In one day, California voters will decide the future of public education in our state. There has never been an election that stands to affect our children more. If voters do not approve Proposition 30, students in LAUSD will lose three weeks of school this year right away and we will be forced to make cuts to programs that will be devastating. Tens of millions of dollars from conservative donors from outside California are sponsoring television ads that are deceiving voters. These ads have brought polling on both Proposition 30 and Proposition 38 below the 50% threshold.
Our children can’t vote. But their dreams and future hang in the balance in this election. And so does our value system. Those of us who believe in public education have four days to reach as many voters as we can. We have only four more days to share the stories of our students, their families and our neighborhood schools.
LAUSD has endorsed both Proposition 30 and Proposition 38. There has been a lot of debate back and forth about which pathway to revenue is better for our schools. There has been a lot of drama about what would happen if both propositions would pass. None of that matters now. If we reach voters who care about public education, I am confident they will vote to restore revenue to our schools. The alternative is unthinkable. And as with any issue pivotal to children, our most vulnerable students, our families already coping with the impacts of the great recession will suffer the most. These families have no child care options. They cannot hire tutors to make up for the days of lost instruction.
Our students can’t defend themselves at the polls, but we can make a difference during this next week. We have identified literally hundreds of thousands of voters that are directly connected to LAUSD students and/or our school communities. If we turn out all of these voters on November 6th, it could affect the outcome of the election. We can’t leave a single school-connected vote on the table.
This week I have been criss-crossing the district talking to parents, high school students , adult schools and communities about the importance of voting next Tuesday. You can follow these visits on my Facebook page. I need you to get involved as well. Here is what you can do:
- Sign, distribute and collect our “LAUSD Votes 2012” pledge at: zimmer.laschoolboard.org.
- Commit to talking to at least five additional eligible voters about the importance of the election.
- Use Facebook and all forms of social media to help turn out voters at your school site.
- Share your voting stories or your students’ dreams so I can use them in our campaign.
Our students are counting on us in ways they never have before. We have cut more than we ever should have. Our schools can’t endure anymore. We are 47th in the nation in per student spending. If Proposition 30 fails, we will be dead last. Our school-connected votes could make a difference if we work together over these five days. I will continue to update you and share the stories of this campaign as we move forward.
LAUSD Board Member District 4