– A group of regional political, education and business leaders
wants input from South County residents on how to improve education
in Santa Clara County.
MORGAN HILL – A group of regional political, education and business leaders wants input from South County residents on how to improve education in Santa Clara County.
The K-12 Blue Ribbon Task Force will hold a “Solution Forum” in Morgan Hill this month to gather public testimony about possible solutions to issues here such as teacher shortages, lagging student achievement and disparities in school funding.
County Superintendent of Schools Colleen Wilcox launched the task force during her “State of the Schools” address in June to help identify ways to remedy funding and resource problems faced by local schools.
According to Wilcox, over 30 percent of the county’s teachers are expected to leave their classrooms in the next five years due to retirements, moves to areas with lower costs of living, and other factors – with a shortage of fully credentialed teachers available to replace them.
Meanwhile, county schools continue to perform below state goals and lag behind the U.S. average in several areas. And California has one of the lowest per pupil spending levels in America, with other states spending on average of at least $1,000 more per child. But state resources mean less here because of the Silicon Valley’s high cost of living.
The task force set up to help address those problems includes representatives from education, business, labor unions and community groups. The group is co-chaired by Carl Guardino, president and CEO of the Silicon Valley Manufacturing Group, and Susan Hammer, vice-president of the State Board of Education and former mayor of San Jose.
Local members include District 1 County Supervisor Don Gage and Morgan Hill Councilwoman Hedy Chang.
The Morgan Hill forum is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 26 from 6:15 to 8:30 p.m. at Britton Middle School, 80 W. Central Ave. in Morgan Hill. Other forums will be held Nov. 14 to 25 in San Jose.