Time to re-fund our schools
The socio-economic differences between Santa Barbara County’s South Coast and its “colonies” on the north side of the Gaviota tunnel are exacerbated when our southern neighbors get on their soapboxes against the industries our communities rely on.
The height of hypocrisy was on display recently as the Goleta School Board voted to oppose ExxonMobil’s request for a county temporary trucking permit. The trucks wouldn’t go through or even near Goleta and the school district doesn’t depend on revenues generated by the trucking. But the Goleta school board’s position would rob millions of dollars of revenues needed for schools in the northern part of the county.
As a former Santa Ynez Valley Union High School District board president, I understand the importance of property taxes that directly fund local schools. When the county didn’t allow trucking in 2015 after the pipeline was shut down, Santa Ynez High School lost more than $4 million dollars — $800,000 every single year and counting — a significant piece of the budget that led to losses of teachers and programs. Problems have been even worse for smaller schools with high numbers of low-income students, such as Vista Del Mar in Gaviota.
That’s why it’s critical that we support the approval of ExxonMobil’s temporary trucking permit to restart operations at the Santa Ynez Unit (SYU) facility.
According to a study by UCSB for the Santa Barbara County Chamber Coalition, an additional $4.51 million per year would be restored to County K-14 education funding through property taxes after SYU is able to restart operations. Many programs, like those at Allan Hancock College, are gateways to employment for students who don’t attend 4-year colleges.
Let’s be clear — trucking from SYU does not mean we stunt efforts in our drive for clean, renewable energy. Instead, it means we’ll rely less on dirty energy that’s imported from foreign dictatorships across thousands of miles.
I urge the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors to respect our community’s needs and approve the permit for temporary trucking, so we can re-gain essential jobs and revenues that support our children and schools.
Reckless decisions and our children
As an educator, I find the most recent decision to send our students back to school (at home) very disturbing. Students are under the purview of the district that they are attending, and the district is responsible for them during their school day.
To say that distance learning was a success in the spring is nonsensical. When one looks at LA Unified, second to the largest districts in the nation, only 60 percent of the students logged in to a lesson.
When we look at our district, the district seems to equate success with the percentage of logins. All of this has nothing to do with student success. Aside from "logging in" to lessons, no one seems to want to talk about the elephant in the room ... minors at home alone. With roughly 17,500 children in our district, many are actually at home alone.
Many parents cannot afford childcare and need to work. With this being said, an environment for victimization is being created, as so many kids are at home without adult supervision. God help us with the reckless decisions being made on behalf of our children!
Troubling double standard
While Barack Obama served as President he issued 212 pardons and I don't recall anyone complaining that he was showing a disregard for the rule-of-law, yet President Trump commutes the sentence of long time friend, Roger Stone, one of only 25 communications and pardons President Trump has issued, and he is singled out to be an absolute dictator.
Roger Stone was convicted of impeding and lying to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigators having to do with Russia colluding with the Trump campaign in the 2016 election, which has proven to be a complete lie and hoax.
The FBI sent 29 agents dressed in full tactical gear with weapons drawn in a pre-dawn raid on Roger Stone's home because he was accused of lying? Hillary Clinton lied in the Benghazi testimony where four Americans were killed and how many FBI agents were sent to raid the Clinton complex?
Brennan, Clapper, and Comey all lied before Congress, and were FBI agents sent to their homes? Congressman Adam Schiff spent three years lying to the entire nation that he had proof President Trump had colluded with Russia. Should he not be locked up? Do I detect a double standard here?
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