News has come down the pipeline that the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District is going to experience somewhere in the vicinity of a bazillion dollar shortfall over the next two years, and that all bets are off on what's going to have to be cut. At first we parents thought we were looking at our kids losing art and music instruction (bad, but not devastating) and were worried class sizes would go up (which they very likely will). Now word is that one of the three Malibu elementary schools might have to be closed. Whoa. This is serious stuff, folks, and a direct result of the California legislature's inability to vote on a budget for many months now, resulting in a $5.3 billion statewide reduction in education funding next year, as well as voters' clear message when defeating five May 19 ballot measures that education isn't going to be a priority in these hard economic times.
I really dread becoming one of those mothers who goes on ad infinitum about her children's schools, but this is serious stuff, people. The only comparison I can make is the austerity measures of 1970s school districts in New York, but even then I don't remember music and art getting cut. Here in our district, we're all in wait-and-see mode, wondering how big the axe is going to be when (not if, but when) it falls. Which should be some time this summer, probably while the girls and I are in Iowa, a state that actually does care about education funding. And legal gay marriage. If only it weren't so damn cold there most of the year.
In the meantime, the first-grade spell-o-rama of random high-school-level words continues. Here's Eden's list of words to study for the weekly test tomorrow: