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School Board Independence Supported

October 31, 1985

The season is timely for noticing how many school board races are in motion, and what is being talked about by the candidates. I'm sure that readers want to count the candidates according to how they are grouped on issues. It is easy to see that money and budgetary problems are prevalent everywhere in valley school districts.

The candidates in the Claremont School Distict race at a meeting of the League of Women Voters Forum presented a solid block in favor of launching a statewide initiative to be placed upon next year's ballot. That initiative would seek to establish a floor for state funding of local school district budgeting.

All who would aspire to write that initiative, whether in Claremont or any of the many school districts which would join the movement, need to remember and to be reminded that the funding for which we seek to establish a floor is money for local decision making by school boards. State sources of money for education now make up 85% of our budget decisions through categorical funding for specific uses. Our statewide initiative should aim, with its wording, to ensure the independence of school boards. Current state funding practices make such independent decision-making quite improbable, and often impossible.

Jack E. Venderley

CLAREMONT

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