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The Start of a New School Year – and Other New Beginnings

For as long as anyone at CEPS can remember, September has meant the beginning of a new school year with its fresh faces and hopes for the future.  The beginning of this school year brought with it many firsts.  No only did we welcome Superintendent Sandy Lyon to Santa Monica-Malibu and Laurel Fretz as Principal of Santa Monica High School, but we also saw the first August start to a school year – possibly ever.
The start of this 2011 – 2012 school also brings with it another notable milestone, the beginning of Community for Excellent Public Schools second decade.
CEPS helped organize Caravan for Kids, a statewide rally
protesting State budget cuts.
Big birthdays are times for more than celebration.  They are times for reflection, assessment and priority-setting.  CEPS is proud of its accomplishments, which can be appreciated in detail here

CEPS was founded a decade ago in response to what was assumed to be a temporary funding shortfall caused by State budget cuts.  Little did we know that those early cuts were simply the opening volley in what would become an unending siege against public education in the State of California.  CEPS had hoped and assumed over the years that with just one more effort to plug the dike, the crisis in our local public schools would be stabilized.  Yet, after each miraculous victory, the State came back with bigger and more painful cuts.  The result, however, of CEPS effort has been significant help in preserving and protecting Santa Monica-Malibu schools, which consistently perform better than state and country schools.

Now, after ten years of effort, CEPS has taken time this past summer to assess and look forward.  At the end of July CEPS published a survey asking the community its views about CEPS work, as well as to share their own priorities about public education issues.  On August 17th, the CEPS Steering Committee met with its members and community leaders to discuss preliminary findings of this survey and to discuss areas of focus for CEPS to prioritize in the future.
This effort will continue into the fall when we hope to announce our findings at a community event on November 2nd. This event will celebrate the one year anniversary of the passage of Santa Monica Propositions Y + YY, and the powerful partnership between our SMMUSD cities and schools. Look for event details coming soon. 
PLEASE TAKE CEPS SURVEY TODAY
There is something you can do now to help CEPS look forward.  Please take a moment, if you haven’t done so already, to fill out the CEPS survey.  Your views and opinions are important to us and will help us advocate more effectively to help protect the integrity of public education.  And please send this survey to your friends and ask them to help us plan for the future.
Finally, if you would like to do more, we would love for you to join us as a member.  In this difficult political climate, financial contributions provide critical resources that will allow us to contact and educate voters.
We look forward to hearing from you!
CEPS Co-chairs
Shari Davis & Rebecca Kennerly
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