There has been a seemingly never ending assault on our schools here in the MDUSD. With the failure of Measure D and the continued failure of our state to put kids and education first, it just gets worse every time we look. Next up, $12 million more will be slashed from our budget at next Tuesday night's board meeting. So what can you do?
The district wants you to donate your $99 that otherwise may have gone to Measure D, to them. I think it is a very interesting idea. This giving campaign, started by Ygnacio Valley High parent, Teresa Torbett and introduced at the board meeting on June 2nd, resulted in over $2,700 in contributions that same night. You can read more about Teresa's effort HERE . I applaud Teresa's efforts. We need more grassroots thinkers out there, as we are left in a position of having to scramble for support and lost programs. With proactive, visionary parents like Teresa out there, we will get there. She was also featured on a recent episode of Channel 7's "Beyond the Headlines" discussing the ground level efforts within our district and at our schools. She also discussed more locally the Ygnacio Valley /YVHS Community Action Group
Next up, the parcel tax may be re-introduced to the ballot in November. Hopefully the community will realize that every single vote counts. Though Measure D got the majority vote, in this instance, the minority ruled. It is not acceptable. The cuts made in the last few weeks, and surely the next ones coming, will be felt by all within this district come August when school begins again. No VP's, larger class sizes, no sports, no elementary music, reduced library services and more. Every student will feel these cuts.
Then, we have individual schools ramping up their fundraising efforts. Some with specific goals for the summer in order to supplement their programs come fall. Strandwood started by asking families to donate the $100 that would've otherwise gone to Measure D, direct to the school. Their goal is to raise over $56,000 this summer. Bancroft Elementary also started a $1 a day campaign and in just over a week brought in over $36,000. These schools and others were featured in a CCTimes Article today. These schools are looking to fund programs and assistants to aide in their growing classrooms. The impact of grades 1-3 going from 20 students to 31 will be profound. Some of these fundraising efforts are geared directly at providing an aide for each classroom come fall.
Personally, I'd like to see the individual school communities create a needs list (i.e. aides) and then create a campaign to help support that. Whether it be a $1 a day, or the flat $100, it will go a long way if EACH family contributes. I worry the district's fundraising campaign will not come close to the funds needed to restore any programs. I further worry that these monies will be considered "one time" money. Just as the district could not use the stimulus money to restore ongoing programs and positions, it seems too this same restriction would hamper the district from using any of these donations to restore anything "we" at the school levels will feel. I hope that if I'm wrong, one of the board members will correct me.
But for now, my advocacy would go toward the individual school sites to support their own needs. It is now that, we have been forced to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, we must all pitch in and give to our schools. If your school is having a fundraising drive, advertise it to your community, not only school families benefit from good schools.