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Letter to the Editor: TASP Endorses Measure S

Dave Miller, President of the Teachers Association of South Pasadena, submitted the following letter to the editor about the parcel tax that is on the mail-in ballot for South Pasadena residents.

The Teachers Association of South Pasadena (TASP) strongly feels that Measure S will bring much needed stability to South Pasadena Unified School District’s (SPUSD) finances for the coming years.  Despite the passing of Proposition 30, education funding in California is still unpredictable and is far behind the national average.  Further, the current parcel tax expires at the end of this school year and many of the programs our educational community values could be eliminated. 

Funding education in California is complicated and for a number of years it has been unstable. TASP leadership learned at a recent School Services of California meeting that our state’s economic recovery is, “slow, weak and fragile.” It is true that Governor Brown’s budget proposal allocates new money to school districts; however its distribution is being debated and it is highly probable that SPUSD will not receive a significant increase in funding.

To safeguard against a sluggish economic recovery and uncertain state funding, TASP encourages voters in South Pasadena to invest in our educational community by voting “YES” on Measure S.

Dave Miller

President, TASP   

Donna Evans February 25, 2013 at 08:46 PM
To Measure S opponents: Did anyone form a committee? A press release from the city states no committee opposing the measure was formed. If that's true, why not? From reading this thread it does not appear that the passage is a slam dunk. What do people think the chances are of the measure's passage versus its failure?
Hugh Hemington February 25, 2013 at 09:13 PM
The fact of the matter is, NO ONE, for or against Measure S is against quality South Pasadena Schools! NO ONE! And any suggestion to the contrary is purely a straw man argument. The disagreement is entirely about whether the school district needs more funding, in light of SPEF, PTA, and Props 98 & 30. Whether the school district has acted as a good steward of funds generally, and whether property owners should bear additional DISPROPORTIONAL burden for education funding. I believe the FACTS indicate the answer to all three questions is a resounding NO. Even if you want our local schools to HAVE additional funding because you believe, (against all evidence) there is a corollary between education funding and results, your goal will be better (and more HONESTLY) reached by private funding. South Pasadena already receives a LOWER per-diem than other districts, because the State determines what districts "need". Demonstrating our willingness to tax ourselves MORE will NOT result in more funding to our district, but to others! Property owners are already burdened with a school bond tax of hundreds of dollars to repay a school bond program so poorly negotiated that the Los Angeles Times cited the 4.8million bond and nearly 20million cost as a "ratio warning"! The County of Los Angeles will target those owners AGAIN very soon, and HIGH TAXES drive property values DOWN, as good schools drive them up!
Ed Not Bureaucracy February 26, 2013 at 03:33 AM
Gosh Kathy, I feel your comments are mean-spirited. Yes on S "people" are homeowners as well and Yes on S "people" do care about South Pasadena. Yes on S "people" made quite certain the Measure S funds will go to support teachers because Yes on S "people" recognize that great teachers make great schools and great schools make great communities.
Harry Gerst February 26, 2013 at 04:28 AM
I generally don't respond to negative unsubstantiated comments. However, the "Citizens 4 Education" have the facts incorrect. Yes, it's true I've never been to a a Measure S meeting, but that doesn't mean I'm misinformed. I've spent hundreds of hours volunteering at the elementary, middle, and high school in addition to donating thousands of dollars to SPEF in support of South Pasadena education. The Citizens 4 Education, whoever they are, don't understand that there are sufficient funds that will be available for educational funding. Continuing with Measure S will be wasteful and unnecessary. And it's amazing how easy it is to falsely criticize when under the veil of anonymity. Please remember to VOTE NO.
Kathy Bence February 26, 2013 at 05:22 AM
Donna: Because this measure originated with the supporters, no one opposed knew to form a committee or put an opposing view on the ballot. It wasn't until the expensive flyers and yard signs appeared that I realized what was happening, and then it was too late. As far as the measure passing, our schools recruit callers and send home flyers with the children in favor of this measure, without mentioning an opposing view. There's constant phoning and those over 65 seem to be targeted because they can be told to vote for something they won’t have to pay for. Today I received my fourth (I've lost count) expensive brochure/flyer that says nothing significant except that the funds will go for the kids. Of course, there’s no mention of funds recently spent on administrator salaries that didn't go for the kids. While I'm not sure where all this money came from, this is obviously a very well-financed campaign, funded in part by our tax dollars, SPEF and other money originally given to benefit children and schools, not a political campaign. Even though the odds are against us, some of us are trying to defeat what we feel is a very unfair, unnecessary money grab.

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