West Contra Costa Board of Education Meeting of 11/14, Budget Report

The November 14 meeting of West Contra Costa Board of Education was the first one since the November 6 election.  In the budget report, Associate Superintendant of Business Services Sheri Gamba noted that, with the passage of Proposition 30, the state tax initiative, and Measure G, the local parcel tax, the district will not have to make any mid-year cuts.  She did caution that the schools have been underfunded for years, and that neither Proposition 30 nor Measure G provide additional funding.  The election results basically mean that funding will hold steady and districts will not have to make additional cuts.

In their comments on the budget report, board members generally expressed relief at the results of the election, and the mood was hopeful. In addition to Proposition 30 and Measure G passing, Measure E, the construction bond, also passed, meaning the district will have additional money for construction projects.  Board members were pleased that Measure G passed in every city in the district, meaning that the measure won in Pinole and Hercules, where a previous parcel tax measure, Measure K, did not get a two-thirds vote in those cities.  Also, the Democratic party won a supermajority in the state legislature.  Several board members expressed hope that the California legislature might now be able to make revisions to Proposition 13.

Board President Ramsey, noticing some adult education teachers in the audience, stated that supporters of adult education no longer need to “parade” at school board meetings, and that we should now take our fight to the state legislature.

Supporters of adult education are probably not done with turning out for school board meetings, since the state has put the power of life and death for adult schools into the hands of school districts.  However, Mr. Ramsey has a point that we need to advocate for adult education at the state level now.  The Democratic super-majority provides us  with a unique and unlooked for opportunity.  Until now, Democratic legislators have told us they understand the importance of adult education and support it, but are unable to do anything because the minority Republicans in the legislature block all attempts to raise taxes.  That situation has changed; let’s see what they say now.

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2 Responses

  1. While I agree that the adult education teachers should focus more on the state level, I do not agree that we should lessen our presence at important school board meetings. I also take issue with Mr. Ramsey’s language. Adult education supporters are not “parading” at school board meetings, but are there to help insure that adult education gets the attention and financial support it deserves.

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