Sensible Talk Front Page Archive for May 2012
May 30, 2012
Next week, voters who live inside the Pasadena Unified School District will be asked to vote on Measure A - a proposal to change the way that school board members are elected in the district. Many of my friends in the district are supporting Measure A and writing articles to persuade you to do the same.
But I am voting 'No' on Measure A and would like to try to persuade you to oppose this measure, as well.
Measure A would create seven geographic districts for Pasadena Unified school board seats. If the measure passes, voters would get to elect only the school board member who represents their geographic district, instead of getting to vote in all seven board races, as we do now.
One of the basic rules of politics is that elected representatives are responsible only to the people who elected them. If Measure A passes, we would go from having a school board where every member was accountable to the entire district to one where every member would be accountable only to a narrow group of voters within particular neighborhoods. That's not good for the community-wide consensus-building that our school district sorely needs.
Proponents of Measure A say that school board members still would be legally bound to act in the best interests of the entire district. Well, members of Congress and the state Legislature are bound by similar oaths and obligations. Have you ever seen any of them vote in the interests of their district, instead of the country or state as a whole?
I thought so.
The Pasadena Unified school board faces some excruciating decisions in the next few years. Our broken system of paying for K-12 public education will force the board to make deeper cuts to school budgets. And a declining number of school-age children living in the district should be forcing the board to make some tough calls about closing schools.
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