Best Wishes for a Happy New Year from Community for Excellent Public Schools

With 2011 finished and 2012 starting to wake up, Community for Excellent Public Schools looks ahead to another critical year for public schools advocacy.

Local and statewide education advocates took a wild roller coaster ride in 2011, facing the prospect of deep cuts and 11th hour reprieves to education funding on a regular basis.  We saw headlines like State faces midyear cuts, more budget strife ahead, and Schools Had to Make Do With Less.  

Due to SMMUSD’s excellent financial planning and critically needed local revenues, our local schools were able to weather State funding reductions this year and look poised to do the same in 2012 without significant cuts.  However, the future could not be more uncertain for public education, both locally and statewide.

For that reason CEPS knows that the elections in November 2012 could be among the most important in recent memory.  We have been working hard to put the structure in place to help inform voters about issues and candidates as they relate to public schools.

Early 2011 saw CEPS leadership providing input to Santa Monica City and Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District on the mechanics of implementing the recently passed City Propositions Y + YY.  These propositions, passed by 61% and 68% of Santa Monica voters on November 2, 2010, implemented a .5% transaction and use tax within Santa Monica and then indicated voters’ desire that half of the new revenues generated by Proposition Y be directed to local SMMUSD schools.  CEPS leadership had been very involved in the Yes on Y + YY campaign and were thrilled by its passage and subsequent implementation.

In June, CEPS welcomed back its former Chair Shari Davis as Co-chair.  Shari had taken a temporary leave from CEPS leadership to serve a distinguished term as President of the Santa Monica Malibu Council of PTAs.  CEPS was happy to loan Shari to PTA for a short time, and is even more pleased to welcome her back.

As the school year started, CEPS partnered with SMMUSD’s new Superintendent Sandra Lyon and PTA to plan the 7th annual State of Our Schools event.  This year, new sponsoring partner, the Santa Monica Malibu Education Foundation joined the planning team.  The events will take place this month!  January 30th in Malibu and January 31st in Santa Monica.  Click here for details.

CEPS Co-chair Shari Davis addresses Santa Monica advocates
at the one-year birthday party for Propositions Y + YY

In November, CEPS celebrated the one-year anniversary of the passage of Propositions Y + YY in a wonderful event hosted by the Santa Monica Miramar.  The focus of this event was to celebrate and reinforce the importance of City-School partnerships, particularly as so many of the cultural and financial objectives of both institutions intersect.

CEPS has had a busy 2011 and expects an even busier 2012.  We thank you for your for your support and involvement, and hopes to see more of you in 2012 as we work together to preserve and protect our excellent local public school.

Please visit us at to become a member of CEPS and make a contribution to help keep Excellent Public Schools a priority in Santa Monica and Malibu.
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