Why Voting AGAINST the CUSD Parcel Tax (Measure C) on June 3, 2003 is not a vote against the children of the
We all know that all our public schools are direly in need of funds.
However, I also know that the CUSD board currently in place does not spend its funds on students.
To save time and space, please see my campaign web site (don't worry;
I'm not running for school board in this election) for a summary of my concerns about giving more money to CUSD.
I have two children. I want to want my two children to attend excellent, well-funded local public schools.
- Did you know that this year, a year in which salaries in high tech in our area have fallen between 25 - 50%, our
school superintendent received a more than 10% increase in salary? CUSD wastes its funds on do-nothing administrators.
- It spends its funds on half-page ads in the local paper (must be thousands of dollars worth!)
advocating building a club on a site that a majority of coastsiders object to.
- It spends its funds on Kings Mountain School, an exclusive public school up in the redwoods of Woodside.
There are four elementary schools in CUSD. Farallone View, El Granada, and Hatch are always short of
funds, paper, supplies. These buildings are very run-down. Each has nearly 500 students. Yet, Kings Mountain,
has only 60-odd students, each of whom is individually "reviewed" to determine whether they will
be allowed to attend. CUSD pays to maintain the lovely, well-maintained Kings Mountain campus, pays
for it to have its own copy machine, pays for its separate staff.
- It spends its funds defending lawsuits filed by citizens concerned about the environment of the coastside.
- It spends its funds defending lawsuits (and losing!) filed by parents of special ed students who
have not received necessary services.
- It spends its funds paying lawyers to prevent concerned citizens from participating on Site Council.
- It spends its funds responding to audits by the Office of Civil Rights. OCR
is very concerned about the way CUSD fails to educate its non-English speaking students, as am I.
- It spends its funds clamping down on students as if they were in prisons,
rules for certain students and not others, while drugs, gangs and alcohol are everywhere in our schools
(there are gangs even in our elementary schools!).
Let's throw this board out in November.
To do this, we MUST ensure that not too many folks run against our entrenched encumbents.
Then and only then, let's throw vast quantities of money at our local public schools.
Here's some background about the issues having to do with the CUSD board's 1998 decision to
tie its finances and the future of our students' education to a group
of developers determined to erect a pricey neighborhood of high-end homes on a prime
piece of coastside property called Wavecrest.
Many citizens on the coastside have strong objections to the building of Wavecrest, or, in fact,
the building of any large neighborhood of homes. In fact, because of the increasing problems
of traffic and over-population on the coast, Half Moon Bay, the city in which Wavecrest would be
built, overwhelmingly passed a low-growth initiative.
Ironically, the middle school that the CUSD board is intending to place at Wavecrest, need not be built
at all. When the building of the new middle school was proposed in 1996, the board estimated
that the number of middle school children would nearly double to more than 1600 students by 2006. However,
now, in 2002, six years into the 10-year plan, there are still approximately 870 students at Cunha,
our middle school. In other words, there has been
NO growth in the number of middle school
students on the coast in the last six years.
The reason for this is not that there are so few families on the coast with students of middle school
age. The reason for this is that Cunha, and in fact, all the schools on the coastside are
The CUSD board has shown itself unresponsive to many of the concerns of the coastside community.
I ran for school board twice in an effort to voice some of the concerns of families with school children
on the coast about the lack of quality of education on the coast. I was shouted down by the
environmentalists because I was not a rabid-enough no-growther and by the CUSD board because I
raised the many concerns I had about the
dire lack quality of education
all students get at coastside schools and
because of the utter lack of concern for the environment
exhibited by the board.
Here's a piece by another mother of school-age students who does not support the parcel tax, but
fears to have her name used
First, let us take a look at who is asking you to pull $75.00 out of your wallet every year. The Cabrillo Unified School board:
The Wavecrest plan is a product of Superintendent Bayless and Ken Jones' scheming.
They methodically plan all the board meetings prior to the meetings. It's really a play you are
watching, in fact, they refer to the public as "the audience." The public is supposed
to participate. HA! Not here.
President, Ken Jones: Has been called a tycoon for his development of Globe Wireless. Raccoon would be more accurate for his handling of the Wavecrest Development deal. He jumped in with the developers of new homes for Wavecrest with both feet, pulling the school district down with him. He is bound and determined, as if on some control trip that only the rich play, to see the homes built on the beautiful open-space bluff top. He doesnít care about the communities desires and he never will.
Ruth Palmer, Vice President: Became a board member the year (1992) the district sent her disabled son over-the-hill to county classrooms. Once a board member, her son was surpassingly able to be served within the district on this side-of-the-hill. Meanwhile, hundreds of disabled students have been bussed over 2 hours one way to county classrooms since 1992. Fair? No. Does she do anything about it? No.
Marina Stariha: Kind heart, definitely the cheerleader for the district. Can she debate an issue with any other board members? Not that we have seen. She is told to rally for the district and Wavecrest and dutifully does as she is told. Only Stepford has seen her kind.
Ken Wilson: Attorney. His firm does a lot of business for and with Ken Jones and Jonesí empire. Misses a lot of meetings due to travel and seems to go along with what is easiest. A Yes Man.
Dwight Wilson: Hand picked by the then-current board in 1998. His heart is in the right place, they just donít clue him in on anything important. In the dark.
The purportedly threatened programs:
We are told there is no alternative, all the above programs are at risk.
Yet, there has been no determination of if or how much the budget will be cut.
Come on, it's an election year for Governor Gray Davis, do you think he's really going to cut at
the heart of his voters? It's a threat by Cabrillo Unified School District. An empty threat.
- Transportation: The law says disabled and poor kids cannot be denied an education because
of lack of transportation. Therefore, they will be transported to school and home for
free regardless of whether this parcel tax passes. So, who is threatened?
Middle-class coastside families. Your children's education is being held hostage by Measure A.
Don't yield to these threats, it will set a bad precedent for future threats.
Counselors: I really doubt they will all disappear if Measure A doesn't pass. Who would be there to arrange class schedules? If they did disappear, the work-load will fall on someone somewhere.
- Librarians: Someone has to check out the books. Maybe a self-check-out system can be devised. Or, a computer system that eliminates the people. There are lots of new computers in the High School library.
- Class-student reduction, grades K-3: California Dept. of Education just put out the statistics to show this reduction plan didnít really improve the studentsí skills after all. Thatís hard to believe. However, the district receives extra money from the state to keep the student-teacher ratio at 20:1. Is the district going to lose this incentive just to prove a point to the community? Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.
And if all those bad things happen, then it's time for a new majority for the board in November anyway.