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March 14, 2012     Feather River Bulletin
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Bulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter Wednesday, March 14, 2012 11B COMMUNITY PERSPECTIVE Education takes a village -- right now, right here WHEP,[E I STAND the same time I must cry out, ............................................................................................................. "How about some assistance GARY STEBBINS PRINCIPAL, GREENVILLE AND TAYLORSVILLE ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS This ancient African proverb teaches this basic truth. No man, woman, family or school is an island. We'd all like to think we live in a place where people care about others and our schools and where people pitch in to help when things get rough. This is certainly happening when it comes to the interest and dedication among many toward addressing the loom- ing school closure and related issues. The hard work of the 7- 11 committees is an example of a total community awaken- ing with one central goal of keeping education at fore- front of our community. At right now in the day-to-day operation of Greenville Elementary School?" The education of our children is the task of community as a whole, not merely the province of the teachers and local school administrators. Again, to put it as clear as I can, we need your help now! The task of educating children is indeed incumbent on all the members of com- munity. I am so appreciative of the few faithful volunteers that give us a hand each week. The kids light up when they see folks like "Mr. Guy, Mrs. G or Momma Linda and Mrs. Anna" and more arriving to assist. My father often told me how connected folks were with each other during the Great Depress ion. They had family and friends around them. Everybody was broke and so everybody was in .the same boat. And as everyone who is poor knows, there is nobody who is more generous than another poor person. So people helped each other out. Not only with the physical necessities of life -- such as food, clothing and shelter -- but also with the spiritual and emotional necessities. It's pretty awful when you feel like you are all alone and the whole world is against you. This is what it feels like at times for us working day to day in our schools. It does take a village, to assist with the school, to educate a child and weather the storms of life. If we want that kind of support, the place to begin is with our- selves. Community, like charity, begins with a strong home to school connection. You start building good schools when you yourself decide that you will be a good school neighbor. If you don't know anyone at your school, you can take the initiative. You can make yourself avail- able to do the hard work of connecting with kids. There are many things that we just don't have much control over. But like eating good food, building commu- nity connections with our schools is something that you can do, right here, right now, whether or not you have a job, an education or a car. Be the first one in your group to reach out and touch your school. Find a new sense of purpose and life on your community. Make your neigh- borhood school your village and find the truth that humans have learned the hard way. United we stand, divided we fall-- cooperation is as important as competition. I believe that during these times and in "our place," it's even more important. So while it is true to a great extent that teachers and school administrators are important for the education of the children, the other members of society also have very significant roles to play in the process of delivering education to the children. Especially for imparting values beyond curricular knowledge as responsible behavior, kinship, cama- raderie and sportsmanship, their role indeed complements the same of the teachers and other educational authorities. So thanks to all of you working hard to create a better future for our kids. At the same time please consider right here and right now. The kids are watching closely how the adults are behaving. This is the real lesson. If you would like to help as a school volunteer, contact Greenville Elementary School Principal Dr. Gary Stebbins (also known as "Dr. G.") at 284-7195 or gstebbins@pcoe. kl2.ca.us. You can also re- ceive credit through Commu- nity Connections; for more information, visit plumas ruralservices.org. Without teachers, students are an endangered species WHERE I STAND much weight in our educa- ............................................................................................................ tion as Dr. Segura and Mr. DANIEL HAYGOOD SOPHOMORE QUtNCY HIGH SCHOOL My name is Daniel Hay- good, sophomore of Quincy High School. "The" Quincy High School. The school I attend now is a Western Association of School and Colleges (WASC) accredited, quality, caring school. And that's the way I want to keep it. Along with the other 800 students of Plumas County. Our beloved teachers are in immediate danger of losing their jobs, but we are the real victims. Over the past few years, newer teachers have made a transition into our community. They are vital to our education and growth as a school. But it is every single teacher who holds as Harris themselves. The importance of this cannot be overlooked. Before we resort to drastic measures, perhaps we should take a look at the next level. The execu- tive level. Is everything being done in the district office building that can be done? Are proper cutbacks being enforced? Or, are the people we elected treating them- selves in a manner that differs from the way we are being treated? A week ago, the students of Quincy High School (QHS) demonstrated the strength of our commitment to our teachers, old and new. Our voices were heard. I stress the enormity of devastation that this impending decision holds. Letting go of these teachers will hurt us in ways you have not thought of. Imagine yourself in Miss Frediani's classroom at QHS. Look at all the banners hang- ing up on her walls..Texas Christian, UC Davis, Santa Clara, Lewis and