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Lodi Unified School District shouldn’t spend money on programs we don’t need

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Posted: Thursday, June 16, 2011 12:00 am

It becomes “curiouser and curiouser.” I noticed the Lodi Unified School District decided to spend $37 million for a Green Tech Academy, not because we need it, but to expand curriculum offerings.

Green technology is based on sustainability, yet there is nothing sustainable about spending money we don’t have, for programs we don’t need, to provide results we don’t want! To me it’s like deciding to paint the Titanic after the order to lower the lifeboats.

From 1998 to 2006, I participated and respectfully provided inputs as a PTC (not PTA) president, a member of the Superintendent’s Advisory Committee and member of the curriculum council. I saw little that made sense and my input was ignored, with a polite “thank you.”

The LUSD budget went from $108 million when I became involved to recently $250 million (before reductions). During that same time and to the present, half of the high school graduates require remedial English and math on entering college. The best students still do very well; in site of the system, not because of it. Those who don’t have the resources or need more direction are being short-changed.

We need less spending and more sensible investment. Lodi is one of the best school districts, but the best of bad is not much to me, and a sad comment on what has become the education business. By the way, it has been documented in Spain and now Sweden that there is a loss of 2.5 to 3 jobs for every one new “green job.” Look it up.

In recent years there has been a predominance of retired or former education people elected as trustees. I think that level of representation becomes a de facto conflict of interest, more than a benefit of experience. We need businessmen and women, professionals, and farmers to sacrifice their time to be on the board. The taxpayers, parents, teachers and most importantly students are “being ripped off.”

Paul Verdegaal


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