Tuesday, October 23 , 2018, 4:40 pm | Fair 74º


Bill Cirone: Giving Thanks for Community Support for Local Schools

Public education in California stands at a watershed moment, created largely by three major events.

First, the public’s passage of Proposition 30 last year infused the state with the revenues needed to shore up our public schools after years of cutbacks in services from severe financial shortages.

Then came the creation of a new funding model for schools, which is truly revolutionary in its priorities and focus, giving schools more leeway in how their funding is spent, and allowing for much more local control and influence.

Finally, the new Common Core curriculum has quickly become a game-changer in terms of how teachers teach, what teachers teach and how students learn.

Combined, these items create a synergy much greater than each item alone, making this a very exciting time for public schools and students, infusing new professionalism and enthusiasm into our classrooms. Everyone wins.

None of this could have happened without the public’s support.

As we celebrate the season of Thanksgiving, we would be remiss if we didn’t thank the members of our communities for their strong support of children, families and schools.

This nation was founded on the premise that all adults in a community were to fund the schools that would serve all the children. Our founders felt we must care about the education of other people’s children because they would eventually be the ones tending the fields and providing the services. Today’s children are the ones who will fly the planes, repair our computers, build our homes and staff the ERs we will all depend on in time. Consider it enlightened self-interest to provide an excellent education to all.

That is the pact we make as adults in a democratic society. We never stop being grateful that community members continue to honor that solemn and lofty commitment.

On behalf of the entire educational system in our county, I offer thanks to members of our community for their support of our classrooms and schools. I also thank our teachers — the unsung heroes and heroines in every community — for the daily miracles they create countywide.

I hope this is the start of a happy holiday season for all.

— Bill Cirone is Santa Barbara County’s superintendent of schools. The opinions expressed are his own.

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