TVEA President School Board Comments

May 2, 2017

It is impressive how many people have given up their family and personal time tonight to participate in the local control process surrounding LCAP.

 

 Community stakeholders have consistently spoken to the importance of Elementary Visual and Performing Arts and Physical Education programs.  VAPA and PE have been rated as a top LCAP priority by both parents and teachers.

 

Cutting TVUSD LCAP VAPA and PE Staffing by 50% each will limit the scope of instruction across our seventeen elementary schools and adversely impact thousands of students. 

 

TVUSD is sending students to the best public and private universities in the United States and abroad.  Our students are arguably “World Class”.   Don’t these and all TVUSD students deserve access to a World Class Education?  Fully staffed Elementary VAPA and PE Programs casts a wide net of enrichment across Grades K-5.  Every Economically Disadvantaged, English-Language Learner, and Foster Youth elementary student benefits from expert instruction, perhaps their only significant childhood exposure to the arts and structured physical activity.

 

One month after TVUSD authorized reducing twenty plus LCAP positions for 2017-18, five of these reductions were proposed to be reinstated during a special board meeting in April.  Yet none of these positions were PE or VAPA.

 

Later tonight, the board will consider Action Item 0. 15:  ELA/ELD Textbook Adoptions.  This proposed item has a price tag of nearly $7 million dollars.  In early March Superintendent Ritter communicated to employees six “Current areas we will utilize to help balance the budget” Two of these were “Suspend and/or Reduce Adoption of Textbooks and Reductions in Professional Development offerings and Conference Attendance”

 

With a K-12 adoption proposed for approval tonight and a corresponding staff development day planned later this month for several hundred district teachers, those March words feel empty tonight.

 

Governing Board, please listen to your community.  Be divergent and creative in your thinking.  Consider Alternatives. Seek Solutions.

 

Perhaps a partial, phase-in textbook adoption can be considered to create temporary, yet significant cost-savings.   As trustees, the educational future of our students is in your hands.  Thank you.

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