to them. I would not want to be in the shoes of the board members or superintendant right now having to make the decisions that they are having to make. I applaud them for taking the time to thoroughly think through the how ramifications of each decision they are being forced to make affects the entire district and all its children. And to come up with creative solutions to minimize the impact on children in the classroom.
Furthermore, I donít understand your logic that because your property tax bill has an amount that goes to schools that this is proof of mismanagement. What it shows me is that the wonderful community that we live in believes in the importance of public education, as do most Californians. In study after study and commission after commission the State of California has been advised to increase its funding to public education to provide an adequate education. But they donít listen to or follow the recommendations of their own studies.
Take a look at PTAs positions on the current education crisis. Direct you energies at the State to say shame on you for not providing the funding to todayís children that will help create a stronger California both now and in the future.