The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District has placed Measure ES on the ballot to raise funds for improving and modernizing facilities.

So, this week’s Q-Line question asks:
Will you vote for the school bond or do you think the district is asking too much at a time when the economy continues to struggle?

Here are your responses:

“Of course I am going to vote for this measure. We don’t want a bunch of dimwits. Of course we need to vote to have this measure passed. The youth are our crowning achievement of our society.”

“Do you people feel like a pingpong ball being smacked around? First City Hall taxes, then SMC taxes and now another school tax. How much has that financially added up to in the last 20 years? Well over a billion dollars. Who pays for this? Not north of Montana. They use slick tax write-offs. Not the free lunches with four children they can’t support. No, it’s the shrinking middle class in this town. Next to City Hall, the school board is the most inept of public governments. Glass ceilings, affirmative action, gang banger love, bilingual education, PTA donations forced to level playing fields. No wonder Malibu is pissed off. … Support a new leadership that actual loves Santa Monica.”

“I intend to vote yes for Measure ES. I think the schools have been inundated with cuts from the unstable California budget. I think we need to pick up the slack in the community. It is important to keep our schools very positive and with lots of resources.”

“I will definitely vote yes on Measure ES, which will provide much needed facility and technology upgrades for Samohi and other schools in both Santa Monica and Malibu.”

“Absolutely not. There are so many areas of waste and incompetence. How about starting with eliminating the 3,500 non-resident permit students at a net cost after state reimbursement of $3,000 per student or $10.5 million per year. The school district needs to start thinking about how its spending and waste creates real economic hardship within the community.”

“I urge all property-tax payers to look at your tax bill and see how many thousands of dollars you are already paying in direct assessments to SMMUSD and SMC. Measure ES would be two times as much tax as Measure R. Direct assessments for SMMUSD would increase by over 40 percent with ES. You aren’t protected by Prop. 13 by these either. Maybe some wealthy people here can afford these increases, but I can’t and I don’t want to be forced from my home. SMMUSD is a special assessment tax addict and we cannot afford to continue supplying its addiction.”

“I am so tired of the school district trying to extort money from tax payers. Many of the world’s elite learning institutions (i.e. Oxford, Harvard, Cambridge) have buildings which are hundreds of years old and that doesn’t seem to impair their ability to provide an excellent education. They are also in climates far less forgiving than Santa Monica. SMMUSD, if you really want new buildings, then cut back on pensions and salaries and fund it through the savings.”

“Hell no! Every year our schools want more money. Most of the money goes to teachers’ and administrators’ ridiculous high pay and pensions and not to the kids. Our superintendent gets $400,000 in pay and benefits, the same as the president of the U.S.! Many other school officials are making over $200,000 plus benefits and pensions. It used to be that all public employees went into public service because they loved it and they enjoyed job security, but they got very low pay and no unions. Now our nation is being financially strangled by overpaid union employees and expensive pensions. … Last election, the schools said their failed tax measure cost half-a-million bucks and they held their rallies at schools. This is a political issue and school funds and facilities shouldn’t be wasted on political elections, even if it is a school issue. This is just plain wrong! The supporters last year claimed the election was close, however, they failed to mention that the opposition had little money and no public funds to waste, and that the schools ran a strong-arm tactic on parents to vote for it. Since only a small fraction of voters vote on local issues, it is amazing that it failed. What that really meant is that the great majority of people and almost all property owners were against it. Again the schools will use their underhanded tactics and public funds to screw over property owners, so please vote against it.”

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