Measure A Failed — NOW WHAT?

Seven years ago, the last time the State of California made sweeping and, seemingly arbitrary cuts to education funding, SMMUSD participated in “FROM FIRST TO WORST“, a devastating documentary detailing the decline of California’s public education system in the wake of Proposition 13 and its draconian 2/3 supermajority requirement for any funding measures.
2003 marked a terrifying time for our Santa Monica Malibu students, who faced sharp declines in the quality of their classroom experience — class size increases, program elimination, library closures, reductions in nursing and counselor services.  A local funding measure in early 2003 failed and a “Hail Mary” measure was run in June, just weeks before the deadline for revenue it might produce to save teacher jobs.  At that time more than 100 jobs were on the line.  The June measure passed by the slimmest margin imaginable.  It took a herculean effort to pass Measure S in 2003, but in the end, it did pass.
Now, in 2010, we face the same crisis.  State funding for SMMUSD schools has dropped $10 million per year for each of the last three years.  This time, the SMMUSD administration has been in much better financial condition, and was able to weather the storm with $4.5 million dollars in cuts last year, and an additional $7.1 million dollars this year.  But the SMMUSD reserves will be exhausted by the end of the 2010-2011 school year, forcing an ADDITIONAL $5 – $6 million dollars of cuts on top of the cuts already implemented.
This year’s cuts include dramatically increase class sizes and decrease services to students — counseling, libraries, security, music, sports.
Please make a generous contribution to the Education Foundation’s Save our Schools Campaign TODAY.  Contributions of $1,000 or more will go a long way towards retaining the quality educators who teach in our schools now.

And then, tomorrow, please know, you will be called on again, to help with the next campaign to help preserve and protect the quality education that our Santa Monica Malibu students receive now — and deserve to receive far into the future.

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