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Message from BOUSD School Board Member Teresa Hampson – Measure “E”

6 years ago by in ( News , Schools , Welcome to Brea )

Dear friends,


    The schools of Brea need YOU!

      Having served this community well for over a century, our district today is suffering due to many years of steadily declining State funding - and the future looks even bleaker. These schools where your children and mine grew and learned together (and where some of you and your parents did too) have lost 16 percent of their funding in the last five years - and always did manage on considerably less than almost all others. (The BOUSD is one of the OC's lowest-funded districts; Orange County also is one of the lowest-funded counties in California, and California ranks 47th in the nation in per-pupil funding.)

        Because of this funding disparity, Brea's great schools (where I've met most of you over the years) always have had to work harder to do more, but there comes a point where will alone won't get it...where so much has been lost that there's just no way to bridge this ever-widening gap. We're precariously close to reaching that point today, and - as a trustee of this district - I just can't find it in my heart to let that happen without trying my hardest to help.

          We starting laying people off here a decade ago, which has made every recent cut harder to bear, as there's just no "non-vital" positions left. Our classes are larger (the wonderfully effective kindergarten through third grade 20-to-1 class size reduction program is long gone; our largest high school class this year stands at 47 students). Our classrooms never are cleaned more often than every three days. Our extensive acreage is maintained by nothing more than a skeleton crew. And you must have seen our "white fleet" of maintenance vehicles driving around town, the oldest trucks dating from the 1960's! All funds from the 1999 general obligation bond were well spent on planned projects, but it always was known that needs would remain beyond this (as we just asked the community for $27 million at that time, even though the known need then was $85 million). New needs also arise as our buildings grow steadily older, especially the oldest of these: Laurel, much of which was built in 1922, Arovista and all the back buildings at BJH, built in 1956, and perhaps surprisingly, Country Hills, because it had to be built all-portable due to a shortage of funds at that time. Portable structures last only about 35 years, and that anniversary fast is approaching there.

            In our classrooms, larger numbers of students per teacher also make learning increasingly difficult. This problem can be alleviated somewhat through enhanced use of technology, which allows students more self-help for managing, storing and correcting work, as well as more direct access to online research. But our technology tools are aging, and no new state money in this area has been available for many years. Our parents (always stalwarts in raising funds for computers and more) also are growing tired of the heavy burden placed on them since all State school site improvement program funds (SIP) were cut some years back. It was this money that helped provide money for art and music, technology and other "enrichment" activities, and PTAs and PTOs increasingly are being asked to help fill this large gap.

              For all these reasons, for the future of this district, and for the health of this community, I'm strongly supporting BOUSD Measure E. I consider this an essential investment in the campuses this community has built and cared for over the years (and which we can't now allow to deteriorate for lack of funds). Measure E is an investment in Brea's future - a way to keep our community strong and ensure it stays a welcoming place for new generations to live and raise their children.

                Please - if you see this as I do - vote yes on Measure E, strongly consider offering your name as an endorser and let your friends and neighbors know so by posting a sign on your lawn.

                  Teresa Hampson, member, BOUSD School Board
Author :

"Thank you" for visiting Beautiful Brea Old & New (BBON). First & foremost, I am a proud mother & wife. I am also a well-rounded independent contractor. But you can call me an enthusiastic cheerleader, supporting wholeheartedly the City of Brea --a charming town with character & innovation, turning 100 years old in 2017!

  • Carolyn Campbell

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