Yes for schools

Endorsing Measure B: Darrell Steinberg, Dave Jones, Roger Niello, Jack O’Connell, Heather Fargo, Bonnie Pannell, Sandy Sheedy, Ray Tretheway, Grantland Johnson, Roger Dickenson, John McGinness, Dave Gordon, Bill Camp, Rob Kerth and more.

When is one better than four? When you’re counting school districts in North Sacramento.

It was 75 years ago when a school district structure was formed (multiple school administrations and superintendents at the elementary and high school level) to serve a diverse group of rural communities in the north area of town. Since then, North Sacramento has changed, merged, grown (17,000 elementary and 14,000 high school students) and made obsolete the old way it organized its schools.

So here comes Measure B on the November 6 ballot to beg the following questions: Why have four school district administrations when you can have one? Why have four superintendents? Why have 20 school board members and dozens of other administrators duplicating services, when you could instead decrease bureaucracy, reduce costs, improve coordination between schools by choosing to have just one modern unified school district for the area?

Well, these are rhetorical questions, but you get the idea. A “yes” vote on Measure B will create one unified K-12 school district that will include Rio Linda Union School District, North Sacramento School District, Del Paso Heights School District and Grant Joint Union High School District. Most importantly, the new district will be eligible to receive an additional $15 million each year from the state after the unification. Hint: That’s money that can go into the classroom instead of funding more administrators.

Despite an unprecedented level of support from community leaders and North Sacramento district board members, the passage of Measure B is no sure thing. In fact, there have been seven attempts to unify the school structure in the north area since 1946 … and all have failed. The difference this time is that the district’s leaders seem finally to have come up with a unification plan that works for everybody. Existing districts will be dissolved and a new seven member board of trustees will govern the new district, with board members living in the areas they represent to ensure local concerns are met. (The Elverta and Robla elementary school districts chose not to be included in the unification, so they’re not and can come into the district at a later date if they decide to do so.)

The students in the north area deserve a school system that makes sense for today. So let’s get this one passed. Yes on Measure B.