Sunday, December 11 , 2016, 5:03 am | Mostly Cloudy 57º


Bill Cirone: Passage of Proposition 30 a Vote of Confidence in Local Schools

We are very grateful for the remarkable showing of support from the citizens of California for public education in this state, demonstrated by the passage of Proposition 30.

We are particularly grateful for support from the citizens of Santa Barbara County for the measure — passing it by a 12-point margin, 56 percent to 44 percent, as well as several local school initiatives: Measures A, which garnered 69 percent support, and Measure B, with 70 percent support.

Thanks to the support for Prop. 30, schools will be able to finish out the year without cutting school days or further reducing resources for our students.

It is widely acknowledged that Santa Barbara is home to what can only be described as true gemstones: the University of California at Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara City College, Allan Hancock College and a K-12 school system, all of wide renown.

UCSB is ranked among the very best public institutions in the land; SBCC has always been a jewel in the state’s community college system and was recently ranked 10th nationally; Allan Hancock similarly wins awards and respect far and wide; and the K-12 system recently posted test results for academic performance that underscored once again its achievements and successes with our young people. These are simple facts.

The quality and caliber of our local educational institutions are magnets that draw people to our community. These institutions form the basis for the economic health and vitality of our area, as well as our social fabric. Together they held provide a framework of support and add value for generations to come. We all know that part of what sustains our democracy is education; an informed electorate is essential for sound decisions on the job, in the home, and in the community.

The passage of Proposition 30 helps avert what would have been draconian cuts to our educational institutions. It is no secret that members of the educational establishment were passionate about the passage of the measure. We had hoped the public would view passage as important as well, and we are extremely grateful that that turned out to be the case.

In fact, the public continues to show strong support of public education, and passed the measure even in the face of millions of dollars that poured in to oppose it. The public saw through the strident arguments and recognized the real bottom line, which was supporting our students and stabilizing the state’s economy.

Does this solve all our problems? Of course not. But passage of Prop. 30 gives us a strong base for moving forward. It will make a positive difference for our students, our schools, our communities and our state.

The school districts and institutions of higher education in our county are very appreciative of the support shown. We are convinced it will make a very real difference for the better.

— Bill Cirone is Santa Barbara County’s superintendent of schools.

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