Declining Student Enrollment + No Funding = No Good for Good Teachers
[A Concerned Cupertino Parent Contribution to United Cupertino]
We need to set the expectations for our children and parents to understand that the state and quality of Cupertino schools is changing, and it is not making for a "Better Cupertino!"
Since last week's City Council's 5/7/19 action rescinding of the Vallco Specific Plan without putting it to the public's vote (as was the campaign slogans of Better Cupertino's Nimby Scharf, Chao, and Willey), a smug hypocrisy, many residents have posted their outrage on Nextdoor.
And then along comes a bit of honest reality.... and its not from the Yimby group you expect!
There is a Care2Petitions STUDENT petition that has surpassed 350+ signatures in less than 4 hours and counting. Mr. Hsu, the beloved music teacher at Kennedy Middle, is being involuntarily transferred from Kennedy to nearby Lawson Middle. This is not sitting well with the students of Kennedy.
United Cupertino has repeatedly reported the unbelievable shortfall in the funding of the Cupertino Union School District (CUSD), particularly because the perfect storm of declining enrollment is coupled with the State's transference of healthcare and pension responsibilities to the District. There is a mounting financial shortfall in the multiple millions of dollars every single year that exceeds $10s of millions of dollars just 5 years out.
From Today's LA Times: "And all of the expenses will ultimately crash into the reality of California’s demographics: The state is generally getting older, and its population of school-age children is no longer growing the way it did during most of the 20th century. By law, education dollars are linked to how many children there are in the classroom — which means funding won’t grow at a rate that can keep up with the mounting expenses."
So here is where the rubber hits the road and our children are in PROTEST. Kennedy Middle will lose a beloved music teacher, students are petitioning, maybe they will attend a Council or School Board meeting, but how long will all of this last under these continued declining circumstances. And that is just one teacher we know of (thanks to the rising student voices!). What a terrible state of affairs for our supposed "affluent" community.
And there is our Mayor joking about putting up a Trump-style wall around Cupertino to stop development and he'll make San Jose pay for it.
Rising home prices during this housing crisis are directly related to the quality of the school district. If the school district cannot meet its bills because there aren't enough affordable houses to bring young families with school-age children to the district and falls into decline, this entire housing house of cards will collapse.
And when our City Council is making deceitful decisions on behalf of our community by rejecting $10s of millions of dollars in school contributions as part of the Vallco Specific Plan, we are not placing a priority on our schools, and we are NOT putting our STUDENTS FIRST.
Shame on our Council, shame on our Planning Commission, they need to step up and acknowledge that their Nimby-biased policies will only further alienate our City from the rest of the Bay and exacerbate our housing and educational needs!