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9723Re: What Are Your Suggestions?

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  • rebecca494
    Oct 1, 2007
    • 0 Attachment
      Charley,

      Now I get the pun, Herculean i.e. Hercules. Our number one
      independent entity in the WCCUSD, in other words the Hercules of the
      district.
      Tammy, not to excuse Charley's behavior, but I don't think he means
      to be insulting. He phrases things in a way that is very esoteric. I
      used to think he was insulting me and then I got it. That is just
      Charley. And, I am sure Charley will have something very esoteric to
      say about my comments (otherwise regarded as an insult).
      But I have to ask you and other interested parties, what is the
      Board proposing? I mean they keep saying they are going to get rid of
      high school sports; libraries; and the same old same old, because the
      parcel tax did not pass. But what would it hurt if they went about it
      systematically working with a group such as CBAC and came up with some
      actual proposals that have some kind of rationale? I can't see the
      harm, but I have yet to hear from the Board in other than this kind of
      boiler plate way, "We are going to get rid of sports, libraries, etc,
      etc."
      I think if the Board took an analytical approach to the upcoming
      cuts that they might inspire respect and cooperation, at least from
      the electorate. But we hear ourselves talking about this more than we
      hear much from them.

      Rebecca Hazlewood


      --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Tammera Campbell
      <tammeracampbell@...> wrote:
      >
      > Charley,
      > I disagree and disliked your strawman comment it was insulting.
      We are all entitled to our opinions. There is one thing I can say
      though, we are talking aren't we.
      >
      > Though I understand that you have wanted to deal with zero based
      budgeting for many years (I don't disagree with this concept), we need
      to start somewhere in the discussion because we have been dancing
      around this subject for many years now and are back where we started a
      few years ago. You are choosing to start at one end with nothing and
      then building upon it to create the budget (not a bad idea). I just
      put out there to invoke discussion, the other end of having everything
      and determining what we might be willing to do without. Your idea of
      starting with nothing may be the better less painful approach, but we
      need to start somewhere and we all need to determine at some point
      what we are willing to give up.
      > Tammy
      >
      > Charley Cowens <charley.cowens@...> wrote:
      > Rebecca-
      >
      > I sort of agree with you. This exercise that Robert and Tammy
      proposed is
      > really of limited usefulness at this point except as some kind of
      straw man
      > to be knocked down. Where I differ from you is in the idea that we
      should
      > passively wait for the Board to come up with the solutions. (OK, maybe
      > that's not quite what you meant.) We should all be involved, but
      > meaningfully involved. In order to be meaningfully involved, we need
      real
      > choices to work with. One way of generating real choices is to adopt an
      > "almost-zero-based" budget process that puts everything, that can be
      put on
      > the table, on the table. An additional way to generate choices that
      would be
      > interesting with or without the "almost-zero-based" process is
      "hitting the
      > rewind button". Go back through the record and track all program
      increases
      > that have occurred since X years back (for example, starting with
      the first
      > parcel tax year). (An example of this is the compromise worked out
      on police
      > staffing to basically support two police forces for a lot of money.)
      >
      > And while I'm at it, the original proposal from T & R included something
      > about CBAC. (1) There is no agenda item for brainstorming in general
      about
      > cuts to make up the expiring $10 million in the upcoming CBAC
      meeting. There
      > could be in the future if requested. There is an item about the
      format for
      > the Board's 10/11 meeting, which is a meeting that might be a better
      fit for
      > this kind of activity. (2) I am the chair of the committee. Official
      > communications to the committee should be addressed to me. The
      contact info
      > is at:
      >
      > http://www.baysidepta.org/wccusdcbac/
      >
      > Great pun in your email, Rebecca!
      > Charley Cowens
      >
      > On 9/25/07, rebecca494 < hrebwrite@...> wrote:
      > >
      > > Cathy, I think your comments are a bit harsh re: this list's
      > > responsibility for coming up with cuts to balance the budget. I think
      > > that is the School Board's job.
      > >
      > > You list four things that you feel should not be cut and that is
      > > precisely what everyone else here is doing. For those on this list who
      > > are stating what they don't want to see cut I think that is in order.
      > >
      > > I will put my two cents in herewith. I think that continuing to fund
      > > under enrolled schools is irresponsible. But since there is nowhere to
      > > send the elementary school children in El Cerrito once they promote
      > > this entire discussion is irrelevant.
      > >
      > > The district has got itself into an imbroglio, the likes of which are
      > > Herculean. Two middle schools are uninhabitable according to building
