Measure K — whose future is it?
October 9, 2012
Ninety-two dollars a year. Per parcel. For five years. That's the big negative for most homeowners when it comes to Measure K. Another tax. Another dollar.
Those dollars, however, will stay in the community, going directly to the Pleasant Ridge Union School District, with expenditures overseen by a citizens' committee.
It's easy to blame bad bookkeeping and poor planning. We shouldn't continue to pay for other's mistakes and mismanagement. But should we shrug this off and simply let the kids pay for it?
The state has withheld $5.9 million owed to the district over the last four years, and the schools have been struggling to make ends meet. Measure K would put $920,000 per year into school enrichment programs — programs like music, visual and performing arts, libraries and librarian services, technology, woodshop, gifted and talented education, and sports.
We cannot simply depend on Proposition 30 because that will only help maintain the status quo of the core curriculum, not the enrichment programs.
These programs aren't the core academia. But they are the ideas and activities that give kids a sense of direction, self-esteem, and inspiration. They cultivate leadership, problem-solving skills, teamwork, cultural appreciation, and life skills for the 21st century. Once programs are cut, they rarely come back.
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It's an easy initiative to shrug off, specifically if you don't have kids. We may have taken for granted the district's effect on a community. It's rated one of the best in California and has attracted dozens and dozens of families and businesses to the area and raised our property values. It is a district comprised of three schools, making it one of southern Nevada County's largest employers.
We can save this outstanding district and our community by agreeing to a tax of only 25 cents per day.
We cannot simply depend on Proposition 30 because that will only help maintain the status quo of the core curriculum, not the enrichment programs. Without Measure K, kids will lose out. Our kids. The community's kids. These are the kids who will grow up to be our doctors, our firefighters, our mechanics, our veterinarians, and our business owners.
These are the kids who will further strengthen the community in the near and far future. $92 is a hit for five years. We can take a small hit now, or let our community, our kids, our future, take the hit for generations.
Katrina Paz lives in Grass Valley.
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