by: Tom Morrow
California is proof that gold tarnishes. Look upon our whopping state debt (reportedly in excess of $120 billion) as a microcosm of our national debt, which is way beyond the $17 trillion mark. That state debt figure doesn’t include short-fall funding of public employee pension funds, which, reportedly reaches well above $200 billion. Oceanside and a great number of cities around the state have a big unfunded pension problem.
According to an elected O’side official who should know, if the City were able to pay off the current short-fall for our portion of pension funding to the California Public Employees Retirement System (Cal PERS), we’d have to write a check for well over $100 million dollars. The exact figure fluctuates depending upon the return profit or loss through investments of the Cal PERS pension fund.
The school districts across the state have a similar short-fall problem with the California State Teachers Retirement System (STIRS).
The Cal PERS pension funding horror will rise up to start biting us you-know-where in the not too distant future. It’s our children and, particularly, our grandchildren who will be getting the full bill.
Meanwhile, our budget debt keeps mushrooming as the State Legislature continues using the coffers of the various tax-collecting agencies as an unlimited ATM to keep the cash flowing.
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A number of complimentary comments flowed in regarding last week’s column on “Common Core.” An Arizona friend, who’s well-wired into that state’s political scene, reports more than 20 states have either dropped, amended, or are thinking about dumping the Common Core program. A number of states never implemented it in the first place.
“It’s only been the past two or three years that classroom teachers have turned on it and parents have gone bonkers at the stupidity of the math (or lack of) that’s part of Common Core, along with a lot of social maneuvering, which has been surfacing,” says my friend. “Questionnaires are asking about parental gun ownership, and personal family questions. State, county, and local school superintendents and school boards as well as state Governors were sold a bill of goods and it’s finally coming to light. Talk about the ‘dumbing down of America.’”
She says there is a huge movement across the nation to get rid of Common Core completely – reportedly upwards of 20 states. Governors of Wisconsin and Utah are the latest to begin investigations as to the impact in their respective schools.
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Retired Marine Lt. Col. Robert “Camo” Gleisberg has announced he’s a candidate for the Oceanside Unified School District in November. “Camo” is the husband of long-time, now retired OUSD educator Mary Gleisberg. Over the years, Mary was principal of a number of schools, including Oceanside High School. “Camo” says serving on the school board would be his way of “giving back to the community.”
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COURT QUERY — Judge: “Mr. Quinn, I have reviewed this case very carefully, and I’ve decided to give your wife $775 a week.”
Husband: “That’s very fair, your honor, and every now and then I’ll try to send her a few bucks myself.”
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Here’s a “novel” idea: Read “Haunted Bones,” an Oceanside murder mystery. Go to: www.tomorrowsnovels.com
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FINAL WORDS — In Ruidoso, N.M., you’ll find this on a tombstone: “Here lies Johnny Yeast, ‘Pardon me for not rising.'”