      > > codes. They have made all sorts of mistakes regarding their
      > > engineering studies on the elementary schools. Where are these kids
      > > going to go once they promote from elementary schools? Robert Brower
      > > says he has an answer and maybe he does. Wouldn't hurt to really
      > > listen to people. After all the refusal of the district to listen to
      > > its citizen committees is what, in my mind has gotten it into this
      > > mess. But for sure the answer to this imbroglio impacts the answer to
      > > the budget shortfall from the defeat of Measure G. You cannot separate
      > > the two issues.
      > >
      > > Rebecca Hazlewood
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Cathy Travlos <cbt@> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > I've been out of town for the past 3 days with my daughter who, like
      > > > Tammy's son, is off to college. I just got caught up with the
      postings
      > > > here and I'm amazed. Tammy asked for real suggestions to take to the
      > > > Budget Advisory Committee this week and I haven't seen much
      coming from
      > > > this group that's worth sharing. It's absurd to say that the board
      > > > should cut the things that are being supported by the current parcel
      > > tax
      > > > and then go back and ask for another vote. The budget cycle doesn't
      > > work
      > > > that way. By the time anyone volunteered to head up the campaign and
      > > > found donors to support it, it would be too late. The district
      has to
      > > > come up with a 3-year cycle of budgets - which now have to be cut by
      > > $14
      > > > million.
      > > >
      > > > I was hoping that I'd come back to see some concrete ideas to
      trim the
      > > > budget but all I see is a list of things people don't want cut.
      I could
      > > > add my own list because I'm tired of seeing the programs for the
      bright
      > > > students cut every time there's a shortage. The parents of these
      > > > students then pull their kids from the district and head to
      Albany and
      > > > Berkeley and Orinda and private school. If you want to do something
      > > > about declining enrollment, someone needs to take a long hard
      look at
      > > > who's leaving and where they go. That aside, we need to find some
      > > places
      > > > to cut big bucks in a budget that doesn't have a whole lot of fat.
      > > >
      > > > Administrators? Well, look at the new organizational chart -
      there are
      > > > less administrators than there were a couple of years ago.
      > > > Sports? The high schools already got hit with this a few years
      ago and
      > > > the backlash was ugly. You'd see another huge exodus of kids who
      either
      > > > come to school because of sports or hope to pay for college at least
      > > > partly through sports.
      > > > Library? In a district that's pushing literacy so hard, this
      makes just
      > > > about no sense to me.
      > > > Safety? No, this wasn't in the budget a few years ago. It's
      something
      > > > that absolutely, positively needs to stay. The difference on our
      high
      > > > school campuses is like night and day. You want kids to learn? They
      > > need
      > > > to feel safe.
      > > > Janitors? Most of our schools aren't clean now and cutting back
      would
      > > > give our custodians an even greater work load.
      > > >
      > > > My thoughts:
      > > > 1. cut class size reduction, maybe only some grades, maybe all.
      There's
      > > > no evidence that test scores go up with smaller classes. My personal
      > > > experience is that it has more to do with teacher quality. Does
      it make
      > > > the teachers' lives easier? You bet, but it also costs the district
      > > > money since it's not fully-funded by the State.
      > > > 2. Close small schools. Everyone's in love with small schools
      the way
      > > > they love small class size, but we can't afford it. There are some
      > > > advantages to having a larger student population since you can
      offer a
      > > > greater variety of leadership and music and other programs. Nobody
      > > wants
      > > > their school closed but we need to be responsible.
      > > > 3. Take a look at the benefits package. And no, I'm not advocating
      > > > cutting benefits for teachers who are already vested in the
      system. I
      > > > also think we can't afford to keep doing things this way with
      teachers
      > > > who aren't. And I know that this won't be a popular idea.
      > > >
      > > > And then I'm stuck since I really don't want to hurt the kids. And
      > > > that's nowhere near $14 million.
      > > >
      > > > There should be a meeting of the Budget Advisory Committee this
      > > > Thursday. I'm sure Charley will be posting the agenda and meeting
      > > notice
      > > > soon. I think all of us need to start paying close attention.
      > > >
      > > > Cathy
      > > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > Yahoo! Groups Links
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > Tammera (Tammy) E. Campbell
      > 2668 Alhambra Way
      > Pinole, CA 94564
      > Home: 510-223-3857
      > Email: Tammera.Campbell@...
      >
      > Following are contacts for other email lists to consider joining:
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      > Pinole Middle School: Tammera.Campbell@...
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      >
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