Clark, Notre Dame. This is our legacy. And when these teachers go, where will we go? AP classes drop, clubs disappear. Sports programs vanish one by one. Then the students start to go. We've heard the threats in the hallways: "Oh, I'll just go to Chart." "I'll graduate early and get a GED." "Maybe I'll drop out." The students of Plumas County will band together to keep our schools successful. We need the board to listen to us. And you hold the key. What you saw Friday, Feb. 24, was just a small example of our dedication. Together we ar strong. We love our teachers and will show it no matter the consequence. I am one voice of many who struggle to keep our children in their seats, learn- ing from the ones who have earned the right to teach us. I would not be standing here before you today if any one of the teachers was not doing his or her jobs as best as any other teacher in the world. Every one of them has earned my respect and every single other student's re- spect. They are one aspect we just cannot afford to lose. I beg you to hear me. There is a solution to the economic strife we are in, but it does not reside in the letting go of our valued friends, the teachers. I am calling (for) support, not just for my fellow stu- dents. I am fighting for the future. The posters around the QHS campus state, "Lose our teachers, lose our educa- tion." Education is the future. We are the future. And' from what it looks like no w , we are in danger of the school board limiting us and keep- ing us from reaching our full potential as American citizens. Just because we can't vote yet doesn't mean we aren't counted on the United States census. If anything, we are the most important part on that form. You are putting all of the social and economic and wartime problems upon our backs. The national debt won't go away on its own. But that's where we come in. We are the problem solvers! It's inevitable. So if you're interested in the future of America, I recommend you give us everything you can. Don't hold back one single fact. Prepare us for the task we face as we are sent off to college. As the protectors of education, it is their duty to make sure each and every student gets the education we so fully deserve. Under their watch, a new description of the students of Plumas County has emerged: Endangered species. Editor's note: Haygood deliv- ered these remarks at the Sat- urday, March 3, meeting of the four 7.11 school closure committees. Thespeaker's scholarship p!an. too good to be true? WHERE I STAND warranted. Ifa recent pro- ............................................................................................................ posal by Speaker John P6rez GEORGE RUNNER MEMBER, ST/TE BOARD OF EQUALIZATION There's an old adage that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. When it comes to politics, it nearly always is. Say for instance a politi- cian told you he could lower the cost of sending your kids to college by two thirds. You'd probably respond, "Great. What's the catch?" Your caution would be becomes law, you might get some help with those soaring college fees, but don't count on your kids finding jobs once they get that diploma. The speaker's proposal, which he's dubbed "The California Middle Class Scholarship," would impose a $! billion tax hike on "out-of- state" businesses to provide financial aid for college stu- dents. The plan targets a 2009 tax formula change that only became effective last year -- after California voters rejected a November 2010 ballot measure that aimed to repeal it. In his own words, the speaker claims: "We're closing that loophole that only benefits out-of-state corporations at theexpense of the rest of us in the state. And we're taking that benefit and directing it to middle- class families who are struggling to put their kids through college." Sounds good, right? But there's always a "catch:" This time there are at least three: First, many "out-of-state" companies, including manu- facturers, retailers and others, have significant investments in California and employ mil- lions of Californians. Like it or not, imposing a billion dol- lars in new taxes -- without offsetting tax cuts -- will tempt these companies to downsize their California presence, costing countless jobs. Given that California already has the second highest unemployment rate in the nation, that's not the brightest idea. Second, college costs aren't fLxed. When Californians lack jobs, revenues fall. When revenues fall, politicians raise college fees. Imposing new taxes on struggling job creators will only make this cycle worse, increasing college fees further. Plus, if the state's revenue picture gets worse, the speaker's program could be cut too. Third, taxpayers are foot- ing the bill, but California's hostile business climate increasingly means college graduates must leave Cali- fornia in order to find jobs. The speaker's "middle class scholarship" won't create middle-class jobs in Califor- nia; instead, the tax hike will educate the future workforce of Arizona, Oregon and Texas, to name a few. Don't get me wrong. Educa- tion is vital to the future of our state and a college educa- tion significantly improves one's prospects of finding a See True, page 12B LETTERS to the EDITOR Guidelines for Letters All letters must contain an ad- dress and a phone number. We publish only one letter per week, per person and only one letter per person, per month regarding the same subject. We do not publish third-party, anonymous, or open letters. Letters must be limited to a maximum of 300 words, The 'editor will cut any letter in excess of 300 words. The deadline s Fr day at 3 p.m. (Deadlines may change due to holidays.) Letters, may be taken to any of Feather Publishing's offices, sent via fax to 283-3952, or e-mailed to mail@plumasnews.com. Time to resign It is time for Superinten- dent Harris to resign. My wife and I attended the 7-11 combined meeting March 3 in Greenville. We witnessed a very impressive group of citi- zens from across Plumas County engage in a monu- mental volunteer task to pro- tect our children's education. The group consisted of