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Our Children, Our Future… The Time is NOW!

posted Mar 12, 2012, 11:00 AM by IT Admin   [ updated Mar 12, 2012, 11:02 AM ]
Dear Fellow Smith Parents,

I don’t like taxes. I don’t know many who do. But what I like even less than taxes is the state of our education funding. Our schools are hurting, our kids are hurting, and something has to change. I believe our best opportunity to effect change lies in the Our Children, Our Future initiative that is currently working very hard to submit enough signatures to have placement on the November ballot. The CA State PTA has committed to this initiative and we are uniformly committed to the successful placement on the November ballot as well as victory in November.

The facts ma’am, just the facts. Yes, this initiative is funded through a small sliding scale income tax increase on all but the lowest income taxpayers. What does it mean? For example, a family filing jointly earning $75,000 before deductions would see a $428.00 increase in their yearly tax bill. For the most part, families in California will pay less than $600 per year in additional taxes to fund this measure. Again, not a fan of taxes, but if I am going to pay more taxes, then I want it going into our children’s classrooms- and this is the ONLY initiative that guarantees it. So what potentially does it mean for our kids in the Huntington Beach City School District?

Per the initiative website calculator, our elementary district alone would benefit as follows:

  • 2013-2014: $5,628,768 total or approximately $800 per student (at 30 kids per class that is an additional $24,123 per classroom!).
  • 2017-2018: $9,791,516 total or approximately $1,398 per student (at 30 kids per class that is an additional $41,950 per classroom!!)
  • 2023-2024: $13,246,336 total or approximately $1,892 per student (at 30 kids per class that is an additional $56,760 per classroom!!!)
Please note, these funds would be in addition to the mandated education funding, not instead of. It also requires by law that before funds are allocated and spent, all governing School Board Trustees are required to obtain community input prior to finalizing any plan. I like and appreciate the requirement for transparency, family and community collaboration. And maybe what is the best point is that our local board and community decide how to spend these funds based on what our schools and children need- not someone in Sacramento.

I could write on and on about this initiative and my passion for delivering our kids the best we can give them. However, I would ask that you check-out the Our Children, Our Future website which is choc-full of information.  

So what’s next, how do I help, what do you want from me?

Here is what we need- signatures of registered voters, tons of them, by April 10, 2012. 
 
Do you know six (6) people? Well, let me back-up. Do you know six (6) or more people (family, friends, neighbors, etc) that you could easily ask to sign the petition? They need to be registered voters and that is the only qualification- registered voter. If you email me or Regina, we can get to you the official petitions and quickly go over the signature gathering rules (not terrible) and if you would be willing to master a petition or two (6 to 12 signatures) we are able to take a giant task and spread it out to very manageable pieces. That’s it- that’s all we need from you.

First, thank you for reading this. Second, thank you for your support and membership in the PTA. Third, thank you for loving your kids and putting your (and their) educational trust in HBCSD. And finally, thank you for being open and willing to work with us to advance this initiative forward to the goal of making it to the ballot. Things need to change- if we don’t now drive the change in the direction required, everything stays the same or much worse. In the words of the great Wayne Gretzky, you will miss 100% of the shots you never take. Let’s not miss this shot- our kids are counting on us!

With greatest regard,

Bridget Kaub (advocacy@smithpta.org)
Smith and Dwyer Legislative Representative.
PTA Mom of a 4th grade student at Smith.