In the past weeks, I’ve been dishing out a fair amount of criticism regarding our elected and appointed educational administrators without providing a whole lot of possible solutions. This is because, for the most part, I have tried to focus mainly on pointing out the problems, rather than turning people off with a solution that caters to a specific political ideology.
For example, if I were to propose a solution of raising taxes across the state to make up for the $4.8 million deficit in educational funding, I would probably cause a couple of people to ignore me, and my views on the education system, completely.
However, this week I have decided to break away from my standard mode of operations and provide my readers with an opportunity to make a small, but valuable, difference in our current educational crisis.
In the past months, the Davis Joint Unified School District has realized that help from state-level administrators is not coming, and that the responsibility of maintaining the excellence of public education has been left to the individual citizens of the district. This bleak, but necessary, realization has given rise to the Davis Schools Foundation’s “Dollar-a-Day Campaign,” which gives concerned citizens the opportunity to donate just one dollar a day, or $365 a year, to close the staggering $4 million deficit facing the district.
With the funds collected by the campaign, the district hopes to salvage hundreds of teaching, secretary and librarian jobs that would otherwise be cut due to budget shortcomings. According to the Davis School Foundation’s website, the $4 million that the “Dollar-a-Day Campaign” would raise could salvage the jobs of 24 high school teachers, 14 elementary level teachers, four music teachers, two librarians, four secretaries, three counselors, four district staff officers, as well as athletic programs across the district. Without these positions the district faces the possibility of overcrowded classrooms and a staff that is generally unqualified to handle the specific needs of its students.
As of Apr.21, the “Dollar-a-Day Campaign” has raised $733,000, which will be used to salvage at least 12 of the positions mentioned above. My first, and possibly last, call to action for my readers is to research the “Dollar-a-Day Campaign” at davisschoolsfoundation.org, and possibly even make a donation that will preserve the integrity of California’s public schools. The foundation estimates that if every student’s family were to make a $365 donation the district would receive an additional $3.08 million annually for additional programs. Even with these ideal circumstances, the district would be facing a deficit of a little under $1 million.
However, this figure does not consider the very real possibility that concerned onlookers from the UC Davis community would take it upon themselves to help salvage California’s public education system and contribute as well. Together, the university and Davis communities have the potential to greatly impact the lives of current high school and elementary school students, while also sending the state capital a message that, as citizens of California, we refuse to stand by and watch as the importance of our educational institutions is marginalized by government officials.
JAMES NOONAN isn’t used to taking a stand and offering tangible solutions, so go easy on him this week. If you must rant, do so at email@example.com.XXX