I feel passionate about education, but I certainly cannot vote for the current San Luis Coastal Bond Measure D without some very specific information to address questions and concerns that come to mind.
First: Why is it that maintenance and upgrades to facilities have not been an ongoing process that is proportional to need? Why the great urgency at present, unless there has been inadequate budget decisions in the past?
Second: What amount of money is being held in reserve, and to what purpose? Without a complete financial accounting, including what has been spent on maintenance and upgrades, and what is set aside “for a rainy day,” it is impossible to make an informed decision on this bond issue.
Third: What is the average yearly salary for administrators, and how does this compare to teachers’ salaries? This information should include perks, such as generous guaranteed cost of living increases for administrators, as well as their raises. Also, what has been given to teachers in the way of raises or cost of living increases over the past 10 years? One might argue this is irrelevant to the current bond issue, but it is important to illustrate or rule out inequity, and what is really important in San Luis Coastal’s financial decision making.
Fourth: How can someone retired on a fixed income, who is lucky enough to own a house, afford to take a cut in yearly income? This is exactly what this bond measure does, by increasing taxes by a substantial amount. With other bond and tax issues on the ballot at the same time, the public is asked to make a sacrifice many cannot afford.
I realize there is a need for maintenance and upgrades for the district’s schools. What I don’t understand is why these have not only been done, given the money San Luis Coastal already collects from all various sources. If the answer is “there is simply not enough to go around,” I suggest taking a look at what type of priorities are presently in effect and changing them. This is called “being realistic” or “living within your means.” I am calling on the public to send a message to the district: If you want our trust and support, you must be more responsible, transparent, and objective. Also consider the cost and sacrifice the public is asked to make on your behalf, and whether it is truly needed. Certainly our students deserve better.
-- Cassandra Dagama - San Luis Obispo