MUSD Unification Efforts Hit Snag

Back on May 8th, a story related to the unification efforts of the school district appeared on The Californian’s website. You can read the story here:

http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2008/05/09/news/californian/menifee/z7c398ad81115bfb688257444000212c5.txt

I meant to post an article related to this article when I first read it. For some reason I didn’t get to posting the article and forgot about it until yesterday, when I was reading comments under the Modified Single Track School Year Survey topic.

Basically, the article covered the fact that the Riverside County Committee on School District Organization voted on May 8th to recommend against unification to the California Department of Education. The committee’s recommendation was based on a study conducted by a private consultant.

However, the committee’s recommendation does not mean the unification effort is dead. Unification of the high school with the elementary and middle schools has been a top priority of the school board and it is something the community wants.

A small bit from the article:

One Menifee school board member who has spearheaded the drive to bring Paloma Valley into the Menifee district said he believes the state can be convinced the move is feasible and will not adversely affect the students in either district.

The numbers are close, said Fred Twyman, who also teaches at Paloma Valley High School.

State education laws dictate that high school students should make up at least 25 percent of the students in a unified district, and the report showed that Paloma High students would constitute just shy of 24 percent of the Menifee district's students, Twyman said.

As for the financial aspect, he said Menifee had agreed to compensate the Perris district for the loss of students that now go to the Perris district's Heritage High School. But, he said, the consultant discounted that agreement, arguing that it was premature.

Also, Twyman added, the consultant stated in an earlier meeting that his approach was conservative and that the state has disagreed with his findings in the last.

"This isn't dead," Twyman said. "I still feel OK about it, and I'll still go to the state (to
lobby)."


I like Twyman's optomism in this. But I am a bit confused by his comments regarding compensation to Perris for the loss of students that go to Heritage. Does this mean that students currently attending Heritage would be sent to Paloma when district boundaries are changed, or does it mean that Heritage is would also be included in the unification process?

And of course, a news story just wouldn't be a news story if it didn't have something discouraging to say:

Whatever happens, it will not happen quickly, said Rollin Edmunds, a director with the county Office of Education. Even with the committee's blessing, the state does its own analysis and can take up to seven years to rule on a proposed organizational change in a school district, Edmunds said.


I don’t know what the next step in the process is or when it takes place, but I certainly hope the Department of Education doesn't drag their feet on making decision. And I also hope they can be swayed to find in favor of unification.

There is a joint school board meeting between PUHSD and MUSD on June 19th at Bell Mountain Middle School.




37 Comments:

  1. Unification hits a snag because the Twymans failed to do their homework! It was not financially feasible to begin with because of the Education Code's requirement to 'level salaries' between the two unifying school districts!

    Where are the efficiencies in that? Why can we not capture savings by unifying? Why do the Unions have to demand that their 'salaries' be increased to the highest level of the unifying districts? That is outrageous and is no way to run a business! My business would be broke if I had to bow to that type of demand.

    If the staff and employees of both MUSD and PUSHD want unification then they should be willing to GIVE UP the salary leveling aspect of the Ed Code and the Collective Bargaining Agreements!

    The taxpayers of Menifee will soon run out of patience when they find that the largest share of PUHSD's property tax revenue comes from MENIFEE HOMES...Guess what..that percentage will only increase as we continue to grow!

    To all parents of school aged kids in Menifee... get a clue on this issue and DEMAND that unification happen!

    In Response To 'Anonymous 6/13/08 9:42 pm'

    You are still missing the point. Twyman promised and did not deliver! That is both Twymans... Fred for MUSD and Carolyn for PUHSD.

    One of the biggest financial aspects of the transaction is the 'leveling' of salaries between the two districts. That is the biggest arrow in the quiver! This stupid, ludicrous, outrageous mandate by the Education Code (and Unions) that states that salaries must be leveled as a result of unification is a waste of our taxpayer dollars and is the current Achilles Heal of the Unification Process.

    The Teacher's Union is 'ruining' public education with their outrageous demands for continued salary increases, step and column increases (which are automatic and do not reflect performance), and health & welfare benefits that are outdated from long ago management philosophies! When you add in that Menifee is experiencing 'flat' to 'declining' enrollment... the salary isssue, especially the stupid 'step and column' increases, results in the District ACTUALLY LOSING MONEY as a result!

    No one runs a business this way in America! This is the fleecing of Menifee's youth at the expense of the Teacher's Union.

