Monday, July 31, 2006

Jade, Daddy and our travels to other galaxies, incl. San Bernadino and Orange Counties; Tricky Prop 88 - the flat parcel tax

Besides our excitement [and fear - Jade's] with roller coasters this summer, Jade and I will also be visiting some other galaxies like Ontario [San Bernadino County], Santa Ana and Westminster and Santa Margarita [Orange], Hermosa, Redondo and Manhattan Beaches, Santa Monica and Pacific Palasades [LA county] this summer. Schools in every area seem to be gearing up for Yes on Prop 1D - the big facilities bond on the Nov. 7 ballot
and for dumping Arnold
so that we can work with teachers, students and communities to ensure adequate funding for our schools.
Tricky Prop 88 - A number of groups like the California School Boards Association of which I am a delegate are opposing the EdVoice sponsored Prop 88 which would impose a statewide 'FLAT' parcel tax of $50, which would raise about $470 million annually for class-size reduction, textbooks, school safety, facilities and a data system for tracking student achievement by teacher. But CSBA warns:
However, the initiative would impose severe penalties for “misuse” of funds—a term not defined to distinguish between inadvertent errors and intentional illegal behavior; place new constraints on the use of the class-size reduction funds; and expand the role of the state Board of Education in “approving” textbooks.
We need initiatives that are generated from parent, student and teacher input, not Top-Down initiatives from mulitmillionaires like Netflix mogul Reed Hastings, silicon valley venture capitalist John Doerr, and Gap founder Don Fisher, all advisors to EdVoice, the sponsor of Prop 88. Flat taxes like Prop 88 also let the fat cats like Hastings, Fisher and their friends off the hook for paying their fair share to our schools. For more on EdVoice - see Duane Campbell's Choosing Democracy Blog - ED Voice; How corporate CEO's shape education policy.
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