October 22, 2011 (Rancho Penasquitos) – Assemblyman and Mayoral candidate Nathan Fletcher (R-San Diego) stopped by Rancho Penasquitos as part of an “education listening tour” on Friday.
But advocates for public education staged a protest outside the school, passing out flyers faulting Fletcher for repeatedly voting against measures that would have prevented painful cuts to schools in an era when California K-12 schools have fallen from among the top-ranked to nearly last in the nation.
On his website, Fletcher claims that he is “passionate about education and serious about ensuring success for every child in San Diego.” But he has slashed school funding while joining with the Republican Party in opposing all options proposed to replace lost revenues.
But Kim Beatty said, "Fletcher has been no friend to education." She and other education advocates passed out the following fact sheet:
1. We are in an education funding crisis. Since 2008, over $17 billion have been cut from public education and the loss per student in the Poway Unified is over $1,300. In 2008, schools had already been suffering from years of constant underfunding of education. In over 10 years that we’ve been with Poway Unified a well-rounded, fully funded education has not existed.
2. When Nathan Fletcher was elected 75th AD Assembly Member in 2008, he signed a “no tax” pledge to an out-of-state lobbyist. This crippled his constitutionally mandated duties to serve his constituents and the people of California.
3. During the state budget crisis of 2009, Nathan Fletcher supported a corporate tax giveaway that was estimated to result in the loss of over $2 billion per year to the state. Schools get roughly 40% of this revenue.
4. In 2010 Fletcher voted against an Assembly Resolution (no force of law) to bring education funding up to the national average or what it actually costs to educate a child. When asked why he voted against this nonbinding resolution, he stated that he could not remember.
5. In 2010 Fletcher voted against allowing local communities the opportunity to raise local sources of revenue for schools. The measure was called, “Local Control of Local Classrooms Funding Act.”
6. In 2010 Fletcher secured a backroom deal to lift a cap on downtown San Diego redevelopment funds. This effectively transferred stable property tax revenue from schools to building projects, like a new football stadium.
7. In 2011 Fletcher signed a pledge (a different lobbyist) to vote against allowing his constituents the opportunity to vote on a revenue extension measure. The Legislative Anaylst’s Office (LAO) reported that this would result in the loss of over $335 per student.
8. Parents have made hundreds of phone calls and students have written dozens of letters, with no response.
9. Now, Nathan Fletcher is on an “education listening tour”, but who is he listening to?
49th in students per teacher
47th in per pupil funding
46th in education spending as a percentage of personal income
51st in students per guidance counselor
51st in students per librarian
47th in total principals and assistant principals
48th in total school staff
46th in district officials and administrators
45th in instructional aides
49th in access to computers
“There is a failure here that topples all our success.”