    Wake up and smell the Starbucks...! The Twyman's have failed to deliver on their promises to unify because they did not educate themselves on the process and what it will take to successfully make it happen!

    Further, don't even get me started on the Bond Debt that we would assume for the construction of Paloma Valley High School. Hey voters! Remember Measure Z?

    Thought so!

    So...what is the saving grace for Unification? You - the Taxpayer! If the CDE fails to allow us to unify, then we as the citizens of Menifee can sign a petition (equal to 20% of registered voters) to put "Unification" on the ballot for voters to decide!

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  2. Thank You Anonymous -

    I was unaware of the requirements of leveling the salaries between districts. This is the kind of information I like to see in posts. You've provided information and sources I wasn't aware of that will allow me to further my own research.

    But, and maybe I shouldn't ask this, isn't calling the Twyman's out a little harsh? Remember, there are five members of the Menifee school board. I'm not sure about Ms. Peters' views on unification because I've never had a chance to speak with her and I've never read anything regarding her views about it. but at least three of the four other members of the school board have been pushing for unification as well. Wouldn't that make the other members of the school board just as guilty of not doing their homework, or are you turning Twyman into a scapegoat because he's currently the president.

    Ultimately we have the same point of view. We want to see unification and we want to see it for the same reasons. My opinion is that our reasons are the right reasons, but I'm obviously biased in regards to this issue. And we want to see it yesterday instead of seven years from now.

    If for some reason the state doesn't allow us to unify, please e-mail me. I'll get out there and help you collect those names on petitions to get unificaton on the ballot.

    Todd

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  3. Let me be the first to state that education is not perfect, but people need to get off of the "union" being the problem with education. It is typically naive conservative rhetoric. The problems in education are not overwhelmingly difficult to understand, but substatially scarier. Society, these days, does not value education. Parents act as though their children are their best friends, not their CHILDREN. Parents don't enforce homework, and deny their children little in terms of possessions. It isn't uncommon to see students who has bad grades still recieve cars, motorcycles, video games, etc... As a teacher it is very disturbing. My parents would have hurt me if I had the work ethic of some of these students today. Parents need to be parents, and not friends. Being friends is easy, being a parent is the hardest job in the world. Look at yourself, before you blame education, teachers, administrators, etc...
    As for unions, I will admit that they are not perfect, but if you know your history well enough, you know that the purpose of unions is to level the playing field between management and the workers. It protects the rights of the teachers and the needs of the students. Without strong teachers unions, politicians could easily balance budgets on the backs of teachers and students, that would be a bad thing. Stop comparing "business" and education. They are two drastically different entities. Private business is not required to higher employees with learning difficulties, discipline issues, mentally disabled, etc... and then blamed for the struggles of said students. As for the complaining of taxpayers, over 50% of a districts budgets goes to services for Special Ed., which is no where near what is actually neede, but districts make due. The remainder of the money goes to running the district, teacher salaries, benefits, etc... Before you go and whine about the abuse of your tax dollars, you need to learn the actual expense of education. Teachers don't live high off the hog, we spend more money on supplies than we recieve, and we tend to stay silent when the rest of society makes ignorant and naieve statements. There is no easy solution to the struggles of education. Public education is a monster. The requirements of the courts, states, federal government grow each year, yet ironically the amount of money said politicians contribute either stays the same, shrinks, or increases at about 1/10th the cost. I love teaching children, but the ignorance of society, including parents and politicians, is what causes over half of all new teachers to leave the profession within 3 years. You want to change education, look at yourself first, and then remember that our system is not free, nor cheap. It isn't an easy fix.

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  4. I'm amazed by all the knowledge coming forth from Menifee247; ON EVERY SUBJECT ! Steve has hit upon a goldmine by allowing comments for keeping neighbors informed and learned. I enjoy it almost as much as my regular newspaper now and maybe more! The unpolished and untainted truths and rumor clarifications for validity the 'anonymous' are privileged to input is sometimes off the cuff...but then we have ones who are able to help us clarify and 'truthalize' it. I APPRECIATE STEVE'S GENUINE DEDICATION TO THE COMMUNITY !

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  5. I am getting a little saddened by the faceless nay sayers that are too ashamed of what they say to put their name to their words.

    I always do my home work. I did take in to account the need for leveling salaries. The unification process requires the state to give additional money to unifying districts so they can make their finical obligations.

