Letters to the editor: Dec. 23 - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

Letters to the editor: Dec. 23

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Posted: Monday, December 22, 2008 5:31 pm | Updated: 9:05 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Gilbert taxpayers absolutely cannot afford the new graduation requirement for our high school kids. The school board has paid little attention to the cost issue, and now in the Tribune editorial (“Adding credits adds to knowledge base,” Dec. 14, Our View) it is clear that this newspaper also has no financial awareness of what is really going on.

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GILBERT SCHOOLS

Board must revisit graduation credits

Gilbert taxpayers absolutely cannot afford the new graduation requirement for our high school kids. The school board has paid little attention to the cost issue, and now in the Tribune editorial (“Adding credits adds to knowledge base,” Dec. 14, Our View) it is clear that this newspaper also has no financial awareness of what is really going on.

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With more than a billion-dollar deficit in the state budget, we don’t think we can risk the loss of sending students and their attached funding to Mesa, Chandler or charter schools. Do we really want our dwindling tax rate to deteriorate further? Who will lose jobs to balance the budget if this happens?

Last month, the board ignored input it had requested in naming a new school, and now it has raised the graduation credit requirement over objections from large numbers of parents and the principal of every Gilbert high school.

Only Van Dunham and Lily Tram were responsive and responsible board members, as they listened to the public. They showed respect for family concerns about choices for their kids, as well as for taxpayers’ pocketbooks. On the other hand, Elaine Morrison twisted the public input and claimed that the more rigid schedules would give more flexibility, when parents had made crystal clear that exactly the opposite was the case.

Thad Stump then indicated that the cost of more than $1 million was no big deal, which makes us wonder if he wants to write the check. Then Helen Holland erroneously stated that it would be impossible to bring the issue back to the school board agenda.

We call on the Gilbert school board to bring it back in January with EJ Anderson on board. It’s not over yet!

MYRNA SHEPPARD, JULIA MCCLEVE, LINDA ROLLANS

GILBERT

Students can’t afford to take more classes

In a time when families, government and everyone should be tightening their purse strings, the governing board of the Gilbert Unified School District has decided to make a decision that could effect families right in the very pocket book they are barely holding on to. In a 4-1 vote, they choose to increase the required graduation hours from 22 to 23 credits. For those of us with students in district high schools whose kids already go to school at 6:15 a.m. so they can fit in all the hours, this is not smart governing. The potential financial burdens to a family like mine can be devastating.

For example, my sons both work during the summer to pay for their car insurance, clothes and playing money. They are involved in extra-curricular activities and we want them to concentrate on doing well in school during the year. This increase in graduation requirements will cause many more students to have to take summer school or online classes, thus forcing families to pay extra for classes. Plus, it makes it hard to get a summer job if you need to have a big chunk of the day off to go to summer school.

It is likely that the schools will lose much of their population due to the fact that there are many other choices out there, more cost-effective and less rigid, such as charter and online high schools. The cost to hire more staff will affect other areas of our children’s education, such as extra-curricular activities.

STEFANY GUSTAFSON

GILBERT

Racism drives opponents

As a teacher, I spend more than 180 days a year and thousands of hours helping students acquire the skill of thinking critically. Presently, I see more promise in my high school students than I do in those adults weighing in on the naming of the new Gilbert high school. This dialogue gives a whole new meaning the question “what’s in a name?”

Many of those fervently opposing the name Campo Verde are using words such as “community,” “upscale” and, perhaps the most blasphemous, “American.” Let us look behind the curtain and see what is really at the controls. Racism — that is what this is.

You can dress it up with affluence, your religion, or even dare use the death of a local youth to drive home your repulsive point. However, those of us who learned to think critically while in school rather than being concerned with the name given to our institution know that this is really bigotry.

What unnerves me most is that I have to walk no further than my mailbox to witness it. So keep using terms such as “American” and “community” to cloak your unwavering contempt for the non-majority, but know that there are many who can see you and your racist views coming from a mile away.

One more thing, I must wish those educators of Campo Verde High School great luck. It appears you have your work cut out for you. Not all, but many of your future students are coming from homes where education that does not fit rigid, cookie-cutter ideals is not appreciated nor promoted.

KEVIN CHAPIN

GILBERT

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