Measure K spells ‘Board Bailout’

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Is It For Our Kids? On the few lawn signs that I’ve seen around the community supporting the passage of the school board’s Measure K, there is displayed a sentimental slogan: “It’s for Our Kids.” Its use is meant to invoke a sentimentality that the community should pass the measure, because, don’t we love our kids and grandkids and want them to be successful in school and later in life? Aren’t they worth investing 50-cents a day for them to be successful?

But, do not be fooled by such heart-tugging sentiment. Because nothing could be fiscally further from the truth.

It’s not about the money. Most homeowners can afford it. But, it’s whether the community can trust board members to spend this money wisely. And based on their past spending record, it doesn’t look like we can.

Most of funds raised, if not all, will be used on behalf of the adult staff in the district–to support their past compensation increases of almost 50% and to continue to pay for the district’s increasing STRS/PERS contributions.

District staff’s cost of employment is now taking almost 90 percent (89.8%) of the district’s revenues and its annual pension-payment increases still have a few years to go. This should not come as a surprise to anyone-especially board members–as the governor clearly laid out these planned increases years ago.

Deficit Spiraling Out of Control—In the 2016-17 school year the board’s spending deficit was over $4,800,000–almost 7% (6.95%) of its revenue. In the just released report, closing out last year’s school budget, it showed that the board had spent over $7,000,000 more than it received in revenues—this is the largest deficit ever recorded in our district’s history–almost 10% (9.8%) of all district

Astonishingly, board members have deficit spent more in the past two fiscal years–almost $12,000,000 ($11.96M)–than in the previous five years combined ($9.06M). So the budgetary balance is not getting any better, it is getting worse. And the deficit seems to be spiraling out of their control.

All this over-spending might be understandable if the State had been cutting our local funding. But over the last six years, the State has increased our district’s funding by over fifty-percent—well over $20,000,000.

Board Bailout—So parents, voters do not be fooled by Measure K supporters’ sentimentality, it is not about “our kids.” Measure K is all about the adult employees in the district.

Our kids will not see much, if any, of the money generated by Measure K.

This measure is nothing but a seven-year, $16,500,000 board bailout. A bailout to cover over board members’ years of lack of fore-sight and poor decision-making in their continued mismanagement of the district’s reserve and general funds.

Vote NO on Measure K

—George Laase

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