Op-Ed: East Side Students Need You to Vote ‘Yes’ on Measure G

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].

4 Comments

  1. > Measure G will also allow us to attract and retain high quality teachers, counselors and staff. . . . . Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah.

    Ignore all the happy horse dung about all the wonderful things they are going to spend the money on.

    Money is fungible. They can pile new money top of popular programs and rake old money from the bottom of the same programs and use it somewhere also.

    It’s just the age old public bureaucracy shell game.

    Here’s the really sneaky stuff:

    > Gov. Jerry Brown’s Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) has provided much-needed funding increases to public schools. . . . However, the state funding formula still creates “haves” and “have-nots.”

    Translation: The state funding formula is HIGHLY REDISTRIBUTIONIST. That means it is basically communistic. They take tax money from the “rich” districts, and shove it into the “poor” districts.

    The rich districts are then told by the commies in Sacramento that if they want the quality of education they have funded by the taxes they have already paid, they should impose ADDITIONAL local taxes on themselves which the commies pledge NOT to take away.

    And, to double down on the stupidity, the “poor” districts are typically “underperforming” in relation to the dollars spent. (I’ll bet Dr. Bill can confirm this with data and charts). In other words, the “poor” districts provide less educational bang for the buck. And pumping them up with even MORE money just rewards their underperformance.

    “You did a lousy job educating poor students. Here’s more money. Do more or what you’re been doing.”

    Thousands of years of capitalism has shown over and over again that “rich” (i.e. prosperous) people do things smarter, more effectively, and more efficiently than “poor” people. Doing things wastefully and inefficiently is why poor people are poor.

    Measure G is UNFAIR to local schools because they are deprived of the education resources and commitments that local parents have provided. If people want to help “poor” schools in other districts, it is FAR, FAR, FAR more helpful to donate to programs in those schools DIRECTLY rather than channel money through the sticky fingers of Sacramento bureaucrats.

    The only sensible vote on Measure G is: HELL NO!!!!!

  2. Since the article/opinion fails to disclose exactly how Measure G is funded or administered, I am presuming there is no concurrent tax increase or new tax involved. Cool.

  3. It’s funded by a $49 per parcel annual tax and expires after 7 years. Senior homeowners can opt out.

    As to the first writer, who’s so confident of the failings of the impoverished, did you you not get the education necessary to comprehend the statements about high graduation and student retention rates, matriculation into college, often when no previous family member had such opportunities and success, that the district has managed with the relatively meager resources its zip code provides?

  4. Lest we forget that Technical Measure I passed two years ago to provide these exact same services for 20 years? Did they squander those funds already?

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