Editor:

Only the SMMUSD could have an increased budget including hiring additional staff and increased employment benefits while at the same time have a declining student population and continue to keep a disastrous district wide fundraising scheme. Given record state tax revenues, we should be reading about a budget surplus.

How about closing underutilized schools, not paying some administrators hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in salary/benefits, allowing parents to donate where they want, not allowing non-district students to attend SMMUSD schools and reducing the number of administrators and teachers to levels that are required to teach only those children who actually live in our district? These are all pretty common sense idea which would result in a budget surplus.

For too many years we have allowed, and even encouraged, out-of-district students to attend our schools on the argument that the state gives our district revenue for each student. While that half of the argument is correct, the SMMUSD always fails to add that the state revenue falls far short of the total cost of the additional student. All the out of the district students do is to help the SMMUSD justify higher staffing levels than we require to educate in district children. SMMUSD’s priority is the unions and not for the students or the tax payers.

I wonder how long it will be before we read about the SMMUSD suggesting we need new taxes to fund their continued incompetence. Enough is enough.

Linda Fineman
Santa Monica

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