Re "Funding schools fairly," Editorial, Jan. 16
Gov. Jerry Brown should ask himself who will be left to buy copy paper and Kleenex when the middle and upper-middle classes finally abandon the public school system.
In choosing to give more money to poorer districts over middle-class ones, how much of the money will be spent on overpriced consultants and administrators? How much might fall prey to fraud, waste and private companies out to make a quick buck?
Balkanizing public schools is not the answer. Every student deserves a clean, safe environment, small class sizes, passionate, knowledgeable teachers, up-to-date textbooks, investment in technology and educational requisites based on the belief that the future of our state requires electricians, film editors and preschool teachers as much as it does doctors and lawyers.
Re "Let schools raise own funds," Column, Jan. 17
George Skelton thinks Brown's proposal to distribute more money to schools that serve poorer students is like "robbing Peter to pay Paul."
Peter and Paul are teammates who must help each other for their mutual benefit. All of California's schoolchildren will ultimately fail if we don't help those who sorely need it. Saint Peter said we must demonstrate "brotherly kindness." Saint Paul said we must "bear one another's burdens." Helping is not robbery.
We all succeed or fail together. If California doesn't help now, we'll be beyond help later.
Steven A. Royston
Skelton's call to lower the threshold to 55% from two-thirds voter approval for new parcel taxes to pay for school operations seems to be an easy answer to solving budget problems. Skelton should look at his property tax bill.
I live in the city of Los Angeles and have 12 special assessments over and above the base property tax bill. These assessments add an additional 33% to the cost of my property taxes.
Lowering the voter threshold to 55% would result in open season on homeowners. Increased property taxes would depress home values, make homeownership less affordable and force out fixed-income owners.
A better solution is to go with a broader base and develop a fee or a tax that applies to all citizens or beneficiaries of particular government services.
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