Let’s take back our schools – starting with a solid NO! on the Chico Unified school bond, Measure E

29 Sep


I like the “shell game” analogy for public finance because it describes the use of multiple, sometimes dozens of designated funds to move money around and change it’s legally allowable uses. For example – years back, the Chico voters agreed to float a bond for Chico Unified School District for the specific purpose of building a third high school. The two existing high schools were, and still are, miserably inadequate. Families like mine were promised that if we all agreed to pay a bond on our property taxes there would be another school by the time our kids came of age.

My kids came and went, no new high school. Chico Unified used legal shenanigans to redirect the money toward various and sundry and undocumented uses, all over the district, fixing “this” and repairing “that”. The money on record doesn’t begin to add up when you do the rabbit math, but whatever. The public gets what the public is willing to swallow. 

What the public gets, specifically, is a $200,000/year plus Superintendent of Schools who totes a $taff of $100,000/year plus “assistants” who each tote their own $taff, etc, etc, til all the money’s gone. See, every time the public approves another bond, $taley and her $taff give themselves raises all the way around, and then  bake up another argument about how they need yet another bond just to run the schools.

Here’s how they get away with it – over recent years, the legislature has changed the wording of the rules for bonds. Here’s what the California Education Code currently allows for the use of bonds – borrowed money that costs $3 for every dollar borrowed:   “The construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or replacement of school facilities, including the furnishing and equipping of school facilities.”

According to political reporter Chris Reed in Cal Watchdog,  San Diego schools have interpreted that to mean laptops, iPads, “and the most routine maintenance, such as painting and minor repairs.”

Why not?” you might say.  You might be among those who can’t say no, based on your love of children. You might say, “No expense is too great for our kids!”  Well, I would say to you, stop and think before you step into that voting booth.

A whopping share of our property taxes already goes toward our schools –  over 40 percent of the state’s General Fund, in fact.  Why can’t they operate within that budget? Because on average, over 90 percent of a district’s budget goes toward “compensation” – salaries and health benefits. In Chico, with over  20 administrators making more than $100,000 a year, I guess you can imagine which salaries we’re talking about. 

The loose wording in these bond rules allows the district to pay for everything but salaries with bond money, leaving over $36 billion dollars – the schools’ share of the General Fund –  to spend on salaries, health benefits, and pension payments.  

Kelly $taley is looking to raise another $78 million to feather her retirement nest, in addition to the millions she siphoned off our property taxes with her  third high school ruse. This woman’s greed knows no bounds. If we continue to allow her and her friends to run our school district  this way, our children will pay for it for the rest of their lives. 

In her request to the county clerk to add the measure to the November ballot, $taley asks  that “we not be assigned the letter ‘F'”.  In this case, ‘E’ is for ’embezzlement.’  Please vote NO on Measure E. 

Read more at http://www.calwatchdog.com/2012/09/24/what-school-bonds-pay-for-from-san-diego-to-burlingame-the-crime-is-whats-legal/

and http://clerk-recorder.buttecounty.net/elections/archives/eln27/27_local_measures.html#a



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