Viewpoint - April 14, 2010

Letter: District teacher, parent is backing Measure C

Since moving to Menlo Park 27 years ago, I have been involved with the Menlo Park City School District as a tax-paying resident, a parent of three former students, and a teacher for 10 years at Laurel Elementary School.

During this time our district has expanded programs and refined curriculum in countless ways to better serve a diverse and growing population of students. As a result we have excellent award-winning schools.

This could very well change in light of current financial challenges. The district may be forced to lay off talented and respected teachers, increase class size, and cut valuable academic and enrichment programs. I certainly sympathize with voters who feel that enough is enough, times are tight, and "why are they asking for more money with all this construction going on anyway?"

The fact is that, while our student population continues to grow (even beyond the projected numbers that triggered current construction), we face serious cuts in funding designated for classroom instruction. In fact the bond money which is funding the construction cannot legally be used to pay for operating expenses such as programs, teacher salaries and so on.

I am proud of our accomplishments in the district and I am grateful that my own children received such an excellent K-8 education. I also love teaching in such a vibrant and supportive community. Furthermore I value the reputation of our public schools as a critical factor in keeping our home values relatively stable during hard economic times.

If Measure C fails, I fear that we will lose much of what we have worked so hard to accomplish. Teacher morale will suffer, quality of instruction will suffer, and the learning experience of our children will suffer.

Please keep our schools strong. Vote yes on Measure C!

Priscilla Seely

Dunsmuir Way, Menlo Park


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