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We need a leader

Posted: April 15, 2010 2:44 p.m.
Updated: April 16, 2010 4:55 a.m.
As one of the 72 people on the recent bus trip to Sacramento, I want to expound on statements made by Lila Littlejohn in her column series ("Two days in the capitol," April 1). She asked, "Isn't it the legislator's jobs, not the jobs of the people of Santa Clarita Valley, to get California out of its current mess?" In the following installment ("We can be part of the solution," April 4) she answered "Not at all."

For the most part, I agree.

Littlejohn mentioned that state Sen. George Runner asked educators to find solutions and bring them to our representatives. He also challenged the large, influential educational groups to come together to compel reforms.

This was the third year I have heard him say that. Most often, it takes the force of several strong voices to make changes. Those in education know what changes are needed and have voiced them. The biggest issue is the state-formula system that funds schools.
According to the Governor's Committee on Education Excellence, this system is so complex that the state cannot determine how revenues are distributed among school districts. They called it irrational, inequitable, inefficient and inadequate.

In recent years, two proposals were presented to replace the current maze of funding with a simpler program.

When I heard Runner say "our leaders" cannot make these changes alone, I agree - especially when it means some districts will receive less funding to equalize the formula. (Will representatives jump on board for reform if those schools fall in their districts?)

To institute change, there needs to be a leader. This is where our government officials need to step up. They are tired of schools asking for more money. I, for one, am tired of them asking us to bring them solutions, yet not acting upon them.

Someone in Sacramento needs to lead the change and stand up to special interests and fight for the bigger picture - what is best for all California students.


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