To the editor:
I share the concern of all residents of Scotts Valley that our taxes are spent wisely and effectively. Twelve years ago our family made a decision to make Scotts Valley our new home due to the outstanding school system. When we arrived, I was very surprised by the condition of Scotts Valley Middle School. A few months later we had an opportunity to vote on a measure to provide funding to upgrade school facilities. I was quite surprised the measure did not have the support of the key stakeholders and subsequently fell short of the majority needed.
I subsequently participated in task force meetings hosted by the school district to better understand school finances. Boy was I ever surprised by the convoluted method state funding was allocated and the restrictions placed on school expenditures. It was those experiences that led me to apply for a vacant position on the school board. The good news is the old-school funding formula has been replaced by the Local Control Funding Formula that ensures transparency and encourages community involvement in school funding decisions. Through this process every member of our community can see that there is no surplus in the school district’s budget.
From this austere position the district has examined the condition of all facilities and concluded that the middle school is in need of replacement; continued repairs are not cost effective. This conclusion led to the creation of Measure A that is embraced by community leaders and all stakeholders providing educational services in Scotts Valley. Currently, there are no state funds for the construction of new schools. There is discussion of establishing such a program, but it would operate on a matching basis. If a statewide program is established we will be competitive in securing our share of funds by passing Measure A and reduce our debit. In the meantime, the funds provided by Measure A cannot be taken away by Sacramento, will be overseen by a local advisory committee, and can only be used to protect the health and safety of our students.