Letters to the editor | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Letters to the editor

I value our community’s educators, and believe they deserve to be paid as much as the school district can afford. That amount must be consistent with maintaining financial solvency, prudent facilities maintenance and stable programs. I have known no board member in the past 30 years who could justifiably be called anti-teacher. I have, however, seen the board controlled by members too beholden to the teachers union.

Every time voters have allowed teachers union-supported candidates to take over the school board, financial disaster for the district has soon followed. The reason is simple: Those candidates promise, then provide, salary increases that the district cannot sustain. Once increases are granted, the district, by law, cannot reduce them to an affordable level.

The consequences are predictable. Programs are eliminated, maintenance suffers, district funding for athletic programs is eliminated, class-size reduction is abandoned, and the like. In the most recent local crisis, the district attempted a $60 per year parcel fee. When it failed, two schools were closed. Consequences like these are not good for our kids or our community.

The union is supporting candidates Kemper and Green. Their candidate statements have identical first two sentences, obviously drafted from the same union model. The most recent mailing was entirely paid for by the union, not by candidate campaign committees. Both have evidently made irresponsible promises, and their election would lead to a new cycle of financial crisis, and crisis-driven decisions. These are not good for our kids’ education. Let’s not repeat past mistakes.

So who to support? Through hard, balanced decisions, incumbents Novasel and Banner have gotten the district near a sound financial footing. Through new creative leadership, Meyers school was re-opened as a “magnet” school.

With large private sector monetary and labor donations, the new track and field were made possible. Their leadership has turned the district in the right direction. Mike Doyle, who would be new to the board, supports the current district direction, and has avoided making unrealistic promises.

Please join me in supporting Sue Novasel, Barbara Banner and Mike Doyle. They are the best three candidates for the school board at this time.

— John Upton

Former School Board member

South Lake Tahoe

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