    Unfortunately the nay sayers have drawn out the process so long that now there are not enough high school students living in the Menifee area for the state to automatically give us the 6 million additional dollars. This includes the students that go to Heritage HS from Bell Mt. There are so many new young families in moving in that this makes more elementary students than high school students.

    This is the first year we don't make the 25% prior to this year we would have easily made the grade.

    HHS will stay in the future Romoland Unified district. The Menifee students who go there will continue to go to HHS until Menifee or Perris builds another high school in Menifee on the east side of the 215. Menifee will build it if we unify and Perris will build it if we keep dragging our heels.

    Your argument makes no sense. It has nothing to do with Unions. Unified districts always get more money per student than Elementary districts and High school district always get more money per student than Unified districts. It matters not what the union says. Check out www.ed-data.k12.ca.us

    You also don't understand the unification process. It takes 25% of the voters not 20% to start the exact same process that I talked a majority of the two school boards into starting. The petition must still go through the county and state studies and hearings. A voter petition will not automatically put unification on the ballot.

    I already collected 5400 signatures before I decided to run for school board. However, with only myself and a few friends getting 25% of the voters signatures in a growing area was a full time job and my family needs my time more.

    Unification is a big train. If few people push it, it moves very slowly and takes a long time to get where its going. If many people push it then, it moves faster and takes less time. Unfortunately, people are not coming out of the wood work to help push the Unification train.

    Keep in mind if I hadn't taken up the Unification banner then we would be nowhere in the process. At least now we have a start and are going to the state in the next step. Anyone that wants to join me in this effort would be welcome. Or if you want you can take up the banner yourself.

    I always give out my number to answer any questions or hold meetings to promote unification. so here it is again. 951 378-5458

    keep in mind that's
    Fred Twyman not Anonymous.

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  6. You can also check out www.Menifeeunified.com

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  7. Thank You Fred for your input as well.

    I also read elsewhere that a lot of people are under the impression that we would have to absorb the outstanding construction debt for PVHS. But aren't those of us in Menifee already paying for those construction costs?

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  8. Yes, the only thing that would change with unification is that instead of our tax dollars that are currently being paid, going to Perris, they would go to the New Menifee Unified School District to pay the mortgage on Paloma.

    Some vindictive individuals have said that I am pushing Unification because when the district became unified I would get an increase in pay. This is untrue since the Menifee teachers are the lower paid teachers (elementary districts get less money that High school districts) Only the Menifee teachers would be brought up to the pay of the high school teachers. Because it would make no sense for a district to have two different pay schedules.

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  9. In Response to "Mark June 14, 2008, 8:10 am"

    Mark...Sorry pal but, you're wrong! Your CTA is exactly what is killing public education in California today. Automatic pay increases without any regard to performance whatsoever is against the American Way! Why should you get another pay raise just for living and breathing for another year? Where is the sanity in that?
    What industry in America does that anymore?

    Your contention that 50% of the school district's budget goes to Special Education is inaccurate. On average, 82% of EVERY school district's budget in the State of California goes toward salary, benefits and total compensation. I agree that Special Education and Transportation encroach on the General Revenues, however, spec ed is not 50%!

    Don't get me wrong. Teachers have a very, very difficult task educating our youth. Why? Because your UNIONS are what is killing public education! Have you ever worked any other job in your life besides being a teacher? Have you ever met a payroll? Have you ever contributed to the bottom line of an organization and thereby producinng a good or commodity that contributes to meeting a payroll? NO...you have not!

    California once ranked in the Top Ten in the United States in public education... Now, we're at 38 and, we only graduate 65% of our entering 9th graders by the time they are Seniors! IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH PER PUPIL SPENDING! Wake up to the union rhetoric California!

    There are two very critical socioeconomic factors, in my view, that are killing education in the formerly great state of California:

    1: Illegal Immigration; and,
    2: The California Teacher's Union.

    So my friends... go ahead and continue to "Press 1 for English"!

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  10. I don't believe that the union is what is killing the education. It might certainly have increased the cost of education, however. But what is lowering education in California is a lack of passion for learning. That's something only the student and the parent can take care of.

    What can school districts, or the State do to make parents and students more enthusiastic about learning? Maybe have the State give parents $100.00 in Lotto scratchers for every "A" that their child earns? Doesn't the State earmark Lottery profits for education?

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  11. I would like to ask Fred Twyman when or if he will resign from the school board now that he is on the city council?

