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School Board Public Comments

Speaking as the elected TVEA President, I will use this opportunity to be the first of likely many tonight who will speak to a great start to the school year.

I had a chance to attend the opening of the Staff Development Day at Chaparral High School. Chaparral teachers and specialists were joined by Bella Vista Middle School Staff and Day Middle School Staff for an inspiring comedy presentation by Southern California Social Science Teacher Matt Schumacher.

A great tone was set not just for the day, but for the year with the opportunity for collective laughter among colleagues.

The political season is heating up and I am not speaking to the propensity for Donald Trump to tweet, nor am I referring to the TVUSD School Board Election.

The school funding picture in California has improved leaps and bounds since the passage of Proposition 30 and to continue the necessary education funding for our schools’ successes, voters across California will be called on again this November.

I am speaking to Proposition 55, one of seventeen ballot measures to be put in front of Californians this fall.

Proposition 55 does not impose any new taxes. What Proposition 55 does is continue the current state income tax rates under Proposition 30. These taxes are targeted at the top 2% of California tax payers.

According to the California Budget and Policy Center in March 2016, the expiration of Proposition 30’s Personal Income Tax Rate would leave a spiraling permanent gap in State Revenues starting with $4.4 Billion in 2018-19 and $7.7 Billion in 2019-20.

What does this mean to TVUSD? The increased funding which has provided for the return of Literacy Specialists and the hiring of VAPA and PE specialists would likely disappear. Deep cuts in state revenue could trigger the painful reduction in workforce cuts and school calendar days we all recall from the early 2010’s.

It would seem prudent to join forces to pass Proposition 55 just as TVEA and TVUSD did so in 2012, facilitating not only the passage of Proposition 30, but the local bond known as Measure Y.

In the meantime, the passage of Proposition 55 should not be taken for granted. I would urge the School Board to be extremely cautious in approving new positions until our future state funding is secure. Continuing to grow our workforce, particularly in a local environment of flat enrollment seems risky as TVUSD’s assured LCFF dollars funnels down. Thank you.

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