It’s an exciting time at our local East Side high schools—and Measure G, an important ballot measure coming to voters this June, is needed to protect the opportunities our students have to compete for college and careers in today’s world.
Measure G guarantees local funding needed to protect 21st century science, technology, engineering, math, reading and writing instruction in our local East Side high schools: Andrew Hill, Evergreen, Independence, James Lick, Mt. Pleasant, Oak Grove, Piedmont Hills, Santa Teresa, Silver Creek, Overfelt, Yerba Buena, Foothill, and Calero.
East Side students deserve the same opportunity as other students to learn the necessary skills for success in Silicon Valley. Measure G protects and supports programs such as computer science, biology, biotechnology, physics, web technology design, robotics, and space technology engineering.
Measure G will also allow us to attract and retain high quality teachers, counselors and staff. It will protect and enhance hands-on science programs and protect arts and music and keep school libraries open. It is critically vital to maintain counseling services to assist students with academic planning for college and careers.
Every penny supports East Side high schools. None of the funds can be taken by the state. Senior citizens are exempt from Measure G, and just as for all of our general obligation bonds, we will have independent citizens’ oversight and annual audits, as required by law. The funds cannot be used for administrators’ salaries.
Our East Side community has been very supportive in past years with bond measures. We are grateful for the support, and proud of all that we’ve accomplished. All of schools have undergone major renovations and/or the construction of new facilities. Our schools have been revitalized and are jewels in the community. We have had six straight years of top-notch audits. We have built an amazing trust with our community.
Student achievement in our schools is on the rise. Graduation rates are at their highest rate in two decades and now exceed state and county averages. Students who start with us in ninth grade and stay with us all four years graduate at 95.5 percent. African-American students graduate at 96 percent and Latino students graduate at 91.5 percent. Our Asian and white students graduate at 98 percent and 97.8 percent, respectively.
Last year alone, more than 1,200 graduates went straight to San Jose State University. Many of these hard-working students are the first in their families to attend college.
Gov. Jerry Brown’s Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) has provided much-needed funding increases to public schools. The LCFF aims to bring schools back to adequately sustained funding levels proportionate to that of 2007 and to create a more equitable funding model for districts. However, the state funding formula still creates “haves” and “have-nots.” Districts from wealthier parts of Santa Clara County with sky-high property values receive upwards of $21,000 per student. Districts like East Side Union High School District (ESUHSD), by comparison, receives funding under the LCFF at $10,500 per student.
Our East Side high schools need local funding that cannot be taken by the state. Measure G will provide it.
Now is time to support ESUHSD with much-needed funding to maintain the exceptional career pathways that we have developed, such as engineering, biotechnology, business and entrepreneurship and medical magnet, just to name a few.
Vote YES on Measure G to protect core academic programs and keep qualified teachers in the classroom. We cannot wait for unreliable state funding. Measure G also supports charter high schools within ESUHSD.
East Side High School students are counting on your YES vote.
Chris D. Funk is the superintendent of East Side Union High School District. Opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of San Jose Inside. Want to submit an op-ed? Email pitches to [email protected].