Saturday, February 2, 2008

All Oakland Schools Need To Succeed Is More Money!

According to the Oakland Tribune, no one in the city is opposing Measure G, which would extend permanently the $195 per parcel property tax measure passed in 2004. What a load of BS. I'm pretty sure many if not most Oakland homeowners would oppose the measure if they gave the matter much thought.

  1. My first criticism of Measure G is structural. Since homeowners pay the tax, and most people who live in Oakland don't own their own homes, those voters perceive the measure as having no costs. If renters understood that this cost is passed directly through to them through rent costs, they might think differently.

  2. I defy anyone to find a significant set of people (who are not direct beneficiaries of the spending) who honestly believe more money will solve anything at OUSD. The school district is a complete joke because it has scared off all the good students. They refuse to open magnet schools which might offer high-quality education to gifted children. They refuse to focus on basic tasks like security and removing those kids who won't work to separate environments. Basically, beyond elementary school, no reasonable parent will send their kids to OUSD out of fear that doing so might literally amount to child abuse.

  3. Measure G is a con. We were told in 2004, and again back in 1996 when the first measure passed, that these would be temporary. Well, at least they're being honest now by trying to make it permanent. That was their goal all along.

The argument against Measure G is essentially that "drastic cuts" to services will take place if it fails. Well good. I hope OUSD faces drastic cuts. I always applaud when failing organizations are finally put out of their misery. We should defund OUSD to the extent possible until they're willing to take steps that actually have some chance of helping matters. I've blogged such suggestions in the past.

Measure G takes a 2/3 vote to pass. That means when you vote "no," it takes 2 votes to overcome you. Folks, all it takes is a few of us to stop this thing. Let's finally show OUSD that we want change, in the only way they actually care about--by taking away their pursestrings. At a minimum, let's start a debate about this thing!

The Tribune claims no one opposes Measure G. Nothing could be further from the truth. Historically such funding measures get between 70 and 75 percent of the vote. That's a lot of opponents. Let's get a real debate going and stop this terrible public policy.

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