Saturday, June 07, 2003

On the Educational Front: A Squeaker

In California, or at least in Santa Monica, not surprisingly, we now have a severe money crisis in public education. The well-regarded Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District currently faces a 13 million dollar deficit. Layoffs of teachers, nurses and librarians as well as the elimination of their award-winning music program were proposed. To ‘save’ the schools, at least for the moment, a parcel tax measure was placed on the Santa Monica ballot June 3rd. Requiring 2/3 approval, I think this measure barely squeaked by with an approval rating of 67.6%. At one point, local papers reported the margin of approval at 11 votes. Oy!

Due to the slim margin of approval, opponents vow for a recount.
Note: Coverage of this important election was limited to local Santa Monica papers;LA Times gave very little notice about this special election. Although I've never been a huge fan of the LA Times, I've noticed a definable decline in quality and quantity of local stories since the Tribune bought it a while back. This consolidation occured before this last FCC vote. I can't wait for the next consolidation.