Righteous Anger Against School District Needs to be Kept Away From Measure K
Let's Not Make the Kids Pay
Emeryville residents have shown tremendous capacity for good will towards their schools in recent years; they elected to impose a special tax on themselves, twice, in the form of two back-to-back parcel tax measures meant to strengthen the academic curriculum and improve educational programs. In addition to this, they passed Measure J which will build a whole new K-12 campus at the Center of 'Community' Life, a project slated to cost taxpayers some hundreds of millions of dollars. Yet in spite of all the resident's good will, the administration of Emery Unified School District has remained highly dysfunctional, especially with regard to transparency and relations with parents and teachers.
The Tattler has long reported on the litany of abuses by Emery Unified, indeed even recently, we've shown how the District has not been truthful about Measure K, the same parcel tax proposal we now urge voters to pass. Yes even with this baleful history, we urge all Emeryville citizens to vote YES on Measure K because our school district, and the children we're trying to educate, will be massively degraded without its passage.
Measure K is not a tax increase, rather it will simply extend for 20 years the soon to expire Measure A parcel tax passed by Emeryville voters in 2007. The rate remains the same. But make no mistake, passage of Measure K is critical for educational prospects at Emery schools; fully 25% of the District's budget is dependent on its passage. Emery Unified is already cash strapped and a 25% hit would be devastating, possibly even existentially so.
Emeryville residents are right to be angry at the way Emery Unified has comported itself over the last several years. We like to think the Tattler is responsible for some of this righteous anger, reporting as we have in a seemingly endless stream of stories, the disheartening scope of administrative dysfunction here. With this reporting, we've always sought to inform residents but more importantly, to improve this school district. We must now make sure the anger is well placed and not let it spill over to harm the children. Simply put, we can't use the threat of removing critical funding as a weapon against those who have badly managed this District. We need to act as adults and vote for Measure K and we needn't see a positive vote as anything but an action to help with the education of our children. And after the November 4th election, we need to get back to our job of holding Emery Unified accountable for doing their job.
It's critical for educating our children: Vote YES on Measure K.