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  12. Anonymous needs to have some courage and state his name. When parents act like parents and take responsibility for their children, then you can base teacher pay, on performance, until you suck it up and take responsibility for your offspring, as I do with my own, then you have no right stating that teachers get pay raises for breathing.It is an ignorant statement. I appreciate your anti-union conservative stance, but where exactly have the unions caused education to diminish in our state? Proof, your is it just the typical rhetoric of unions blackmailing taxpayers for higher wages for no work. You are right about automatic pay raises for the private sector though, but if you look at the average pay of teachers versus workers of the same or less education in the private sector, teachers make substantially less. Our reward comes from seeing our students succeed, and if that means I don,t get to buy a large, lifted, truck with lots of motorcycles and toys, then so be it. I can die knowing I al least tried to make a difference in society. Most of the dislike of unions comes from flat out ignorance about history. Unions have always been the great leveler between management and workers. Unfortunately too many people failed to understand the past and gave more and more power back to employers. Education, Fire Departments and Police don't have the power to strike so the unions serve as the middlemen between employers and employees. They make sure pay stays stable, not grand, but stable. Before anyone decides to support the nonsense that 'anonymous' spouts I encourage each of you to volunteer time at your local high schools, middle schools, and elementary schools. You will understand everything I have stated more clearly after experiencing the joy, pain, frustration, and sdness that educators go through on a regular basis. As for special ed spending, special ed spending is done at district/school level, not state or county. Paloma might not have 50% of it's funding going to S.E., but districts such as LBUSD, LAUSD, and other major urban school districts, funding for special ed accounts for 50% and more, in some cases, of an individual schools budget. Having been a teacher for more than ten years, I can vouche for the amount of money spent on special education. People need to remember that districts are responsible for services for mentally challenged and physically challenged students in our society from ages 3-25.All ADHD students that need assistance get assistance from districts. Students who have needs that districts can't provide have to fund the services for that student elsewhere. When I worked in L>B> we had a student who had a condition that the courts ruled could be dealt with better by a private firm in San Diego. It cost the district $500,000 per year including, tuition, travelling expenses, tutors, etc... and this was just one student!Now I am not saying that every dollar is spent wisely, but we must remember that a vast majority of the money is earmarked before the schools see a dime, and are told what they can spend the money on. We don't get blank checks and told to buy what we want.
    Ilegal immigrant children do cost a substantial amount of money, but you should be dealing with your Senators and Congressmen with that, because districts and unions hve no power over federal entities. We have to teach, and pay for all students, legal or illegal that come through our doors. Unions aren't the enemy, politicians and the ignorant are.

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  13. Joe, oops I mean Anonymous,

    Call me any time I would be happy to tell you my plans. 951-378-5458. Anyone that has the simple manners to introduce themselves is welcome to any information I have.

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  14. Mark,

    Thank You for chiming in. As with just about anything these days, there seem to be "three sides to every story".

    And to anonymous - what difference does it make if Fred Twyman resigns his position? I may be wrong, and Fred can feel free to correct me if I am, but I thought I read somewhere that he has already said he probably wouldn't seek re-election to the school board if he was elected to city council. His term as a school board member is up this year anyway.

    If you see so much wrong with how Fred Twyman has handled his duties as a school board member, perhaps you can run for one of the school board positions up for election this November. There are a total of three spots up for grabs, including Fred Twyman's.

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  15. To the ignorant an obviously uneducated anonymous person who hates teachers. No one will ever know what we go through and have to put up with in teh classroom unless they are teachers themenselves. If they only knew the kinds of issues our students face at home and then we expect them to forget all of that and start learning.

    Way to go Mark!. Im proud to be a teacher because like u stated, the reward comes when our students succeed due in large part by us teachers.

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  16. Mark it is the unions that have started this and while it may not be entirely their fault they have something to do with it. Please take you mouth out of the kool-aid and hear me out, we have teachers making money who are not teaching, and while most teachers do their jobs the unions have made it easier to keep teachers who well lets say are very poor. I work in a union profession and they have also ruined healthcare. If we weren't so beholden to unions maybe stuff would get done.w I have not said anything about democrats so please stop saying it's conservative rhetoric, I know plenty of Dems who think the same way. Do you know that this states pays more for teachers lunches and perks and kids left with the leftovers. I for one send in all the supplies that the teachers request at the beginning of the year. If the unions did not demand so much you think they might have enough left over to buy glue. So with that said.......

