I just posted this over there at Lauren Do‘s blog, in response to someone’s suggestion that the school district is living beyond its means:
Sometimes I think we might be looking at this in all the wrong ways. Maybe we should be asking what do we think public schools in the (arguably) richest nation in the world should provide: instruction in reading, writing, science, math, music, physical education–support for children who have special needs and support for children who are gifted. If we think that children ought to have these things, that our democracy and our nation is based on educating our youth–future citizens who will one day be running this country–then we might ask how much does it cost to provide real schools? And, because the state is not doing it, the pressure is on, if people want functioning services, to raise taxes locally. Public institutions–just like people–are imperfect, but the bottom line is that AUSD has been making do with very little, and less and less each year, and if we want to live in a place that’s safe and comfortable, and if we want our property values to continue to rise (or fall less) then we need to pay for the services that draw people to live in our community.
And I do agree with myself. Imagine! If we want Alameda to continue to be the place that it is–cozy, functional, safe–then we need to pitch in; we need to work together to support the institutions that make Alameda Alameda.