Dear Friends –
When we began 2020, we never could have imagined that our lives would be drastically turned upside down within a few months. We now find ourselves concerned with so much uncertainty – will our students fall behind in academics, what is the social-emotional cost to each of us, when will our economy recover, when will a vaccine arrive to prevent more lives from being tragically lost?
I believe that recognizing the challenges – those we’ve already overcome and those that are still before us – is how we grow stronger. New awareness and perspective will ultimately drive positive outcomes, but it takes time and commitment to get there. Funding for our public schools is one of those challenges.
California school funding is in a critical state. The COVID-19 pandemic has severely exacerbated the Manhattan Beach Unified School District (MBUSD) budget deficit well beyond the initial $3.6M in cuts made in February. Last week Governor Newsom announced major cuts to education throughout the state, which are projected to mean an additional $3.3M in cuts to the MBUSD budget for the upcoming school year. In total, that is a painful 8% reduction in spending in a few short months.
Additional layoffs and cuts to critical programs will impact Manhattan Beach and schools throughout the state – two-thirds of California districts were already deficit spending and one-half had initiated layoffs before the COVID-19 pandemic. Sadly, lack of adequate funding for our schools is not new to our community – we are the second-lowest funded district in LA County. Until the structural budget challenges are addressed, financial support for schools from local sources, such as MBEF, is essential.
It is up to us. We have the power in our local community to affect change. It won’t come from just one person or one effort, it will take our entire community to recognize the power in our hands. If there was ever a community to lead the effort to make this happen, it is Manhattan Beach.
How to Help:
- Get informed about local school funding on MBUSD’s Budget News and Information and read more on Financing California’s Public Schools from the Public Policy Institute of California.
- Become an advocate by contacting our local representatives – Senator Ben Allen and Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi – regarding Governor Newsom’s revised budget, plus request more federal funding in the next COVID-19 Relief Package.
- Raise Your Paddle now or during the virtual Manhattan Wine Auction to support MBEF and our schools immediately.
Our schools are facing our biggest challenge yet – of this, I am certain. I hope you will appreciate the power of what is possible when we face it together.
MBEF stands behind our commitment to great schools for our children here in Manhattan Beach. As we work together to address these challenges, we welcome your input and will work diligently to maintain the high caliber of programs that make our school district one of the best in the state.
Wishing you and your families well.
Manhattan Beach Education Foundation