The following speech by Jen Bradford was presented to the Board at their meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 4:
I’m here tonight to talk to you about Proposition 30, the temporary tax initiative. I understand that the board does not usually discuss political issues, but the passing or failure of this proposition will have a direct financial impact on our district and our students, and needs to be discussed.
California already ranks 47th in per-pupil spending. If Prop 30 fails, the Governor’s budget implements an additional cut to education of $457 per student, which amounts to a cut of about 5 to 10 million dollars to LM-SV schools.
We still have dozens of teachers laid off, and most of our classes are already at maximum state levels. The school board has made it clear that the majority of this cut would have to be accomplished through lost days of instruction for our students, and the accompanying cuts to salaries. That would amount to up to three more weeks of lost school days, which is in addition to the five student days already cut from our calendar, and on top of the 4.5 percent pay cut that our staff has already voluntarily taken since 2008.
No one wants more taxes. I get that. But the issue here is not one of politics or political parties, how you feel about Governor Brown, or even the state of California and how or why we got here. The fact is we’re here, and an additional cut of almost 6 million dollars will devastate our district. As the trustees of LMSV schools, I ask that you set aside political rhetoric and ideology, and look at the bottom line.
We need our parents and to community know how important it is for LM-SV that this proposition passes, and we need to ask for their support, and that means publically supporting Prop 30.
This cut is not a threat; it’s already been approved by the legislature and is set to begin on January 1 if the proposition fails. To say No to Prop 30 is the equivalent of saying that we don’t want the state’s money, we’d rather get those millions from our students and staff, instead.
That must not be your message. The California School Board Association supports Prop 30, as do the school boards of our neighboring school districts. In fact, at a recent President’s meeting that I attended, I was the only one present whose school board did not publicly support Prop 30.
I have drafted a resolution in favor of Prop 30 (see attached), which I will leave with you tonight, and I ask that it be placed on next week’s agenda for discussion and approval, and I ask for a public and official Yes on 30.
President, La Mesa-Spring Valley Teachers Association