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Letters: Spreading the public school wealth

May 03, 2013

Re "A split of haves and have mores," April 28

The Laguna Beach Unified School District has an inequitable funding problem similar to the one faced by the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, which seeks to distribute money donated by wealthier parents to less well-off campuses.

Enthusiastic parents in my district collect millions for our already incredibly wealthy school district. I routinely propose sharing our funds with our much less wealthy neighbors in Santa Ana, but this suggestion is met with either blank stares or nervous laughter.

This is a reflection of our country as a whole, where a growing concentration of wealth is increasingly in the hands of a few. Instead of a more equitable distribution of both wealth and opportunity and all boats rising, wealthy people no longer feel a responsibility to help the rest of the population.

Ultimately, this will be the downfall of us all.

Jennifer Horsman

Laguna Beach

Attempts by Gov. Jerry Brown and others to provide less well-off students greater opportunities by shifting some school funds to poorer districts will always lag as long as some parents (and I don't begrudge them their ability) have the money for a $100 dinner ticket and a $200 golf tournament fee, money that winds up in their own children's public schools.

And it isn't just the money. Sometimes these wealthy donors or their spouses have the spare time and skills to provide needed volunteer services. In other school districts, how many parents can make the extra effort?

Legislation alone cannot give certain strengths to all public schools.

Wendell H. Jones



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