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  17. Mr Twyman will be resigning his position on the school board, holding both positions is not possible, as they are incompatible offices because one holds authority over the other. I do believe I read a quote from Mr Twyman in the Californian stating he knew he would have to give up is spot on the school board.

    Bill Gould

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  18. Anonymous,
    You are full of it. Teacher's perks? I think you have been drinking more than the kool-aid. I have no problem pointing fingers at conservatives and their rhetoric, because I have been raised in a blue collar union family since birth. Democrats have sold their soul and I will call a spade a spade. Those who are middle class and vote Republican are fools. The Republican party HAS NEVER DONE ANYTHING FOR THE WORKING MAN. NOTHING. And while I do believe that many Democrats have stopped caring about their primary blue collar base, I will still side with those who believe in strenghthening the heart and soul of the U.S. Democrats may not be perfect, but their ideology is more in tune with the forfathers of the country, which is free market, without forgetting those that need help. O.K. Enough political talk, I love how the numerous anonymous postings all talk about how Unions have destroyed things, yet they can not give specifics. Is it me, or do most of those anonymous posters sound like they got most of their info off of talk radio. Lots of talk, absolutely no substance. As I stated earlier, volunteer in lower income schools, see what goes on in schools day in and day out, and then tell me that there are alot of teachers who don't teach, that we teachers sit in our lounges with all of our perks, while we leave the scraps to children. What a joke. I don't know whether to laugh, or fear for our social future. I believe that anonymous is part of the few thank God. The rest of us can work toward creating a society that values education, as is knowledgeable about the way our state runs, our students and their experiences, and the barriers that we all face on a day to day basis. I don't waste time stting falsehoods, because I realize how important education is to our society. I could spend hours explaining why we rank lower than another nations educationally, and Union power doesn't rank in the top ten reasons. As I have stated before, look in the mirrors and truly reflect on how we raise our children and you will start to see some of the true reasons as to why we are lacking behind other nations educationally. Save your union bashing rhetoric for those who are naive enough to believe you. The rest of us will push forward and do everything we can to ensure a successful future for our children.

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  19. I, an elementary school teacher, thought I had a great pay, great benefits, and a great retirement. We, a family of 4 cannot live on my salary. The medical costs are outrageous, and retirement? I will work until I die or am permanently disabled to have the medical and other needs I and my family need. Anonymous is basically a jerk, ranting and raving with a personal vendetta. Get over it! The Twymans did not promise to deliver. They promised to work for it! Where is your gratitude. You are not a very appreciative or positive person. Teachers are dealing with garbage every day from every angle including their own employers. Are you willing to be part of the solution or part of the problem?

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  20. correction: " Where is your gratitude" needed a question mark. :) sorry about that!

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  21. I would like to know how to get the information to run for the open school board positions?
    Fred, can you help with that?

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  22. Sure I would be happy to help. Just give me a ring.

    951 378-5458

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  23. To "Anonymous Elementary School Teacher" post on June 15, 2008 5:55 pm

    The beauty of America is that you can quit your current job and go do something else if you are so unhappy with the stuff that you think you have to put up with... 'with my kids'. My God, stop teaching please! With an attitude like yours no wonder kids aren't learning.

    The school district pays for your medical coverage so stop with the bleeding heart medical cost thing... both my parents have Medicare only and they pay as they go. I know many family and friends that cannot afford medical insurance premiums (or choose not to pay them) and they also pay as they go.

    With respect to retirement... I too will choose to work until I die. That is my choice. Whoever said that retirement was a guarantee? If you are a teacher, then I know that you do not pay into Social Security and therefore you have a rather robust retirement check coming your way from STRS.

    As a taxpayer, I'm sick of the load that gets spewed forth on here about how teachers are not compensated and taken care of.

    Wake up America! We're heading for true Socialism.

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  24. To the above poster.... I could not agree more. When are they going to wake up, It is starting just like they say first the supreme court enacting laws unions saying they are for the little people, yeah right.... I just totally agree with your post.

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  25. I am a parent of a child that will be attending HHS this coming year. We just moved to Heritage Lake in April, My child is currently in the IB program at Corona Norco USD and has a 3.96 grade average.Instead of you people debating things that have already happened and can not be changed how about coming together. Obviously you all want the same outcome "Whats best for our School Districts". Mr. Twyman, do you still have a ongoing petetion for unification? How and where do i sign. How can we get enough signatures to get this on the ballot so voters can decide? Is it still possible? My childrens education is our top priorty and i am a bit disappointed that she can not continue the IB program at Heritage, apparently PUHSD doesnt have the funds for such a program. what can we do as a community to help get the unification passed? I dont mean to rude to any of you posters but this is not a debate about what poeple should make. Its about how to better our schools so we can offer better to our children.I want my tax dollars to benifit my city and our schools. Not another District.So what is the next step here?

