Friday I arrived at Longfellow School too late to see the full demonstration against Governor Schwarzenegger's proposed school budget cuts. Citizens, parents, teachers and children had been outside all day in the hot sun, waving signs and chanting. I'm told the protesters filled the lawn from one end to the other, while motorists passing on Washington Blvd. honked their agreement: "Don't Cut Our Kids Short."
Already, the kids in my neighborhood sell candy and magazines door-to-door just to go on a field trip. When I was a kid I was a student, not a salesman. How can we give them so much less than what we had?
The smiling man in the middle of the photo is our new Pasadena School Board President, Tom Selinske. He's only just been elected, and he's jumping in feet first. Which is good, because his hands are going to be full. The Governator's got his hands full, too. A budget's a complicated thing and California's in deep financial trouble.
Some might say what happens in Pasadena's schools doesn't affect me because I don't have kids. But good schools in my town raise my property value, and in the bigger picture they enhance my quality of life. When I become a demanding and feisty old lady, I don't want a bunch of drop-outs hanging around, looking for feisty old ladies to pester. I want educated people policing my streets, governing my city and especially managing my health care.
I sound selfish, don't I?
I can help by voting to allocate money to schools, when given the opportunity on a ballot. What else can one person do? Your thoughts?