School falling down

I went to a meeting on Tuesday night with the Board of Education for Measure E. I was the only parent who showed up. The other attendee was a concerned citizen, who doesn’t have kids, but since she is a taxpayer she asked some wonderfully detailed questions about the fiscal amount of the new measure and the plans to build new schools and renovate the existing ones.

It was a shame more people didn’t come to the meeting, because it was such an outstanding opportunity to ask questions. The board members were so gracious in encouraging us to share our concerns and they provided so much info about the ballot measure. I learned a great deal.

Measure E is a $170 million general obligation bond program. The measure is intended to address the district’s projected increase in student enrollment through construction of a new elementary school and the needs of our older schools through various modernization and renovation projects.

The average age of a school in our district is 30 years old. The oldest school, Brownell, was built 65 years ago. My son’s school, South Valley, was built in 1956. They are doing an admirable job maintaining it, but I’ve seen ceiling tiles come down. The pool has been filled with concrete and the facilities are understandably showing their age.

Despite all of this, though, I had to share the story of one student who has gone through the Gilroy Unified School District: my son. Las Animas Elementary School was built with funds from another bond measure, Measure P.  We watched it go up in a field just walking distance from our house. He was the in first class to attend the school when the doors opened and the first class to graduate six years later. He continued on to South Valley, since he is the Dual Immersion program, and has been on the Principal’s List (grade level 4.0) every semester during middle school. Last month, he placed in the top in Google’s LearnStorm math contest with over a million points, surpassing all of the schools in the Bay area. As I told my husband, we could send our son to the most expensive private school in San Jose, but we could not get a better education than our son is getting through GUSD.

But, these miracles don’t happen without proper funding. My son’s school is literally falling down around him. I encourage everyone to read through Measure E carefully. Nobody likes to pay more taxes. But, I guarantee you are funding the kids who will be designing the next generation of smart phones and coming up with the next Google.   

Diana Wolf Torres


Yes on Measure A

Our Santa Clara County parks are a blessing, pure and simple, particularly for those of us who live in South County. The waterfalls and cascades of Uvas Canyon County Park are amazing each spring. The beautiful vistas, flowers, and terrain of Coyote Lake-Harvey Bear County Park are virtually at our doorstep. In town and beyond, these and 27 more county parks set aside the lovely corners of our home region for us to explore.

You can support Santa Clara County Parks on June 7 by voting Yes on Measure A. Measure A does NOT increase taxes one cent. As Santa Clara County voters have already done six times, the measure simply renews the Park Charter Fund that was established by the voters in 1972. That fund sets aside money already in the general fund to maintain, operate, improve and expand county parks. Measure A puts parks funding beyond the whimsy of politicians and ensures they will be adequately funded.

A visit to a Santa Clara County Park is always a day well spent. To make sure they will always be protecting wildlife, preserving open space, providing clean air and water, and giving each of us a place to refresh ourselves away from the hustle and bustle, please support Santa Clara County Parks and vote Yes on Measure A.

Ron Erskine

Morgan Hill

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