Letters to the Editor: Sept. 26, 2008

Editor's note: Letters regarding the Nov. 4 election must be received by Oct. 10 for publication on Oct. 17.

Support for high school board incumbents

The upcoming San Dieguito Union High School District election is important to our community. The incumbents running for the two positions on the school board, Joyce Dalessandro and Beth Hergesheimer, have a proven commitment to our children and the school district. These two women have been providing strong, experienced and forward-looking leadership to the board for the last 12 years.

As the race heats up, a small special interest group of homeowners in the La Costa Valley have put forward a candidate to carry their banner. Who is this candidate? An Encinitas dentist, Michael Klein, is adamant that his, "platform does not hinge on a single agenda." Yet, he is praised by the La Costa Valley Homeowners Association (the community where he lives) for championing their cause. For those not familiar with the La Costa Valley property, the district Web site has a 10-page document that addresses the concerns that have been voiced on this issue (www.sduhsd.k12.ca.us). At issue is a piece of property that the school district owns in La Costa Valley that was purchased for the purpose of building a middle school to meet a projected increase in student population.

Unfortunately, that population has not increased as expected, and to build a middle school at this time would be fiscally irresponsible. The school district is holding on to the property in hopes that a middle school can be built on the site at a future date.

The La Costa Valley population is a small part of the 12,500 students in the San Dieguito Union School District. Both Dalessandro and Hergesheimer have experience dealing with the academic, budgetary, legal, personnel and legislative aspects of running a quality school district. Their role as board members has been one of consideration of the needs of all students in the district and the impact of their policies and planning on the education of these students. It is not a narrow political agenda concerned with a piece of property up in the northern part of the district, but with finding creative, alternate solutions, within existing budget constraints, to avoid program cuts, to restore areas that have been lost to funding limits and to champion the addition of innovative programs that maximize our limited resources.

The San Dieguito Union High School District is one of the nation's finest school districts offering a wealth of academic and extracurricular opportunities in which its students can engage and excel. All of the district's traditional schools score over 800 in the Academic Performance Index (API). Students from its different high schools have high acceptance rates at colleges and universities across the nation. These statistics are the result of a strong school board that has the best interests of the students in mind. The board has the management skills and experience to deal with the ongoing state budget concerns. We don't need someone to give a "fresh perspective" to the board; we need the proven leadership of the current trustees to get us through the difficult times that are ahead.

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