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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Another idea on splitting up the school district

Dear Tom:

Your posting brought me back to fights fought over the last 18 years that I have endured, because my kids are in these schools. I can well imagine how you feel, just starting out, probably having invested an incredible amount of money in a house here and hoping for the best you can get for your kids in terms of schools and the educational program offered.

I can imagine how unbelievably disheartening it must be to you to read that all these wonderful programs that you (and all of us), consider essential to an education, are suddenly and really without much notice being eliminated. After all, this last fall our school district filed papers with the Contra Costa Board of Education, which oversees all the school districts in Contra Costa County, saying it was in sound fiscal condition. I am not going to try to dissuade you at all from leading a movement to opt out of the WCCUSD. I think you have many valid reasons for doing this. But I am going to offer first a perspective and then a suggestion.

The first, is that if you were to get an El Cerrito School District, you would get a school district with only El Cerrito people in it. One of the experiences that I feel has been truly beneficial to me and my children is the interaction with kids and parents from all over West County. Albany kids only interact, for the most part, with Albany people. While I am not putting Albany down, I think our district has the advantage because we meet so many different people. And, I am not referring to the cliched diversity angle. It really has to do with meeting people from a wider arena than just ones own backyard.

Secondly, to respond to your complaint, the WCCUSD, is so big. I agree with you! And, I have proposed (in the past) on this forum, that the WCCUSD separate into two districts, nothwithstanding letting Hercules join John Swett School District, which I support. That would be a high school district and a K through 8 district. This configuration has significant precedent and successfully occurs throughout the state.

This would be two districts which would embrace the different cities contained in the WCCUSD, but would also revamp management, reduce many of the manufactured divisions in the district and allow management to really concentrate on the job, which should be to educate the students. I also believe it would increase accountability between the central administration and the school sites.

Well anyway Tom, good luck with whatever direction you decide to pursue.

I hope you will be able to improve the current WCCUSD so that we don't have to go through these exhausting wastes of community resources, and energy like we are going through right now.

Rebecca Hazlewood
Run dates: 2004-03-12 - 2004-03-26

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