    Thanks,
    Sandy

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  26. Sandy,
    Fred Twyman stated in his post on June 14, that Heritage would stay in the future Romoland Unified district. I don't know what he means by that since Heritage is in the Perris Union district. I wonder if there are some kind of plans to unite Perris and Romoland districts? I have not heard of anything along those lines. In any event Heritage would NOT be included in the unification of the Menifee district. So unification will not change anything for you, even though Heritage is in the city limits of Menifee it will stay under Perris rule.

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  27. Thank You for the info on Heritage HS, I also have a baby at home that will eventually be going to the elementary school located in the Heritage Lake Community. I know Heritage Lake will be part of Menifee but what about the schools.It is currently Romoland District? How will that work? I know Heritage Lake is also suppose to build a Jr High within the community, will it be a Menifee school or Romoland? Like i said we just moved out this way and well basically my main concern at the moment was the high school. You sure we assume Heritage HS??? Its a really nice site.
    Thanks Again
    Sandy

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  28. To the Anonymous poster, I think you need to reread the elementary school teacher's comments. She was commenting on another blogger, using sarcasm. The people who need to stop complaing are people such as yourselves. You don't have health insurance, or retirement benefits, because society, including yourself, have allowed it to happen. We expect less and less from employers, yet we complain about what we get. What dis we expect? As for the comments about Socialism, people need to stop it. Most people have no clue about Socialism, including some of the above posters, and commented about things you don't know about makes you sound stupid. The lack of insurance, healthcare, educational funding, etc... are all results of a Capitalistic society. Enjoy it, stop complaining. It is what everyone wants. Right?

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  29. Sandy,
    Heritage Lake is under two school districts. Romoland has the elementry(Mesa View), and middle school(Boulder Ridge). Perris Union has the high school, Heritage High. Even though we are now Menifee instead of Romoland that does not change the school district boundaries they will stay the same. I agree with you that Heritage should also be in the unification process and put in the Menifee district but I don't think that will ever happen!

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  30. Mark,

    You are hopeless on this topic. You might as well go ahead and press the 'Obama' button now on your ballot. Its the blind leading the blind. Further, what makes you think that the previous elementary teacher post was a 'she'? Or were you just being your typical 'blue collar self'?

    With comments like the following: "Teachers are dealing with garbage every day from every angle including their own employers." If you teach in this district then you just motivated me to take 'my garbage' to another district! Better yet, I think I'll take some of my hard earned money and enroll in a Charter School or a Christian School... at least then, I have a choice on who educates my 'garbage'.

    Father of 'Menifee Garbage'.

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  31. #1 you are right, I made an assumption, mand the poster could easily be male. My fault.
    #2 I could do alot worse than Obama, like voting for the Republicans. Please name one thing that Republicans have done to help the Middle Class. It seems to me that most people who call themselves Conservative/Republican do so because of everything from Religious beliefs to a "dislike" of the tax system, etc..., but no one seems to be able to state anything that the Conservative politicians have done to better life for all those in society. Do you really think that gay marriage and taxes are the biggest problems in society today. I have taught in Catholic and presently in public schools. My Child currently attends school at a local Christian school, and I don't have a problem with it. The previous poster never stated that children were garbage, so don't make things up. My child goes to Christian school because Christian schools do not have half of the issues that public schools have to deal with. That was my reasoning for leaving private school. At the end of the day I wanted to be able to truly say that I had attempted to make a difference in someones life. I didn't get that same feeling in private school. Am I a hopeless case as another Anonymous poster stated, maybe so. If by hopeless you mean that I won't stand around and let thechips fall where they may, then yes. If by hopeless you mean that I adhere to my true Christian values and refuse to judge others, based on sexual preferences, religions, or personal decisions. Again, I am hopeless. If by hopeless, you mean that I am willing to do whatever it takes, raising my taxes and all, to know that all of my fellow Americans are treated with dignity then I will gladly be "hopeless."
    We can only guarentee our children a bright future, if we stand up for what is right. Whether or not Paloma is unified is a small issue. What kind of future are we providing for our future generations? That is the important question, not easily answered, but if we sit back and do nothing, nothing changes.

