From all my years of experience in teaching, I can tell you this: When the calendar gets to June, just about all members of our school community — teachers, staff and students — are counting the days until the summer break is here.
As the school year ends, let me take this opportunity to thank those who taught our children — the children who struggled as well as those who excelled. Thanks, too, to the dedicated parents who led the PTA, organized the fundraisers, and volunteered in the classrooms. And let’s take time to congratulate school staff and the children themselves on a job well done.
The excitement of last September, when the 2015-2016 school year was beginning, has given way to the exhaustion of June (especially for teachers). As a teacher, I remember how much I welcomed the lazy summer days in the sun — no homework, no grading papers, no report cards. Have a great summer, everyone!
Finally, as we end the school year, I want to report to you on how I voted on Measure E, the Irvine school bond measure. As you know, I struggled with this matter for a long time. I have never voted against a school bond or any measure to support public education. But this measure was badly flawed and unfair — it would impose new taxes only on those living in older areas of town with older schools. So, when I voted by mail, I voted NO.
Here’s why. In effect, Measure E said this: If you want to fix up and modernize your older neighborhood schools, you have to tax yourself an extra $200 or more each year to do it. Meanwhile, people in the newer parts of town with newer schools, would pay nothing extra. That’s just contrary to the idea of a unified school district. It divides IUSD into the “haves” and the “have-nots.”
I will be working for passage of the big State school bond on the November ballot — which will help all our schools, including here in Irvine. And if the IUSD School Board wants to put a fair local school bond measure on the November ballot — a measure that says we are all in it together on an equal basis — I’ll work for that too.
I’ll have more to say about these issues in future columns.