Almanac

Viewpoint - April 14, 2010

Letter: Teacher has reasons for backing Measure C

I am a teacher at Oak Knoll School as well as a native resident of Menlo Park.

I've been a student, parent, and currently an Oak Knoll teacher for the past 21 years. I have seen it grow from 250 students to over 750 students.

Fortunately, over the years, we've been able to keep up with this huge growth in enrollment by adding dedicated and creative teachers to our existing top-notch faculty and have been able to keep class sizes at a reasonable level.

We've also developed tremendous enrichment programs over the years including science, music, art, physical education, and, most recently, foreign language. The combination of strong faculty, manageable class sizes, enrichment programs, motivated students, and fabulous community support has enabled our school to achieve national recognition and student test scores in the top 5 percent of California.

Our school district is now facing some serious financial problems due to continued increases in enrollment, deep cuts in state funding, and the leveling of property taxes. If we are unable to raise funds from the Measure C parcel tax, the tremendous progress we've made over the years will be seriously eroded. The school board already approved the following actions be taken throughout the district if Measure C doesn't pass:

• Increasing class sizes in all grades;

• Laying off 14 teachers;

• Eliminating or reducing hands-on science, music, art, foreign language, elementary physical education specialists, librarians, and services to struggling students.

Please join me in keeping our schools strong and voting yes on Measure C. Your ballot should have arrived in your mail, and it will take less than a minute to fill out and send in. Thank you for all the support over the years.

Kristine McColloch

N. Lemon Avenue, Menlo Park

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