par- ents, students, teachers, ad- ministrators, superinten- dents, business owners and citizens of every description. Their ideas and advice would have been instrumental to the function of any business either public or private. However, after listening to each report and every com- ment, the same theme keep repeating. Nobody seemed to have even the slightest idea of the current financial condition of our school district. Every attempt to gather credible information from Superintendent Harris and his staff was met with stonewalling and even contempt. The task that the 7-11 groups had rammed down their throats is impos- sible without knowing the district's actuai finances. The list looks to be long that brings into question Superintendent Harris' lead- ership and judgment. A reasonable person could con- clude that Superintendent Harris has long crossed the line between making hard decisions in a difficult time and poor judgment. Unfortu- nately the citizens on our school board must trust the judgment of their administra- tor. If they cannot, they have no choice but to demand an immediate Tesignation or cancel his contract for cause. If the people of Plumas County can't trust the judg- ment of their school board member then they have no choice but to replace them. The unsubstantiated rec- ommendations of Superinten- dent Harris and his staff will place our children in educational and physical harm's way. The harmful effects will touch our chil- dren, families, communities and businesses. Call, write or attend the school board meeting and communicate your concerns to your school board member. David Schramel Taylorsville Questions I have a question without an answer (actually, I have several, but this is the one that's currently driving me crazy). Ed Code No. 44955 (that's ' the law) says that a school board can only fire the same percent of teachers as the percent of declining enroll- ment over the last two years. This makes complete sense to me; if you lose 10 percent of your students, you should then lose 10 percent of your teachers. Two years ago, our ADA (average daily attendance, a somewhat contrived number) was 2,019.06. As of Jan. 1, 2012, that number of students was 1,946. That amounts to a decrease of about 73 students or approximately 3.62 percent of all students. That corre- sponds to a legal loss of a maximum of 4.5 teachers from our district. So how can this school board lay off 35 teachers? Isn't that breaking the spirit as well as the letter of the law? How did we come to this ludicrous and devastating place? Okay, well, I guess that's three questions, but, really, they are all part of the same conundrum. Is there an answer? Is there any accountability for this drastic and devastating harm? I fear not. Dennis Hintz Quincy Community blessing It's my desire to congratu- late the volunteers of Plumas District Hospital who faith- fully serve at Quincy's Bargain Boutique. It is so much more than a thrift store ... hence the name '?boutique." I have frequented the store often in its "barn" on Lawrence, and been impressed by its cleanliness, orderliness, decor and friendly staff. Now that it .has moved to Main Street, and occupies at least triple the space (in Gordon's old store), I can hold in no longer my enthusi- asm -- people need to hear about it and come see! These precious, fun and helpful women who always dedicate time, energy and commitment to the fund- raiser (or friend-raiser) for the hospital have gone above and beyond expectations. They have contributed long hours of physically demand- ing work: moving, painting, decorating, sorting, cleaning -- they even painted the floor! An artisan-seamstress stitched new draperies for the new fitting rooms; and stylish racks were purchased from Ayoob's. The list of projects and their completion of same is too numerous to mention here. A definition of leadership is servanthood. These women have bent over backwards to serve and accomplish this move, retain the store's charming characteristics, relentless in their ethic of teamwork, while showing courtesy and respect to their patrons and customers. I applaud their many efforts and look forward to "donat- ing" to our hospital in this capacity. Shopping there is like kissing babies: it raises your endorphins! See Letters, page 12B # Contact your elected officials... PLUMAS COUNTY SUPERVISORS - 520 Main Street, Room 309, Quincy, CA 95971; (530) 283-6170; FAX: (530) 283-6288; E-Mail: pcbs@countyofplumas.com. Individual supervisors can also be e-mailed from links on the county website, countyofplumas, com PRESIDENT - Barack Obama, the White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Washington, D.C. 20500. (202) 456-1414. Fax: 202-456-2461. E-mail: whitehouse.gov / contact / U.S. SENATOR - Dianne Feinstein (D), 331 Hart Senate Office Bldg., Washington, D.C. 20510. (202) 224-3841; FAX: 202-228-3954; TTY/TDD: (202) i 224-2501. District Office: One Post Street, Suite 2450, San Francisco, CA 94104; Phone: (415) 393-0707; Fax: (415) 393-0710 Website: feinstein'senate'gv' U.S. SENATOR - Barbara Boxer (D). District Office: 501 I St., Suite 7-600, Sacramento, CA 95814. (916) 448-2787; FAX (916) 448-2563; OR 112 Hart Bldg., Washington, D.C. 20510. (202) 224-3553. FAX (202) 228-0454. U.S. REPRESENTATIVE, 4TH DIST. - Tom McClintock. 508 Cannon HOB, Washington, D.C. 20515. (202) 225-2511; FAX (202) 225-5444. mcclintock.house.gov. DISTRICT OFFICE: 8700 Auburn Folson Rd., Suite #100, Granite Bay, CA 95746; (916) 786-5560, FAX: (916) 786-6364. STATE SENATOR, 1st DIST. - Ted Gaines. State Capitol, Room 3056, Sacramento, CA 95814. (916) 651-4001, FAX: (916) 324-2680. Roseville office: 2140 Professional Dr., #140, Roseville, CA, 95661. (916) 783-8232, FAX (916) 783-5487; Jackson office: 33 C Broadway, Jackson, CA 95642, (209) 223-9140. STATE ASSEMBLYMAN, 3RD DIST. - Dan Logue, State Capitol, Sacramento, CA 95814, (916) 319-2003; FAX (916) 319-2103. District Office, 1550 Humboldt Rd., Ste. #4, Chico, CA 95928; (530)895-4217, FAX (530) 895-4219. GOVERNOR Jerry " Brown, office of the Governor, State Capitol, Suite 1173, Sacramento, CA 95814. Website: gov.ca.gov/ (916) 445-2841. FAX: (916) 558-3160. I |