I agree with Gerry Gifford (letter 8/20/2010) about school funding on a number of points, but disagree with the conclusions.
Gifford is right that teachers and staff make are critical to the high quality education offered in the Boulder Valley School District. He is correct that teachers work long hours and are undervalued and underpaid in our society. And he is absolutely on target that we need to put our children’s education first.
These are the very purposes of question 3A on the local ballot this Fall. 3A asks citizens to vote children first – to restore the classroom cuts forced by State budget cuts and the recession, to increase teacher and staff compensation so we can attract and retain the best teachers, and to advance early childhood education so we can close the achievement gap.
Gifford asks that administrators be cut first: and that is exactly what the district has done, reducing central administration by 13.5% so that classroom cuts could be held to 3.5%. And suggesting that School Board members take a pay cut to better serve the needs of students it totally off-base – they are unpaid volunteers who put in hundreds of hours a year on behalf our kids and our community.
Education is the foundation of Boulder Valley’s future – economically and socially. Even in a recession, it is incumbent on the citizenry to give young people the opportunities they need to learn, thrive and contribute to our common future. Ballot measure 3A is an opportunity for our community to express the value we place in public education by voting for it. Please vote yes on 3A.