The Silicon Valley Voice has invited local candidates running for office to speak directly to the voters via our website. We asked candidates for Campbell Union High School District to tell voters, in a short essay, about the challenges and opportunities in their jurisdictions and their ideas for addressing problems and leveraging opportunities.
Stacey Brown, Governing Board Member, Campbell Union High School District
We all share a vested interest in public education as it is meant to prepare our children for their future livelihood. The transition to the 21st century, makes those future careers difficult to comprehend. One thing that has held constant is that our public school systems still function in a manner to meet the societal needs of the last century. Far too many students are struggling to learn because they are disengaged and lack motivation. Past methods make little sense to today’s students who learn and think differently, and they make little sense in relation to the changing workplace. High school should be a place where students can discover their interests and develop necessary skills.
At CUHSD we are transforming the entire high school experience. Guided by a newly adopted strategic plan, our new mission is to make our schools places where students are safe, supported and valued. Students develop knowledge, skills, and confidence, and students are engaged, challenged and prepared. We will accomplish this mission by:
- Promoting instruction and learning that lead to mastery.
- Offering multiple pathways for student learning, including extended and experience-based opportunities.
- Attracting, retaining, and developing top talent.
- Developing physical spaces that enhance learning, including modern facilities and technology.
- And investing to maximize student achievement while pursuing additional sources of revenue.
Unfortunately, every school district in California is currently facing financial headwinds. Statutory costs such as pension contributions are rising faster than revenue causing structural budget deficits that will lead to cuts in programs. As a community funded district, CUHSD does not receive additional funding as enrollment increases and is currently in an increasing enrollment cycle. Analysis of our current funding indicates that CUHSD has to increase revenue by at least 5% just to maintain current programs.
Without increasing revenue CUHSD will be forced to cut expenses in order to maintain the district’s fiscal stability. The CUHSD Board has been studying ways to increase revenue and has put forward a plan to re-purpose the district office site to generate approximately $1.5 Million of annual, unrestricted revenue, without raising taxes. This is just the first step, without increasing revenue faster than our expenses grow, we will not be able to make the investments necessary to fulfill our strategic initiatives putting our student’s future at risk. Our entire community must come together to keep CUHSD fiscally strong for this and future generations.