Nothing bold, nothing new
The seminal message delivered at the Ramona school board meeting on June 7 was that the problem is the unions. While concessions from the unions will certainly be part of it, the real solution is much more complex. Too bad that the administration and all but one of the school board members were willing to turn away from the reality, and instead cast a stone at a politically reliable target, public unions.
Dawn Perfect, the lone dissenter in approval of the 2012-13 budget, remarked courageously that the administration had failed to produce a plan toward future solvency, paraphrasing here. The county schools executive told the board that the deficit projections are “huge” for years ‘13-14, and “beyond belief” for ‘14-15. They warned that if the school board fails to rein in the budget the state will take over and everyone will lose, particularly our children.
They cautioned that RUSD must budget assuming that the state school bond will not pass in November, because to do otherwise would be irresponsible.
The public urged bold action such as closing a school and changing to a year-round system and then, as if nothing had been said, the school board approved the budget that contains no initiatives for a long-term solution. Nothing bold, nothing new.
The school district is hoping that the unions will agree to a permanent pay reduction of 13 percent and huge reduction in benefits. Such a cut would create an annual $2.7M in savings against a $1.3M shortfall this coming year, $8.5M and $18.5M for the subsequent two years. The numbers don’t add up in the long term and it appears that few at the district are really worried about it. Asking the unions to sacrifice so that the inevitable calamity will be delayed only a year is unconscionable in my view. Like Rome burning, the administration appears monolithic while the place falls apart around them.
The administration and school board are apparently oblivious to the fact that the district administrative pay is way out of line with reality, with the superintendent at the helm with a salary that is larger that that of Governor Jerry Brown.
As if to throw a faux bone to the unions, the administration is convening a board of themselves to examine a 12% percent cut of administrative pay. The hawks are watching over the henhouse.
A particularly sorry part of the meeting was the board members asking the county executives for what sounded like absolution regarding the current crisis.
The executive assured the board that the school district had done nothing wrong, and that the problem was entirely caused by the state. Never mind what has happened they said, it’s not your fault. This seemed to please everyone on the board, except Dawn Perfect, and the board voted to accept a budget that won’t solve anything. How sad for our children. Nothing bold, nothing new.
Living on Animal Farm
America’s robber barons can now buy a U.S. Senator for 3 million and spend 30 million to prevent getting a governor recalled.
Let’s be honest, fellow Americans. The robber barons and their plutocracy/oligarchy/fascist police state rule everywhere in the land because they have their truckloads of bribe money, and the result is we all live in 1984 on the Animal Farm and anyone who still believes America is still a republic needs a brain transplant.
Eight percent of the voters in the 50th Congressional District agreed with me that America is owned and operated by the robber barons and their stooges and until the American people regain their republic, America’s serious problems will not be resolved.
We remember Ryan Morgan
This past week, Ramona lost a treasure, Ryan Morgan.
I knew Ryan as a third-grade student and watched him grow and mature into an outstanding adult. We all deeply mourn this tragic loss, and our hearts extend out to his family.
No words can explain or comfort the loss of a son or daughter.
Ryan will always remain an inspiration to all of us. He was a man of character and determination. We will miss him greatly.
God bless his family and friends.