Category: Schools

This has been a hot topic around the Capo Unified School District (and I’m sure all over the state), but today specifically, I’m bugged.

I was at my 2nd graders Ancestor Day at school (BTW – he fainted during the performance – poor little guy), but I was speaking with his teacher afterwards about the ‘Good News’ that teachers’ jobs have been reinstated.  And yet, it’s not all good news.   Honestly, I expected to hear relief from her and instead, I got a bit wake up call.

According to the June 3rd article in the Orange County Register, “… about 70 percent of the district’s bus routes are slated to be eliminated, and none of the non-classroom classified staff who received layoff notices will be reinstated. A total of 161 classified and management positions will be cut under the plan.”

She shared her knowledge about the way districts are funded.  It varies district to district and the source of the funds will often be dramatically different.  For example, our district, Capo Unified School District, has approximately 70% of funds coming from the state and approximately 30% say from local taxes.  Others may have the opposite ratio.  When government cuts come, our district is dramatically impact, where others may not be.

And we are actually fortunate; the good news for our district is the level of parental involvement.  Parents raised $1 million dollars to keep the teachers we value so much – not every district has the parental volunteers or the financial resources to make that kind of local difference.

What does this mean for those children in other districts? 

What I want to know is – why does the funding for our public schools vary so much from district to district?  For all the rhetoric, and the ‘no child left behind’, I don’t see it at the school level.  Potentially, my daughter heading into 1st grade next year, could have faced at 32 to 1 ratio.   That would have been up from the 20 to 1 ratio!

 And with parents fronting $1 million dollars to save their public schools, there is no pressure to fix this problem at the government level.  California is 47th in the nation in educational funds per student! 

In the last 3 weeks I’ve donated money, volunteered at a fundraising carnival, donated cookies and worked  a bake sale and a book fair.  If we don’t develop a more cohesive and broader scope solution to this problem, the discrepancies amongst children’s education become too large.  That, to me, is a serious statewide problem that can’t be fixed with bake sales.




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