I have been involved with the newspaper business for some time and while it is our responsibility to report the news, sometimes we’re also asked to endorse certain measures or politicians. This is usually around election time when folks are running for office or ballot measure supporters are looking to garner the paper’s backing.
In the early days, when I was over at the Valley Sun and this opportunity came my way I was shy about the idea. I was fortunate in that I had an editor who was much more experienced than I, however. She made me understand that it was the responsibility of the newspaper to do our homework and then let the readers know our stand on an issue. The guiding principle was do our homework.
And so it is with Measure S.
I’ve been asked to take a close look at the pros and cons of this measure, form an educated opinion and present that opinion as an endorsement one way or the other. So over the last couple of days, Mary O’Keefe (whose opinion I highly value) and I visited the website, met with members of the Glendale Unified School District board of education and spoke with a couple of teachers. This is what I have concluded:
Measure S is not asking for new money from taxpayers. What it does is extend monies currently being paid out for Measure K. In other words, Measure K funding is due to end; Measure S would extend those funds coming in through our property taxes. The cost is roughly $46 per $100,000 paid in property taxes that we’re already paying.
Measure S is a good thing for our kids because it is a good thing for our schools. Part of Measure S funds would be dedicated to improving the facilities at our schools including our labs in the science wing at CV plus the high schools’ AP classes and engineering departments. Money would also be provided to improve the facilities over at College View, a school that is dedicated to helping children with special needs.
Updated technology is a must for our kids in order to make our graduates competitive in the markets of today and tomorrow. Without updated technology, we cripple the ability of our kids to make their mark in the world. The goal is to maintain our leadership position in the state, to maintain our competitive edge.
Also on the list of things to fund is career tech ed, known to us oldsters as shop classes. I grew up taking auto shop in high school. My eldest, who is 28, also took shop. But in the last several years, many if not all of those classes have been cut leaving a hole in tech training. Let’s face it: not every student is bound for college. Failure to educate these students in service fields is not fulfilling our obligation to them.
Another point to note is that improvements under Measure K came in on time and under budget. The district knows how to allocate the funds to best meet the needs of its schools.
While I understand that some members of the GTA are not supporting Measure S because the money is not going to be used in the manner they feel is best, I think that ultimately we have to look at what those funds will be used for: bettering the overall education of all of our children.
As Superintendent Dick Sheehan said, “Our job is to give them every opportunity possible.”
So it is with a clear conscience that I can say that the Crescenta Valley Weekly endorses Measure S. We’ve done our homework, asked the questions and made our choice.
We hope you agree.