Happy New Year and Happy New Decade to our Brisbane community! With the turn of the new year, as well as the new decade, there are several very important national, state-wide and local issues related to education which effect each of our families and community. This is a call to action to ensure that all children receive the educational experiences they need to become thoughtful, prepared and engaged citizens. Even if you do not have children, our country, our state and our city benefit from the success of our next generation.
At a national level, the turn of a new decade means that it’s census time again. As mandated by the Constitution, the United States Census Bureau conducts a survey of everyone living in the country every ten years. Census data is used to determine the number of seats each state has in the House of Representatives and to distribute more than $400 billion in federal funding for healthcare, education, and infrastructure. The California Department of Finance estimates that for every Californian not counted in 2020, state and local governments will lose $1,950 per resident per year.
As both the most populous state and “donor” state, California has a lot at stake in ensuring a fair and thorough census. It is so important that the governor allocated over 40 million dollars to Census Outreach to ensure that everyone is counted, and that California gets what it is due. But it’s also up to each of us to ensure that we are all counted. Regardless of national origin or immigration status, if you live in California, you are a Californian and must be counted. The census does not ask about citizenship or immigration status and census workers will not report the status of anyone who they survey so please be sure to provide an accurate count of everyone in your household.
At a state level, it is critical that all of us join together to ensure that California funds the education of its residents at the levels that reflect the size of our economy and the values we hold. If California was its own country, we would have the fifth largest economy in the world, ahead of both France and India! And yet when we look at educational funding, California is consistently investing among the least per student compared to the other states. For comparison, New York spends $18,665 per student, Wyoming spends $17,700, Alaska spends $20,640 and even Louisiana spends $12,153 while California only spends $9,417 per student, well below the national average of $12,526!
This sad state of affairs has been in place for many years and one of the reasons is that parents have not made their voices heard in our state capitol of Sacramento. Parents only make up 35% of the votes even though they are a much larger proportion of the population. A new initiative called “Vote 4 Kids” is working to change that and ensure that our children’s education system gets the funding increases so desperately needed. The Vote 4 Kids website: www.ivoteforkids.com provides resources to help voters learn about educational funding issues, and allows visitors to sign a pledge to ‘Vote For Kids’ education. Visitors can also sign up to receive alerts about bills in the state legislature to support, how to contact their representatives and other ways to get involved. Please visit, pledge and take action. Together we’ll return California to the having the best school system in the United States!
Lastly, on a local level, the start of a new year means that it’s registration time for attendance in the Brisbane School District. Registration for school will begin on Monday, February 3rd at 9 am. Elementary school students can register for either of the district’s elementary schools, Panorama School or Brisbane Elementary. Registrations are date and time stamped to determine order of receipt.
This year, the first day of registration (again, Monday February 3rd at 9 am) will take place at Mission Blue Center, located at 475 Mission Blue Drive in Brisbane. After Feb 3rd, registration will take place at the school district office, located at 1 Solano St in Brisbane. Families may also make an appointment to register at Panorama School, located at 25 Bellevue Ave in Daly City. Please call or email the district office to make an appointment. For registration forms and a list of all documents required to register, please visit the district web site at www.brisbanesd.org/enrollment. All Brisbane School District residents are also residents of the Jefferson Union High School District. Families new to the district with high-school aged children should contact Jefferson Union directly at (650) 550-7900 or www.juhsd.net.
Please help make sure everyone is counted in the census, join in the fight to improve funding for California’s students and remember to enroll for school. Here’s to a happy, healthy and educationally fulfilling new year.