My husband and I attended the GUSD Community Information Night at Crescenta Valley High School Oct. 8 to hear about the plight of our local schools. Despite deep cuts in personnel and other spending over the past few years, our prize-winning public schools face severe financial shortages that will mean higher class sizes and shorter school terms.

The district is asking the teachers union to allow student test scores to be used in teacher and administrator evaluations in order to qualify for Race to the Top federal funding. The teachers have already agreed to unpaid furlough days in prior contract negotiations. There have been no cost-of-living raises since 2007, so teacher pay has been dropping in terms of buying power. Community help is needed.

There are several ways you can help the schools: vote yes on propositions 30 and 38 on the November ballot, contribute directly to your local school or to the Glendale Educational Foundation, which augments funding for visual and performing arts, science and technology, and health and fitness, and volunteer at your local school. Joining the PTA is another way to support your local school. You don’t have to have children in school to join, community members are welcome.

High quality schools not only attract families into Glendale and keep property values stable, they produce high-quality workers that attract businesses to California. We need to think of the long term.

A similar meeting was held Monday at Glendale High and another will be held Monday, Oct. 22 at Hoover High. Attend to learn more and ask questions.

Sharon Weisman
Glendale