Wednesday, October 21, 2009

La Cañada Valley Sun: La Cañada Flintridge, California

Around Town:
Ten reasons to attend the Oct. 6 forum
By Anita Susan Brenner

Calling all empty nesters! Attention, parents-without-kids-in-public-school!

The La Cañada Unified School District’s election will be held on Nov. 3. So what if you don’t have a dog in the fight?

Here’s the top ten reasons to attend the La Cañada PTA Council’s school board candidates forum to be held at on Tuesday, Oct. 6 at the La Cañada High School Auditorium, 4463 Oak Grove Drive. (Free parking.)

1. The school board election will be on Nov 3.

2. THIS IS THE FIRST ELECTION IN FOUR YEARS. The last one was waived — two candidates for two seats.

3. We almost didn’t have an election this time. Here’s why. Candidate Neal Millard announced his candidacy on July 9, but rescinded it after a board member told his campaign that if any new candidates run for office, the election would cost the cash-strapped district $75,000.

4. In September, the school board voted 3-2 to approve a $34 million budget.

5. How much is $34 million divided by $75,000?

6. The preceding question is a cost-benefit analysis of the public outrage (locally) when board members tried to encourage a candidate not to run, thereby eliminating the election. Some noted that $75,000 was earmarked for the election, which meant the kids couldn’t use it anyway.

7. Think of the kids! Think of their futures. Think of your real estate values.

8. The district revenue projection for 2012-2013, as reported here in the La Cañada Valley Sun, will be $2.95 million less than budgeted expenditures.

9. At the last board meeting, the effectiveness of STEP enrichment program, which serves 550 middle and high school students, was questioned by former school board member Ron Dietl. Dietl said that the district maintains a very short school day in comparison to other districts and that core instruction time should not be shortened to allow these students to practice yoga.

The board rejected Dietl’s criticism by a 3-2 vote.

10. Thankfully Neal Millard reinstated his candidacy after two other candidates filed. There are now six candidates for three open seats: Neal Millard, Dave Wilcox and Ernest Koeppen and incumbents Joel Peterson, Scott Tracy and Susan Boyd.

See you there!

La Cañada Valley Sun: La Cañada Flintridge, California October 1, 2009

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