The following letter was in yesterday's (May 20) edition. I have responded below.
Thanks, school community
A total of 13,430 voters said Yes to Measure E. Although the results were not what we had hoped for, I want the school employees to know that I appreciate everything each and every one of them did on their own time to help with the campaign and to get the message out. Remember, over 60% of the community does not have children in school, yet many of them who voted, also marked Yes for Measure E.
Again, the majority of the voters said Yes. Our parents continue to support us through donations and by volunteering in our schools and classrooms every day, because they believe in our teachers, our employees and our students.
Everyone is touched by education, but not everyone is necessarily aware of what it takes to educate children in today's world, especially with the limited budget we have. We have to continue to advocate for all kids, push for reform at the state level, inform the community, and support each other and our employees.
The work that our district does is an investment in the future of our country and the world. I know the days following the election may be tough for our school community but I ask everyone to keep your chin up and know that I truly appreciate everything you do for the district and for students.
Thank you to everyone who chose education as their profession. I am honored to work with such dedicated and hard working employees.
Parvin Ahmadi, Superintendent, Pleasanton Unified School District
I am disappointed in your letter to the editor. The gracious thank you to the staff and community who supported Measure E was certainly warranted. What I find lacking is the acknowledgment that things could have been done better; some comment about what the district will do going forward should have been a key part of the message to this entire community.
Perhaps the letter could have read:
“I wish to acknowledge the invaluable efforts of those who worked tirelessly on behalf of the Measure E campaign. Countless hours of personal time were dedicated to reaching out to the voters in Pleasanton. On behalf of the Board, I wish to thank each of you.
“While the results of the vote were not what we had hoped, this continues to be a generous community that supports students through donations and volunteering—a community that clearly values public education. We intend to reach out further into the community to help determine how best to move forward in these challenging financial times.
“If you have not participated recently in activities at your local school, I invite you to visit us soon or in the fall as we start the new school year. There will be coffees with principals, back to school nights, and opportunities to see the improvements made to school facilities. We also plan to have board members and myself available at forums for the all interested parties for a conversation about what we can do collectively to maintain or improve services and to communicate better with the broader public.
“We have also set up a community input page at ((make a link)) where you can send observations of good events or concerns about what is occurring around the district. You can also reach me at ((add a “superintendent” email)).
“Those who are part of the collective endeavor of providing an excellent education for our students—parents, teachers, classified staff, grandparents, community members, administrators, and business leaders—remain dedicated to that goal.”
This is by no means perfect, but for healing and next steps, it attempts to be more inclusive.