March 23, 1963
As schools around the county kick off a new school year there is concern over the budget crisis in Sacramento.It could be worse.
Back in 1963 Sunnyside Elementary School in Los Osos was in dire straits.
The children of the baby boom were flooding districts.
The school had 237 pupils but funding for only six teachers, including the principal.
There were 45 students in the first grade classroom and things were not much better in the rest of the grades.
Principal Kenneth Moore was in charge of a combined fifth and sixth grade classroom with 42 students. In addition he had to answer the school phone and manage visitors.
Residents in the Sunnyside Elementary School District (Baywood, Cuesta-By-The-Sea and portions of Los Osos) voted down tax increases four times in five years.
Staff writer Gil Bailey quoted principal Kenneth Moore, “This is not the logical place to send your children under the present conditions.”
Though voters had approved hospital and fire district levies, retirees living on fixed incomes did not vote for the school tax.
The article has some eerie parallels to the current sewer controversy, close, frequent votes, and a community divided over funding services.
Quoting the article:
“Why do such conditions exist?”
“They exist because of the people who live in the Sunnyside school district.”
“Four times in five years they have voted down tax rate increases.”
“Twice within the last year the voters defeated a tax rate increase-the last time by 51 votes. They will have another chance on April 15.”
“The voters are being asked to increase the rate from 90 cents (it has never been above 90 cents) the state minimum-to $1.60.”
“Last September the school had to let one teacher go, cut out special programs in science, math and music and sold the school bus.”
“Four classrooms stand vacant.”
Today the area is served by the San Luis Coastal Unified School District, the Sunnyside location closed as a public school in June 2002.
Funding for class size reductions in the K-3 grades of elementary school come from federal and sources.
Another growth related article on the front page talked about plans for the Hearst Ranch.
“The company has plans for development of the 19,262 acres ‘of readily developable land’ with a population of 29,000 in 1974 and 197,000 in the year 2004.”
The Hearst ranch has sold the development rights to a large portion of the ranch in an agreement 4 decades later.