Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Re: Editorial: Sale of state buildings is a bad deal for California

Expand Messages
  • Todd Groves
    Pawning state buildings is not much of a strategy. It may be a nod to the bond markets to show austerity. With a $25B deficit, California has a some likelihood
    Message 1 of 5 , Dec 1, 2010
      Pawning state buildings is not much of a strategy. It may be a nod to the bond markets to show austerity.

      With a $25B deficit, California has a some likelihood of defaulting on its debt. This could easily infect WCCUSD bonds, deeply diminishing what can be spent on schools. It might behoove us to accelerate the issuance of new bonds. WCCUSD reached our debt limit, and now we are pushing for a higher debt exemption. What options do we have if the State says no?

      Forestalling bond sales may diminish actual building funds. Would the community support another bond to cover shortfalls? I have my doubts. We keep using projections as though they have certainty. It's better to plan using scenarios. We live in a time that voids most models of the future, so it's time to think what if?

      What if housing prices don't recover? Will our debt load be manageable? What if commodity prices spike again? What if health care cost continue to grow at >10%/year? Can we through these elements at our crystal ball and surmise the effects?

      Under current conditions, policymakers have great incentive to burden shifting to the least powerful. Unfortunately in WCCUSD, this means under-serving our children. Do we as a community have the fortitude to place our children as the primary beneficiary of all changes? Can we stomach the loss of a community school if it enhances student outcomes? Do we trade class size reduction for effective professional development?

      Our administration suffers from an historic legacy of incompetence that precludes trust when it's most needed. When need a sweeping, accommodating vision for WCCUSD that tolerates a wide range of perspectives.

      This last board campaign has me more convinced than ever that solutions are close. I don't care who you support or which candidate you voted for. Put aside the animosity and focus on the task at hand. Let's end destructive adversarialism.

      I'll start here. I believe teachers have a better handle on our problems than any other level in the district. Yet I get frustrated when my kid faces an unskilled teacher, or one with low expectations or lack of authority. This frustration boils over into a premise that it must be tenure or seniority that preserves these folks. If we eliminated tenure and seniority, would our schools improve? How central is this issue to improving WCCUSD outcomes? If marginal, what are higher priorities? Can we improve schools without eliminating seniority and tenure?

      Todd Groves



      --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, c slamon <cslamon@...> wrote:
      >
      > Todd,
      > no wonder our kids can't think critically, look at some of their role
      > models. This budget mess is going to continue to affect our children's
      > education and I hope our leaders (both elected and non-elected) are ready
      > for it. We've got some tough decisions to make.
      >
      >
      > Editorial: Sale of state buildings is a bad deal for California
      > MediaNews editorial
      > Posted: 11/30/2010 12:01:00 AM PST
      >
      > GOV. ARNOLD Schwarzenegger came into office promising to cut up the state's
      > credit card. Instead, he has proven that he can't be trusted to handle
      > money. So, it's fitting that, as he prepares to leave office, he plans to
      > sell off valuable state buildings to pay immediate bills.
      >
      > Unless a last-ditch legal effort to block the deal succeeds, the governor
      > will unload 24 state buildings, including the Elihu Harris Building in
      > Oakland; the Earl Warren Building in San Francisco, which houses the state
      > Supreme Court; and the adjacent Hiram Johnson Building. All three were built
      > or renovated just a little more than a decade ago.
      >
      > It's a horrible transaction under which the state would receive money up
      > front from the sale of the buildings, but would then have to lease back the
      > properties so it has a place to put its workers. Over 35 years, the net cost
      > to the state, in today's dollars, would be about $1.4 billion, according to
      > the non-partisan state Legislative Analyst's Office.
      >
      > Put another way, it's like taking out a mortgage at a 10 percent annual
      > interest rate to pay your current bills. But, at the end of it all, once the
      > loan is paid off, you still lose the property. The state will be left with
      > nothing, with no place for its employees when the deal expires. It will have
      > lost the buildings themselves and the prime real estate on which they sit.
      >
      > It's a shameful legacy. Our children and grandchildren will remember
      > Schwarzenegger as the state leader who came into office, immediately plunged
      > the state billions of dollars deeper into debt by rolling back the car tax,
      > and then spent the next seven years developing budgeting schemes to paper
      > over the damage.
      >
      > He will leave office with the state broke -- in far worse shape than when he
      > came in. And, in one of his final acts, he plans to sell off buildings that
      > will surely be needed in years to come.
      >
      > He will be remembered as the governor who sold off the state's assets and
      > strapped future generations with increased costs.
      >
      > It's the height of irresponsibility. We can only hope that Schwarzenegger
      > suddenly develops some common sense, or the legal challenge to the deal
      > succeeds.
      >
      > The lawsuit claims the state needs the approval of the state Judicial
      > Council before it sells off buildings that house the courts.
      >
      > Superior Court Judge Charlotte Woolard will hear the case Dec. 10 in her San
      > Francisco courtroom. Unless she intervenes, the properties will be lost on
      > Dec. 15. Schwarzenegger leaves office on Jan. 3 to return to his life of
      > wealth. The rest of us will be stuck paying the bills.
      >
      > It's a lousy script. A real action hero would do better.
      >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
    • Todd Groves
      That s a great idea, Charles. I ve been thinking about introducing students to systems modeling software like STELLA
      Message 2 of 5 , Dec 1, 2010
        That's a great idea, Charles.

