Education Is on the Ballot in San Diego this November 3rd

by on October 26, 2020 · 0 comments

in Education, Election, San Diego

By Jim Miller

What can you do to help education in a time of crisis?  Well, as I’ve written here in a couple of other columns, the most important thing is to vote Yes on Proposition 15, which would bring in $12 billion a year statewide and around $700 million to our region.

Given the lack of any new revenue from the state and federal levels, our schools and colleges are about to get hammered by budget cuts and years of austerity if we continue to do nothing.  And that, in turn, will be bad for the economy and the social fabric of our communities.

Proposition 15 is the only game in town in terms of answers at this point.

In my columns, I’ve noted that Prop 15 would leave homeowners untouched and (corporate talking points aside) it only affects commercial properties valued over $3 million.  But far more important than the anti-15 campaign’s diversionary argument is the devastation that awaits our educational institutions if Proposition 15 fails.

Thus, if you care about education in California, voting Yes on 15 is the most important thing you can do this election. Prop 15 will help boost our schools with a permanent revenue stream that will aid in promoting a just recovery from the current crisis.  A generation of young people are depending on it.  Vote Yes on 15 to fund a better future for this generation and those to follow.

Gregg Robinson

In addition to this, there are a few more races way down the ballot where you can elect and/or re-elect career educators to education and college boards.

In the San Diego County Board of Education, District 1 race, you can elect occasional OB Rag contributor and life-long college educator Gregg Robinson.  Robinson was defeated as a one-term incumbent after Alice Walton of Walmart fame dropped in a boatload of money at the behest of corporate education reformers.  Help defeat his Republican opponent and put Robinson back on the County Board of Education so the interests of students will come before the whims of a Walmart heiress.  While you are at it, re-elect career educator Guadalupe Gonzalez in District 2 who served students with great dedication for many years at Mesa College.

In the San Diego Community College District, where I work, both Bernie Rhinerson in District B and Mary Graham in District D deserve to be re-elected so they can continue to guide the District through what are, at present, difficult times in higher education.  Their experience as both thoughtful, veteran board members and educators who care deeply about our students is exactly what the moment demands.

Two of my other exemplary colleagues in the San Diego Community College District running for education boards also merit a nod: City College Professor, Elva Salinas in Area 2 of the Grossmont Union High School District and Miramar College professor Adrian Arancibia in District 2 of the Sweetwater High School District.  Their passion for education and understanding of student needs is just the kind of thing you’d hope for on an education board.

In the San Diego Unified School District, where my son attends high school, I urge you to support the teachers’ choices, Sabrina Bazzo in District A, Richard Barrera in District D, and Sharon Whitehurst-Payne in District E.

While our current situation is far from perfect, I appreciate the fact that all of these present and aspiring board members are committed to resisting the political pressure to “reopen” hastily, and are, instead, driven by what the public health experts advise and what the current resources (or lack thereof) allows, particularly with regard to testing and tracing.  Sacrificing safety for expediency is not an option.

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