Let voters decide on new school

Let voters decide on new school
Thousand Oaks Acorn
July 26, 2012

We have a problem in the Conejo Valley Unified School District. If Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax increases pass in November, Superintendent Baarstad is going to ask the school board to approve spending $3.5 million from the sale of district land to help build a new high school.

So what is the problem? That $3.5 million could instead better be used to prevent more education spending cuts. Even if the tax increases pass, the district still expects to have to cut the education budget by $7 million.

Is there a better idea? Yes. Use the $3.5 million from the land sale now to help prevent more teacher layoffs, increased class size and fewer teaching days. Then, in 2014, put the issue on the ballot and let the voters decide whether they want to approve a school bond to build a new high school.

In the last four years, the CVUSD education budget has been cut more than $30 million, more than 200 full-time-equivalent employment positions have been eliminated, the number of students per class has increased, there are fewer teaching days, and adult education used by more than 6,000 people in this community has been cut by $1.5 million.

Will the school board allow you to vote on what to do with the money? No, do not look for help from the current school board members.

In the last eight years, the board majority has voted only once against the recommendation of the superintendent. We have a rubber-stamping school board.

Let’s settle this in the November election. I am running for the school board.

It ’s a choice between Baarstad’s plan or giving you the right to decide.

Vote for me and we’ll use the $3.5 million to lower this year’s education spending cuts and then let the voters decide whether they want a new high school in 2014.

Tony Dolz
Thousand Oaks

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