Letter from Dr. Christine Koltermann

Dear Editor, In the face of decreases in state funding for public education, over the past eight years Santa Clara Unified School District (SCUSD) has laid off dozens of teachers, counselors, psychologists, administrators, library clerks, support staff, and custodians. We’ve increased class sizes, tapped rainy day funds, leased unused school sites, postponed buying new textbooks, and eliminated wonderful programs such as elementary music. This year, SCUSD needed five furlough days to meet our budget. Next year, the state takeaway of funds from our district is $8.1 million. Even with five furlough days and additional pink-slips, SCUSD faces a $2.3 million budget shortfall. Items on the potential cut list include librarians, counselors, the seventh period in our high schools, and home-to-school transportation. To fill the gap in funding until the economy returns and avoid drastic cuts which hurt our students, the SCUSD governing board placed an $84/year parcel tax (Measure A) on an all-mail in ballot due by Tuesday, May 8, 2012. Measure A funds will be kept within our district; the state cannot touch those funds. Please support our schools by voting yes on Measure A.