We are hearing a lot about “educational equity” these days. Expressing an ideal that most Californians share, the State Constitution guarantees that all of California’s children are entitled to a free and equal public school education. 11D
An equal education — or educational equity — means fundamental fairness in the allocation of resources for modern school buildings, classrooms and science labs, as well as computers and other equipment and technologies essential to support academic success. But how is this achieved in a school district — like the Irvine Unified School District — where many schools were built 30 or even 40 years ago? It is clear that the old facilities in the small neighborhood schools, like Turtle Rock Elementary built in the 1970s, don’t measure up to what’s available at the new and modern mega-schools like Stonegate Elementary.
Clearly, this major challenge can only be met by marshaling millions of added dollars for school modernization — and carefully allocating those dollars in ways that make educational equity in Irvine a reality, not just a slogan.
IUSD is now considering plans to place a School Facilities Improvement Bond Measure on the June 2016 ballot. According to IUSD, “This measure would be structured to require that all funds go directly to improve Irvine’s oldest schools.”
We’ll take a closer look at this proposal next time.