I’m a strong believer in providing quality education to all kids regardless of their socioeconomic status, but we’re in a desperate fight to make that vision a reality in San Mateo. I experienced it first-hand when my son lost his gifted first-grade teacher in the middle of the school year. Another school district offered more money and recruited her away.
San Mateo-Foster City district is struggling to recruit and retain teachers. No wonder: Our district is the fourth-lowest funded district in this high-cost county at $10,151 per student/year. In contrast, the best-funded school district in San Mateo County invests $25,000 per student annually. Relatively low state funding and high housing costs threaten our kids’ success inside the classroom but also the future sustainability of San Mateo and Foster City. A strong public school system provides undeniable benefits not just to the students but to the larger community. Educated students will become future contributors to our economy and a thriving society.
Whether you have a child in the public school system or not, the entire community feels its successes and failures. I ask San Mateo and Foster City residents to support Measure V to provide critical funding to our district schools. Funds from this parcel tax will have an enormous impact in preparing students for college, careers and civic life by allowing the district to hire and retain the best teachers and strengthen academic programs. Let’s create an educated and informed next generation.
The letter writer is a member of the San Mateo County Board of Education.