    A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward.
    Franklin D. Roosevelt

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  32. To Mark and his love of the Democratic party:

    If it wasn't for the Democrats we wouldn't have had slavery and the KKK. Go Democrats! This is a fact!

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  33. It seems to me that you do drink the kool-aid but here goes..... Democrats are for rasing taxes if they are as they say they are for the little people then why do they raise taxes on the people who earn 200k or more annually. Those people are usually small business owners who employ min wage earners. so when they raise the taxes or the min wage as recently done who do you think they are going to get rid of. Think about it. As far as Rebuplicans no body said they were perfect, but they sure do more people IE: personal responsibility, I am so sick of people wanting a hand out for this and for that. Ok so now back on topic they have tried over and over again to throw money at shcools hello wake up it is not working. The unions get in these schools let teachers teach who have no business being there. I volunteer at both my kids school send in donations and am in the PTA so please don't tell me I don't know. Why is it that children who are private school where money is a factor learn better. I will tell you because most of the time the teachers and administration are not beholden to the teachers union. So stop cheerleading for the blow up doll Obama. He is empty rehtoric being strung along by hack in the back. And although I do not agree with MCAIN at least he doesnt toe the party line. He makes me mad but mabye thats why people like him because he can't be bought. I could be wrong but am not afraid to show it. So lets stop thi silly stuff and get our butts in gear and get this moving again.


    Signed
    An educated young conservative republican mom, who is getting fired up.

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  34. To the young, educated, conservative mom,
    I thank you for your discourse and believe that you are a concerned and educated citizen. First off, let me thank you for volunteering at your children’s school. I assume from your wording that you have younger children, and I hope you continue your support as they get older. As a high school teacher I can tell you that parental support starts to diminish as students get older. Open house, PTA, site councils, are all hard to run when you have a lack of parental support, so I thank you again. I hear a lot about bad teachers in the classroom, and I have experience with some, but I was wondering if someone out there can give me examples of what you consider “bad” teachers. Is it all based on test scores, parental contact, etc…? I would be interested in knowing what criteria the opinions are based on . Having worked for two large districts, I can tell you that bad teachers do get released from contracts on a regular basis. Much of the rhetoric out there is from groups that want vouchers, etc… and are using fear tactics to try and influence people. We are all after the same end goal, which is preparing our children for the future, so I encourage others with opinions to contribute
    Now, Democrats Believe in what is called a progressive tax structure, i.e. the more you make the more you pay. It is their belief that the upper 1% should have no problem contributing more tax wise, because America has given them the opportunity to be wealthy and America is strongest when all of it’s people are taken care of. I agree no one likes handouts, but the fact is welfare and other forms of assistance, has went down over the last 16 years, nationally. California has it’s own issues, but nationally there are less people on government assistance today then 20 years ago. Raising minimum wage doesn’t hurt small business. Economic theory and history show that increases in minimum wages are offset by small business subsidies and small increases in prices to consumers. Economists have also stated that raising the minimum wage has very little impact on adult employment. Most minimum wage jobs are not used as primary sources of income, but we should keep the playing field level for the workers who do obtain most of their income from a minimum wage job. Research has also shown that raising minimum wages stimulates the economy, much more than our recent “tax breaks”. Also, here is something to think about. The Internal Revenue Service reports that small-business owners, sole proprietors and the self-employed are, as a group, the biggest tax cheats in America, responsible for $153 billion of the estimated tax debt. When you combine the taxes they don’t pay, with the tax cuts they have received, numerous government subsidies, and the fact that small business is no where near as responsible for producing jobs as for mid-size to larger companies, the argument about Democrats hurting small business is obviously rhetoric.
    As for the statement about Republicans being for personal responsibility, all you need to do is open your eyes and you will see the truth. Is it responsible to let American citizens starve on the streets in the richest nation in the world? Is it responsible to pass judgment on others just because they love in a way you disagree with? Is it responsible to funding to social programs that impact and help the lowest economic members of society? What kind of country do you want to live in? A country that is strong because we take care of each other and provide support when needed. If you look back in history, this country has been strongest at times when the economic gap between rich and poor was at its smallest. Presently the economic gap between rich and poor is larger than it has ever been. Spare me the rhetoric that Republicans are for personal responsibility. It is an absolute myth.
    I am not the biggest Obama fan in the world, but if you believe that he doesn’t stand for anything, you need to wake up and pay attention. He may not be the second coming of FDR, but he is pointing this country in the right direction. He ha sto heal the wounds and scars nationally and internationally that 8 years of Republican leadership has brought us.
    I was once a Republican, during my first ten years of voting, but switched sides as I opened my eyes and researched facts, not myths, not rhetoric. Republicans are living in the past, hoping for what will never be again. Democrats, for the most part, realize that life is nowhere near as simple as Republicans believe, and that the strength of our nation is determined not by dividing Americans, but by creating a society that is fair and just for everyone. I love the fact you are getting worked up, but your arguments are nothing new. They were myths and rhetoric ten years ago, and they are myths and rhetoric today.

