Ramona schools in world of hurt

By Debi Klingner

I am typically an absolute “NO!” vote on anything that raises taxes for any of us; however, this election I have been persuaded to vote YES on Prop. R. Our schools are in a world of hurt thanks to the bureaucracy and layers of governmental intervention. We have so many programs that are duplicative, way too many school districts (over 40 in San Diego County!); most teachers are underpaid for their value—in other words, bureaucracy that no one in Sacramento has the desire to unwind.

I received a letter from Ramona High School informing me that the after-school programs were in jeopardy of not continuing because there weren’t enough kids getting free lunches. Yes, the after-school programs are funded based upon the number of low-income families enrolled in the school!! Huh??

OK, so our STATE has completely screwed up the system, but it is nevertheless a mess, and the Ramona district, as all the San Diego districts, are at the bottom of the food chain. Whatever you may think about the school board, they don’t have $60 million in excess money to allocate otherwise. The only way to fix it locally is for Ramona residents to care enough about our children, Ramona’s future as a community, and property owners’ land values.

I’ve been in the master planned community development business for over 20 years. The reason folks move into new communities is not really the pretty house, it is the quality of schools.

It’s ugly, it’s out of control, but Ramona, we have ONE option, that’s it, period, one chance to get our classrooms for the next generation safe and up to date. It’s expensive, it stinks that it is our only option, but a NO vote means more degrading of the schools, degeneration of land values, and more families with children either not moving to Ramona or leaving Ramona, or going down the hill to other schools. Is that the message Ramona will send? Please think long and hard at the ramifications of this vote.

Debi Klingner is a Ramona resident.

   
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