An open letter from APT to the Board of Education

The Association of Piedmont Teachers (APT) shared this letter to the school board with The Exedra on Tuesday night:

We, the members of APT, are extremely encouraged to hear the news that the School Board is briefly postponing the resolution on budget cuts in order to use the February 28 meeting to hold a public discussion of a potential increase to the Measure H parcel tax. 

We understand that it is not easy to consider bringing this proposal to the community, but we believe that it will ultimately have widespread public support. 

Given the untenable damage to our schools and our students that would be caused by the full slate of proposed budget cuts as discussed on February 14th, and given the hard truth that the compensation increase the Board currently feels able to offer cannot keep pace with projected health insurance increases, much less with inflation, we believe that an increase to Measure H is the best, and probably only, viable path forward. 

As we all know, the painful truth is that funding for public schools in the United States is inadequate overall. Out of the 50 states, California ranks particularly low for per-pupil funding. To make things worse for PUSD, due to the way funding per district is determined by the state, Piedmont gets considerably less money per student than most California districts. We shouldn’t have to rely so much on local funding to sustain the excellent education Piedmont families depend on, but for the time being, we do. 

Of course, we must also look at reasonable and mindful cuts to our budget, and we must look at all possible options for increasing revenues, but those approaches alone cannot do enough to get us through, at least in the short term. And of course, we must work together for long-term legislative solutions, though those solutions may take years to come to fruition. In the meantime, Piedmont students need their already-generous community to keep helping us build the bridge to success. 

You have APT’s commitment that, should a measure to increase Measure H come to the Piedmont ballot in November, as we certainly hope it will, APT members will mobilize in outreach to the citizens of Piedmont, joining in on phone banks and postcard campaigns and door to door visits to help explain why we need this so urgently.  

This possibility of increased funding for our schools brings us the greatest sense of hope we have felt since the negotiation process began last spring. We believe that with the possibility of more community support on the horizon, APT and district leadership will be able to come to a reasonable contract agreement that will both work within the district budget and keep great educators here for our students. 

We encourage you most strongly to give direction on Wednesday night to move forward with a proposal to increase Measure H. Our students need and deserve this!

Thank you!

Elise Marks
Mercedes Foster
Michelle Kerwin 
Thea Hornor
Karen Bloom
S. Valdez-Kaminsky 
Heidi Sawicki
Bonnie Forbes
Carolyn White
Michelle Mazzeo 
Diana Miller
Kelly Ellis
Auban Willats
Andy Willats
Tiffany Cothran
Kathryn Levenson 
Michele Sage 
Claire Stephens 
Carrie Rodrigues
Laura Remer
Janine Mortan
Emily Wong
Katy Levin
Katie Terhar
Jeff Peters
Jennifer Gulassa
Carmen Chan
Melissa Cowan 
Amy Sharp
Carrie Poole
Allison Cota
Michelle Barbera 
Ashley English
Pam Quintella
Ben Spencer
Jaimie Lasky
Michael Kalin
Jessica Sprague
Sun Lee
Susie Schonberg
Gabrielle Baumgartner
Helen Brown
John White
Kate Campbell 
Lesley Wighton
Amiee Peri
Diana Thomas 
Alicia Martinez
Lianne Morrison
Martina Heppner
Kate Waldron 
Kerstie Mulligan
John Hayden
Ellen Breeden
Alexandra Escobar 
Erika Weisenberg
Matthew Klein
Laura Archer
Hannah Swernoff
Hayley Adams 
Shoshana Beary
Laura Badal
Jessica Hedbavny
Alaleh Ford
Joanie Sears 
Amy Moorhead
Jennifer Cole
Maggi Butler
Rachna Dube
Kelly Bunje
Ted Scherman
Marna Chamberlain 
Lydia Adams
Aileen Finney
John Savage 
Ashley Stevanovic                        
Viviana Green
Jodi Carter
Shelley Seto Rosen
Bryan Smith
Becky Nielsen
Shelly Lynch
Alejandra Ojeda-Beck
Colleen Stormer
Anjuna Lohnes
Ken Brown
Gillian Bailey
Shauna Revelli
Debbi Hill
Lauren Lopez
Melina Rinehart
Robin Ludmer
Michelle Song
Louisa Cheung 
Nicole Mitchell
Linsey Sandrew
Chloe Readel
Emily Boyes
Stefanie Manalo-LeClair
Jamie Van Kleeck 
Russell Jang
Ted Greenebaum
Jessica Burden Roine
Larraine Seiden
Kimberly Taylor
Lyra Harris
Trevor Meseroll
Craig Best
Jamieson Mockel
Giena Vogel
Jennifer Rinna Hildreth 
Amy Jo Goldfarb
Camilla Thayer
Claire Breen
Adrian Behrendt
Janine Sohn
Jessica McMillen
Melanie McCauley
Gabrielle Kashani
Hillary Freeman
Emily Hook 
Jana Branisa
Jen Kessler
Sally Samuth
Anne Marie Miguel
Molly Coffey-Smith
Ali Kelly
Lisa Brenneman
David Keller
Xinjia Xia
Esther Miner
Nikkola Yuen
Timothy Wisniewski
Amanda Carlson
Shawn Barile-Hill
Lea Lotia
Chris Hartford
Colin Chang
Amy Savage
Beth Black
Sam Colburn
Michael Bracamonte
Eduardo Wolbert
Amayrani Mercado

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