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Sunday, August 03, 2008

Parcel Tax Campaign Announces Two Prominent Davisites Have Been Named As Co-Chairs

The Vanguard received a press release from the YES on Measure W, "Yes for Our Students" campaign. It announced that Janet Berry and Judy Davis will serve as co-chairs of the Measure W campaign.

According to the release:
"Berry and Davis will be involved in the overall strategic direction of the campaign and its community outreach efforts. Janet Berry is a familiar and dedicated parent of children in Davis schools and Judy Davis is the just-retired principal of North Davis Elementary School."
Janet Berry is acting as a private citizen on this campaign. She heads up the Davis Schools Foundation which raised $1.7 million this year to rescue the Davis schools from huge budget cuts that would have forced many teachers to lose their jobs.

Judy Davis was a very well-regarded long-time principal at North Davis Elementary School and one of the most respected principals in the district. She just retired this year after returning for one additional.

Said Judy Davis:
“It has been my great honor to be associated with Davis schools for many years. It is the involvement of parents, volunteers and the extraordinary commitment of our entire community that has made Davis public schools what they are today. However, it is really important for people to understand that state funding for schools is dropping and that there is a genuine gap between the cost of educating our students and funds from the state. It is up to us to bridge the gap. At stake is the range of diverse educational programs that are offered today. Preserving quality will be determined by a vote yes or no on Measure W. It is really that simple.”
Said Janet Berry:
“The immediate future for education funding in this state is at best unclear. Additional cuts are likely but no one knows with certainty at this time. What we do know from our collective experience this past spring is that people in Davis care about children. They are committed to public education. And they are willing to support important programs and teachers in all our schools. What we learned during this period is that there is a structural budget problem in the District and we heard over and over that people expected a structural solution, like a parcel tax. That’s what Measure W is about and why I’m personally involved in the campaign. Voting yes for Measure W will provide the long-term protection for the classroom programs we saved this spring.”
School Board Member Gina Daleiden was very excited about the selection of Ms. Berry and Ms. Davis:
“Janet and Judy have both demonstrated extraordinary leadership in their commitment to Davis schools and protecting educational opportunities in our community. We are really fortunate to have them involved in our community effort.”
Measure W will be on the ballot this November. It will place an additional $120 per parcel per year tax on Davis Residents to fund core programs like the Elementary Science, Elementary Music, librarians, a few high school teachers, and the athletic program at the high school. Without these funds, DJUSD will be announcing once again potentially deep cuts to programs and teachers.

According to both polls from the District and the Vanguard this will be a very tough election to get over the two-thirds threshold required to raise taxes. Janet Berry and Judy Davis are excellent choices to help lead up what needs to be a very strong grassroots effort.

On Wednesday, the Vanguard Radio interviewed Former State Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin. We discussed the parcel tax, education, and the implications if this measure does not pass. Please click here to listen to the podcast.

---Doug Paul Davis reporting