I’m writing to encourage a yes vote on Measure B, the school bond for Tracy schools on the June 3 ballot. I’m proud to live in this community because Tracy is a place that values education. My two kids attend Tracy schools, and I’ve been lucky enough to volunteer at each of their schools. I’ve seen the renovations at Monte Vista Middle School and how they’ve improved my daughter’s education. My other child attends McKinley Elementary School and also has a great experience at her school because of modernization from past bond funds.
Several years ago, I took an interest in the bond process and joined the Independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee. We review all bond projects and performance and financial audits. I personally can say that the school district has done an outstanding job with past bond funds to modernize Tracy High School and West High School. South/West Park Elementary School renovations will begin soon. Tracy Unified has also received more than $50 million in state and other matching funds to enhance these projects. Measure B will continue the investment our community has made, providing comparable schools for all students. To see the annual report of past bonds in Tracy, please visit www.tracy.k12.ca.us. Please join me and vote yes on Measure B on June 3.
Teri Cunningham, Tracy
No racism in superintendent choice
I am both a Tracy resident and a former student of the Tracy Unified School District. Your article regarding the district’s contract signing of a new superintendent had me very concerned (“Trustee decries lack of diversity in district office,” April 11).
I strongly agree with James Vaughn, the TUSD board president, that finding someone to fill Dr. James Franco’s shoes would be a challenge in itself. But I do believe that this article inadvertently highlighted a key misunderstanding: Despite Walter Gouveia’s personal opinion, many of the TUSD elected officials and employed staff do demographically represent the district’s growing minority population.
According to Proximity One, 37.1 percent of the students and staff classify themselves as an ethnicity other than White/Caucasian. This would mean that to apply this ratio to the board of trustees, at least two of the members would have to be part of the minority, which is true. But why is there this assumption that the diversity of the board would then hire a superintendent that specifically follows this trend?
What Gouveia seems to be missing in his “lack of diversity” argument is that employment in the Tracy Unified School District is not based on the spoils system, neither biased by whether the candidate is “inclusively or exclusively” white. Was the race card (in this case, reverse racism) actually necessary?
I believe what matters is that the board of trustees chose to hire someone who was qualified for the position, because what good is putting someone’s minority ethnic race on a pedestal, instead of their potential?
In my opinion, Dr. Brian Stephens’ only possible drawback is that he comes from a different school district with a significantly smaller minority demographic. As Gouveia seems to suggest, Stephens may not be as culturally aware as the other candidates that were competing for the job. Why wasn’t that issue being addressed instead?
Camille Manantan, Tracy