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Voters need more info about school statistics

Information needed for intelligent voting in school elections can be hard to come by. School districts have a monopoly on this information and, unless prodded by an energetic press or an aroused public, tend to release only information that supports the district’s position. 

For the last week or so, there has been a sign on Cornell Road outside Sunset High School informing those passing by that 52 students in a classroom is too many. I think most would agree that 52 is quite a lot for high school classes even if the teacher has assistance from a teacher’s aide.

The sign does not indicate whether the 52 students to a room holds true throughout the school or is the case in only a few instances. It is hard to believe that, in a generally strong district, Sunset High can depart that far from the statewide 20-to-1 ratio of enrolled K-12 students to full-time teachers (Source: Oregon Blue Book). 

George Will had some interesting national K-12 statistics in a recent article. From 1950 to 2009, the number of K-12 students nationwide doubled (96 percent increase), the number of FTE school employees almost quadrupled (386 percent), classroom teachers increased two and a half times (252 percent), and non-teachers had a 702 percent increase. Today, the ratio of teaching to non-teaching staff nationwide is 50-50.  

As general information, I would like to know the ratio of teachers to non-teaching staff in the Beaverton School District. But, whatever the ratio, the current crunch could be eased by moving some administrative professionals back into the classroom. 

Bernarr L. Stadius

Bethany

I support Huma Pierce for Position 7 on School Board

Beaverton has a terrific choice for School Board Position 7 in the May election. While all three candidates offer relevant experience, Dr. Huma Pierce presents her ideas with an infectious passion that bodes well for the board.

Her long years of service in our community and commitment to young people is documented (HumaPierceforSchoolBoard.com). She offers “big picture” ideas, and smaller, targeted ideas to help bring forth the best in these financially difficult times.

Above all, her passion and her ability to articulate that passion appears to be exactly what’s needed to help engage teachers, staff, students and parents to maximize our community’s resources. I believe that a strong coalition led by a board member with Pierce’s experience, skills and enthusiasm will help our school district to deliver the most effective education possible.

Please join me by casting your vote for Pierce.

Rob Solomon

BeavertonIssuesGroup.com site coordinator

Restore our natural areas — vote yes on 26-152

Voters have invested significantly in natural spaces in the Tualatin Valley through two Metro ballot measures. Areas along Gales Creek are significant to the last remnant of steelhead trout in the Tualatin system. From Wapato Lake to Fernhill Wetland, Metro’s purchases provide habitat for migrating ducks, geese and swans.

Now it is time to take care of that investment.Ballot Measure 26-152 will provide $10 million to $11 million per year for the next five years of restoration, maintenance and access to Metro’s 10,000 acres of natural areas. Pair that with matching funds from foundations and other partners, and we can accomplish a lot. This will cost the average homeowner in the Metro service territory less than six cents per day.

Tualatin Riverkeepers urges voters to pass Measure 26-152 in May to restore our natural areas and protect the wise land investments we have made over the past 20 years.

Brian Wegener

Tualatin Riverkeepers watershed coordinator

I will not support money measures on the ballot

I am voting no on ballot Measures 26-152 and 34-204. Measure 26-15 will repair and maintain propery purchased via Metro back in 1995 and 2006. Metro knew it did not have the money to maintain this propery yet they bought it anyhow, and are now trying to stick it to homeowners once again to foot the bill.

Ballot Measure 34-204 is a ballot measrue asking for more money for the Beaverton School District. With PERS breaking the state of Oregon, I am not voting for more money for school until Salem gets that debacle figured out. Recent research says if this bill passes, it will create just enough money to cover the increase costs for PERS in the coming year.

My property taxes have gone up double, 100 percent in 13 years. Does Salem and the city of Beaverton think this is a fair number? Will they only be happy when I am paying three or four times the amount of property taxes versus 1999, or when I cannot afford my home and have to sell it?

I am voting no on both of these measures for survival purposes.

James Maass

Beaverton

Please consider supporting school levy measure

For those who want to vote no on the Beaverton School District levy measure on this May’s ballot. Consider how bad it has gotten at our schools, where we have to raise money to fund restrooms at our high school athletic facilities. That is what is happening at Southridge High School in South Beaverton.

For more information, please visit srhsrestroomcrew.wordpress.com.Please consider voting yes on the Beaverton school Measure 34-204 in May.

Chris Walton

Beaverton

Jerry Jones is the right leader for THPRD board

I urge all voters in the Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District to elect Jerry Jones to the board in the May election. I have worked with Jerry as a board member of Beaverton’s Urban Renewal Agency and in the Beaverton Chamber. Jerry will bring his experience and leadership to the THPRD board and help continue the outstanding programs of the district. Jerry Jones is the one to elect.

Jim McCreight

Beaverton



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