Letter to the Editor:
This November, voters in Burbank will have plenty of propositions, measures, and individual candidates to sift through and vote for, and I encourage everyone to do their due diligence in researching the issues.
But possibly the most overlooked race could be the election of two Burbank Unified School Board Members.
Unless you currently have a kid in BUSD schools, it’s likely you’re unaware of the problems facing our district.
Let me preface this discussion with the fact that I’m a BUSD parent and our schools consistently rank in the top categories across the country or when directly compared to our neighbors. However, there is room for improvement. We struggle to address the safety of black and brown students, the concerns of LGBTQ students, and the accessibility needs of our disabled students. Thankfully, our Board is taking great strides in these areas to address the systematic inequalities that have plagued school districts like ours for generations.
And while many qualified candidates will speak to the very real benefit of DEI and better hiring practices (and other less-qualified candidates will distract you with false narratives about CRT and book banning), the only way forward to address the needs of our students and to stay competitive in today’s market for high quality teachers and staff is a local tax on large corporations to fund our public schools.
Both Measure QS (2018) and Measure I (2020) received 64% of the vote, missing the 2/3 mark by just a hair. However, both these tax measures fell on homeowners and small businesses alike, which is why many folks did not support them.
Instead of going after working class Burbankers to fund our schools, I’m calling on every serious candidate running for School Board to demand large corporations like Amazon and Walmart finally pay their fair share in taxes. We are hemorrhaging good principals and teachers every week because we can no longer pay competitive salaries. Our extra-curricular activities like the GATE program have been slashed or eliminated in most schools. We are failing our students because we refuse to stand up to big business. That ends now. I’m asking the School District to put forth a $1/ft² Parcel Tax on all properties over 250,000ft² citywide. This would raise over $10 million annually while protecting homeowners and small businesses.
This November, I will be voting for any School Board candidate who is willing to go after the real money in this town so we can actually pay for all the training and DEI resources we desperately need. It’s time to put our money where our mouth is and support the children of this great city.
Vice Mayor and BUSD Parent
Vice Mayor and BUSD Parent