When Gifts Are Necesities

The campaign was called “Save Our Schools,” not “Save Some of  Our  Schools More Than Others.”  It was an impressive community effort, raising slightly more than $1.5 million in 60 days.

Last week’s   Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board meeting was not impressive. There are 13 schools in the District. The PTAs at schools in affluent neighborhoods generally raise more money than PTAs in  other schools. No surprise there. All American schools are not created equal, and never have been.
But   SMMUSD’s   financial situation is further complicated by  the mess of a  “gift policy” wrought by  John Deasy, former  SMMUSD superintendent and future LAUSD boss.

According to Surf   Santa Monica, Board members and staff will have to discuss the role  of  the misbegotten  policy in the District’s continuing financial problems. At  Length.

We have a better idea. They should simply declare all donations  necessities, not gifts.
And divide them equitably among the schools.

One thought on “When Gifts Are Necesities”

  1. Once again the Board of Trustees of the Santa Monica Community(?) College has shown itself to be self-serving and disconnected from its neighbors and the community in general.

    Under the guise of concern for preservation of such vital public services as 911 response, paramedics, police and educational programs, the Trustees have announced their “support” for the proposed Measure Y initiative that would increase local sales tax by a half percent, while simultaneously insinuating themselves into the mix, reportedly hoping “to see an opportunity to receive a piece of the pie.”

    Would this be in addition to their numerous facilities bond measures?

    Rather than reducing or eliminating some of the grandiose and cosmetic spending currently in the works for SMC, the Board of Trustees has further chosen to “recommend” that $6 million, of the estimated $12 million revenue the measure is expected to raise, be pledged to “educational programs,” with an eye to reaping some of the benefits to funnel into this “money pit.”

    Santa Monica College should not receive one cent of this proposed sales tax increase. We Santa Monica and Malibu voters have already generously approved $590 million for SMC bond measures since 2002. By the college’s own calculations, it will cost Santa Monica and Malibu property owners over one billion dollars to pay off Measures U, S, and AA.

    In 1970, Santa Monica City College became separate from the school district, with separate tax revenues. At the same time, the Board of Trustees changed the name from “Santa Monica City College” to “Santa Monica College,” to reflect the fact it was serving a larger population than just the City of Santa Monica. By its own decision, SMC is not a “city college” anymore and, therefore, is not entitled to city money.

    Santa Monica voters, as well as the City Council, should remember that only 15% of the SMC student population is local, with the remaining 85% of attendees from out of the area. The College Trustees’ back-handed “support and recommendations” should be clearly seen for what they really are…attempts to piggy-back on the efforts of well-intentioned residents who want to maintain high quality schooling for our local elementary, middle and high school children.

    The “educational programs” to which this proposed “local” tax revenue is to be directed should be specifically identified and utilized to fund programs for our “local” children only!

    Joanne Curtis

    Santa Monica

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