        I've been thinking about introducing students to systems modeling software like STELLA http://www.iseesystems.com/softwares/Education/StellaSoftware.aspx or Vensim http://www.vensim.com/venple.html.

        Grades 8-12 can explore complex, non-linear relationships by building models. Your budget idea might fit right in.

        Explorations like these are extraordinarily rich and meaningful. How do we get them to students?

        Todd Groves

        --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Charles Rachlis <crachlis@...> wrote:
        >
        > I suggest a math project where the youth run the numbers on this deal. Then a
        > study of insider dealing for social studies where they will find that the deal
        > has fallen into the hands of Pete Wilson insiders who stand to make millions off
        > the tax payers if this goes through.
        >
        >
        >
        > ________________________________
        > From: c slamon <cslamon@...>
        > To: wccusdtalk <wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com>
        > Sent: Tue, November 30, 2010 4:48:00 PM
        > Subject: [wccusdtalk] Editorial: Sale of state buildings is a bad deal for
        > California
        >
        >
        > Todd,
        > no wonder our kids can't think critically, look at some of their role
        > models. This budget mess is going to continue to affect our children's
        > education and I hope our leaders (both elected and non-elected) are ready
        > for it. We've got some tough decisions to make.
        >
        > Editorial: Sale of state buildings is a bad deal for California
        > MediaNews editorial
        > Posted: 11/30/2010 12:01:00 AM PST
        >
        > GOV. ARNOLD Schwarzenegger came into office promising to cut up the state's
        > credit card. Instead, he has proven that he can't be trusted to handle
        > money. So, it's fitting that, as he prepares to leave office, he plans to
        > sell off valuable state buildings to pay immediate bills.
        >
        > Unless a last-ditch legal effort to block the deal succeeds, the governor
        > will unload 24 state buildings, including the Elihu Harris Building in
        > Oakland; the Earl Warren Building in San Francisco, which houses the state
        > Supreme Court; and the adjacent Hiram Johnson Building. All three were built
        > or renovated just a little more than a decade ago.
        >
        > It's a horrible transaction under which the state would receive money up
        > front from the sale of the buildings, but would then have to lease back the
        > properties so it has a place to put its workers. Over 35 years, the net cost
        > to the state, in today's dollars, would be about $1.4 billion, according to
        > the non-partisan state Legislative Analyst's Office.
        >
        > Put another way, it's like taking out a mortgage at a 10 percent annual
        > interest rate to pay your current bills. But, at the end of it all, once the
        > loan is paid off, you still lose the property. The state will be left with
        > nothing, with no place for its employees when the deal expires. It will have
        > lost the buildings themselves and the prime real estate on which they sit.
        >
        > It's a shameful legacy. Our children and grandchildren will remember
        > Schwarzenegger as the state leader who came into office, immediately plunged
        > the state billions of dollars deeper into debt by rolling back the car tax,
        > and then spent the next seven years developing budgeting schemes to paper
        > over the damage.
        >
        > He will leave office with the state broke -- in far worse shape than when he
        > came in. And, in one of his final acts, he plans to sell off buildings that
        > will surely be needed in years to come.
        >
        > He will be remembered as the governor who sold off the state's assets and
        > strapped future generations with increased costs.
        >
        > It's the height of irresponsibility. We can only hope that Schwarzenegger
        > suddenly develops some common sense, or the legal challenge to the deal
        > succeeds.
        >
        > The lawsuit claims the state needs the approval of the state Judicial
        > Council before it sells off buildings that house the courts.
        >
        > Superior Court Judge Charlotte Woolard will hear the case Dec. 10 in her San
        > Francisco courtroom. Unless she intervenes, the properties will be lost on
        > Dec. 15. Schwarzenegger leaves office on Jan. 3 to return to his life of
        > wealth. The rest of us will be stuck paying the bills.
        >
        > It's a lousy script. A real action hero would do better.
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.