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|Contra Costa County, CA||November 2, 2010 Election|
Linda's Letter to the Community
By Linda K. MayoCandidate for Board Member; Mount Diablo Unified School District
This information is provided by the candidate
"I take pleasure in supporting our schools, our great students, our outstanding staff. I hope you will support me so I may continue with this wonderful work."October 2010
Dear Friends of Public Education:
Since first elected to the Board of Education 13 years ago, I have spent at least one day a week visiting schools and classrooms throughout the Mt. Diablo Unified School District. I have met with teachers who work in schools considered to be "underperforming," based on overall standardized test scores. I have talked with teachers working in "California Distinguished" and nationally "Blue Ribbon" schools.
Initially, the schools I visited were in great need of repair and modernization. Just as I worked hard to pass Measure A in 1989, I and my fellow Board members worked diligently to pass Measure C in 2002 and Measure C in 2010. Voters in Mt. Diablo rewarded our efforts by approving these three bond measures that, coupled with the state construction bond (Proposition 55), have funded $778 million in capital improvements to classrooms, schools, playfields, and facilities throughout the district. An energy management endeavor will provide relieve to the general fund and shows MDUSD committment to "go green."
In addition to observing students engaged in their lessons, I am delighted to see them and their teachers working in rooms that are clean, well-equipped for technology, and safe. The improved facilities are the most visible of many improvements the district is accomplishing. Higher test scores at all schools and for all student subgroups, higher graduation rates, increased attendance, and a qualified workforce are among some other achievements.
During the past 13 years, the school district budget has experienced the same fluctuations as the state economy. In 2001, when state revenues were bountiful, I and my fellow Board members were able to approve 10 percent salary increases for district employees. Between 2003 and 2005, the state economy suffered a severe downturn, reducing the revenues the district received. Although the Board cut the district budget by $14 million during that time, student programs were not affected until the third year. Fortunately, 2006 found the state and the district returning to fiscal good health, and I was happy to vote to restore those programs and to give additional salary increases to all employees.
In the last three years the economic crisis is now worse than it was during the 1930's Depression. Our public school funding has been dramatically reduced. Our State Legislature has yet to adopt a budget and schools face borrowing funds to meet day to day expenses. We've been forced to give up reduced class size K-3 and in ninth grade, elementary instrumental music, transportation excepting special needs students. Following the elimination of after school sports, our MDUSD community has enthusiastically supported the United Mt. Diablo Athletic Foundation to provide sports funding for our high school students.
The economic fluctuations point out the need to monitor the district budget closely, to understand the idiosyncrasies of school finance, and to question everything. I took on these responsibilities when I joined the Board 13 years ago and consider them the most important of all I do as a Board member. Without fiscal health, the district cannot fulfill our primary goal: to serve all students well.
I have been committed to that goal from the day in 1978 the oldest of my three daughters started kindergarten in the Mt. Diablo Unified School District and I began my long career in public education as a parent volunteer. All my girls have graduated, the youngest in 1998, but my commitment remains as strong as ever. Public education depends on parent and community support. With it, and through the expertise and dedication of our teachers and other employees, our district is making great strides.
I take pleasure in supporting our schools, our great students, our outstanding staff. I hope you will support me so I may continue with this wonderful work.
To view Linda's candidate statement in Spanish visit http://www.LindaMayo4mdusd.com, and click on the Linda Mayo tab.
Position Paper 2
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