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|April 23||I’m optimistic|
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On May 30th, Senator Diane Rosenbaum and I went to Buckman Elementary School to talk with parents about the state of education funding. They were upset, and so am I. We have been disinvesting in education ever since the passage of ballot measures 5 and 50 ripped apart our education system and ended local control. The result has been rising class sizes, declining quality, and the end of programs that make well-rounded students, like art, PE, and music.
Everyone has been working to solve the situation. Parents have committed to unprecedented levels of giving and fundraising. Our teachers have been doing the best they can with less, often buying supplies out of their own pockets. And levels of government from the City to the Soil and Water Conservation District have found extra dollars to commit to patch up some of the worst holes.
It's time for the legislature to do it's part. We passed the bills that became measures 66 and 67, and the people ratified them. We enacted the first ever automatic sunsetting of all tax credits and have already saved over $300 million going forward in tax expenditures. We prioritized and protected education from the worst cuts during the recession. But that's not enough.
We need to untie to the hands of local governments to allow them to raise revenue. We need to reform measures 5 and 50. We also need to finally end the kicker and put it towards education. These are not easy tasks by any means. But if we can all work together, we can get it done.
PS. You might be interested in this good blog post from a parent at the Buckman meeting