Bear St. has just announced that the Superintendent’s State of the Schools speech will be held on Sept. 30 at the Estancia High gym. Nothing spectacular there. But the good news is that if you live on Costa Mesa’s Westside and are working on the Wednesday morning that the breakfast is held, you can see it for free!

That’s right – FREE! All you have to do is wait until the administration posts it on the district’s website, which they promised to do. And though they did not say WHEN the video would be posted, at least it’s a start.

Of course, if you are living on the Westside and working two jobs, you probably can’t afford the $32 for the breakfast even if you were available that morning because the district has just doubled the bus fares you pay for the two kids you send to school. And I’m sure you can reconcile the fact that the board approved the double fee a couple of months after they gave another raise to their already well-compensated senior management.

The news of the speech freebie was not in the original press release. I had to click through to read about and it was buried on the web page.

Here’s what they should have done: The district has a reduced bus fee program for people who can’t afford to pay the full fare. That tells me they know that there is a segment of the parent population that is struggling. So why not designate some free seats at the speech for those people? They don’t even have to serve them breakfast – just acknowledge that they are welcome and send the message that money should not be an obstacle. Had they done this, they would have looked like heroes because the chances of anyone showing up to get a free seat is very small.

Why would no one show up?… Because it’s a weekday morning and they’re WORKING!

Next year, hold it on a Saturday and… Oh, never mind.

Steve Smith

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