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  35. Living in the past are you kidding me.... BTW I have a middle school child and a school age child. Anyways talk about living in the past Obama is the 2nd term of Carter. But thank you for the debate. Everyone wants to say that the last 8 years were horrible well if Iam not mistaken most of those years we had a Dem lead congress.... What have they done nothing but make up stupid bills that are pointless. As for tax rebates I have read mutliple studies that show the pros and cons to them so lets just agree to disagree on them. As for personal responsibility and people living on the streets, they can get a job it is not my duty to pay for them... I was once at the grocery store and this lady was paying in front of me with her wic or some other form of assistance I was behind her on the way to the parking lot she had Coach bag and got in her Escalade... ANyways could debate all you want and have taught my children well, they even know who is drinking the funny stuff.

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  36. I feel sorry for your kids. As a Political Science professor I can tell you the validity of Mark's statememnts. Some of you people need to open your eyes. You are living in a dream world. Stop listening to talk radio and Fox News and you will discover the truth.If you think Obama is the 2nd term of Carter, you are too ignorant to vote. Hide in your holes and let those who are willing to take the time to discover the truth, Republican or Democrat, vote. It will be best for the US.

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  37. If possible let's keep things civil. I want discussion amongst us, not jabs at children, or an individuals lack of intelligence. Republicans formed from the Democratic Party. The Democrats, up until FDR, were heavily occupied by Southern Racists, old men, religous fanatics, and other ignorant individuals. Sounds like the modern Republican party. Progressive, open-minded Democrats and Whigs split from the Dems to become Republicans. Old time Republicans, felt they had a duty to take care of all citizens, Black, White, male and female, rich and poor. Lincoln was a fine example of a true Republican. Today he would be labled a crazy Liberal who was infringing on States Rights. Republicans use to believe in a progressive government that was as big as needed, but no more. They believed in taxing progressively and fairly. They reached out to Black voters when no one else would. This trend continued through the mid to late sixties when a new form of Republican started to form. One that has little to do with the original Republicans. They were more trusting, to an embarrassing fault, in the open market, believed that it wasn't the governments reponsibility to take care of it's indigant and poor, and that taxes were the route of every problem in the US. This was also the time when Republicans started to become too intertwined with big business, even though it was nowhere near the levels of cooperation seen since the Reagan Admin on. The influnce of business and the rich have raped the Republican party of it's heart and soul. Lincoln wouldn't even recognize modern Republican philosophy. Democrats started to change withs FDR, who in essence, created Liberalism. From FDR on, Democrats realized that America needed to take care of it's own. Poor by bad choices, or poor by situation didn't matter. Democrats believed that there was no reason that any American should live on the street or starve, regardless of it's cost to us. They obviously reached out to Black Americans, and while the racists in the south were still unfortunately present, Open minded Dems and Republicans helped pass the Civil Rights Acts. From the 70's on Democrats worked heavily on representing the needs and concerns of the working class and minorities goals most Democrats strive for today. I don't hate Republicans, My Uncle is a raging one, but I am concerned with the lack of empathy modern Americans have toward each other and those in need. "It isn't my reponsibility to care for the poor", "tell them to get a job", assuming that every poor person abuses the system, how sick are some of you. We talk aboult being a moral country, but some of you seem to lack empathy and morals toward the world around you. I also hope that none of the anonymous responders would responded as above, consider themselves Christians, because your not. You are far from it. I can look my children in the eye because I have taught them to have respect towrad all, whether they are rich or poor, black or white. I have taught them to live and treat others with dignity. Maybe Republicans should go back to their old values and we can work as a nation to create a Country with strength and love, courage and dignity, empathy and understanding. We are heading in the wrong direction people. Let's create a nation that is truly great, in word and actions.

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