So it’s over….so over. I write this during a week in which my husband is overseas on business, my son is across the country with a Kennedy school trip, and my recent Woodside High School graduate daughter is busily being trained by the City of Redwood City for her summer job lifeguarding. So, if my usual Patch friends are reading this – do me a favor – just remember if your life is in jeopardy in a City pool, your lifeguard will – with certainty – be a graduate of the Redwood City Elementary Schools and the Sequoia Union High District Schools. Really. I read the employee list. Thankfully, our schools taught them how to read, follow instructions, and implement emergency procedures. Oh, yea, you’re welcome.
But moving on – yes, I cannot deny it – I am very, very, very pleased that Measure W passed. I am pleased that the nay-sayers – though frequently vocal and opinionated in the Patch – were greeted with a defeat. Why? Probably because it’s easier to lob sarcasm and innuendo in cyberspace than actually, oh I don’t know...organize an opposition? So, complain as I know that you will in the comments section below, but the reality is Measure W ran a good campaign about what our schools actually do require and you couldn’t get yourselves out of the cloud to even have coffee with me. And, I made that offer at least twice.
Post-election brought out some cautious optimism from at least one of the school board members, which was that (paraphrasing) Measure W does do good, but it may not be enough. The point here was not that there’s a sudden need to run some additional measure (heaven knows – I am too busy what with the helicopter parenting, the full time job, the DIY-ing for the various home repairs, oh -- laundry, vacuuming, pet care…well the list is endless) to even think about adding in another election campaign – the reality is that the State of California – you know the place we actually live in – may not have the revenue (I know – taxes, taxes, taxes) to fill its budget coffers. And this means – wait for it – that schools will take a hit, what with the education K-16 line item being 40% of the state budget and all.
People, states require taxes to run and those taxes pay for health and human services. Get over it or get on the road to a revival of the rewrite of the state constitution. And our reality is that if the Governor doesn’t get more revenue in the November election, then biggest hit will be schools. Thankfully, Measure W will help to a degree to cushion the blow locally. But should this budget “short fall” happen, it shall be a sucker punch to our kids - which given that the definition of “sucker punch “ is “not foreseen…” perhaps not so much with that.
As I talk to people in the nine-county region, I do feel the worst for our university system. I know that our elementary kids are getting shorted - - a lot. My daughter was the first year of the crazy “100% of the kids will go to college” thang started under George Dubya Bush – seriously let’s get real about this – and lo-and-behold a decade plus later and many kids are prepared to go to college, except for the fact that one of the three most populous states in the union is cutting college access (calm down my Patch Pals – my daughter’s hopes were kept alive – it’s all that freaking helicopter parenting – gosh my arms are tired, so glad I can rest…). I hope these college-age kids take it to the streets. If this were 1967 they certainly would have, all over again.
This is a war – a war on the future of the next generation. So, get angry. Speak up. These cuts are decimating the future of us all. Without an educated populace, we have no economy – without an economy, well the Eurozone looks kinda nice – after all a sandy Greek beach with a toppling down antiquity in the background and a shot of Ouzo in one's hand and the whole world looks so much nicer.
I am outta here.