Union Democrat staff

Consolidation backed

To the editor:

Thankfully, unification of schools is being discussed. While some unifications have not been fiscally positive, some have.

In Tuolumne County we have 16 Schools and 12 districts. It's true that unification would give some teachers raises, and would that be so bad?

But the big savings is in cutting administrative costs. I would hope we could hire superintendents with enough competence to manage our schools with one or two assistants and support staff, which significantly reduces our current investment in 10 superintendents and their staff.

We would also be able to consolidate school boards, which would streamline decision making and further cut expenses. Unification would allow for consolidation of transportation, supply ordering and possibly food service.

Interdistrict transfers would be a thing of the past, and rather than laying off good teachers we would have the flexibility to move them to a different school if appropriate. Besides, shouldn't our community be concerned about all our county's children, not just every school for itself?

Wouldn't it be nice to hear more about improving our children's education and less about each child's dollar value to each district? It can only be positive to stop looking at kids as head count to boost one district's ADA over another.

Tuolumne County should investigate merging into one or two districts based on current and projected demographics. Appropriate district lines need to be drawn to support the area's growth patterns for future years.

It is time to stop funding extra bureaucracy and spend our money to educate our children. An investment in our children's future will not only improve their education, it will improve our community.

Robyn Moore

Twain Harte

Prop 2 revisited

To the editor:

Now that the rabid dogs that supported Proposition 2 have their pound of flesh, all the animals will be protected from those ignorant, backwards meat eaters - but not until 2012.

What? No, no that can't be right. So no chickens and bunnies to run in the vast fields of California? No, wait: California farmland is being torn up for new subdivisions and they're all completed and filled with families with more on a wait list, right?

If those who brought Proposition 2 to the ballot and who spent all the money on the crusade had thought of what that money and energy and time could be spent on, they could have put it to other uses to help animal kind. For example, the bush meat trade in Africa. The animals involved are nearing extinction, or does that not matter because it's not in America? What about monarch butterflies, polar bears and so on? Proposition 2 is just like any two-bit villain in comics or bad TV. First conquer here, then the world.

Now that's not to say that the industry of producing food for terrible meat eaters is not without sin and should actually be monitored and held accountable. The FDA can't even make peanut butter safe. Where was the CDC on this or on the e coli outbreaks? Is the goal of Proposition 2 to run farmers out of California?

If so, let us start now. Pave over every square inch of California. Outsource agriculture to other countries (those suited for such work). But then where would the bunnies and chickens run free?

Tom Griffiths