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May 6, 2011 > Speak Up for Better Education

Speak Up for Better Education

Are you concerned about the funding cuts that are hitting our schools? I certainly am. Over the past few years, our schools have lost teachers, libraries, sports programs, art and music programs, clubs and more. They have put off buying new textbooks and have increased class sizes. All of this is detrimental to the quality of our students' education. If you too are concerned, then I would like to invite you to join me in the fight for better education funding by attending our annual bus trip to Sacramento and the Education Summit that I am hosting this May.

What does this have to do with my role as County Supervisor? The county, after all, doesn't oversee education. The county focuses on things like health care, social services, and public safety. Did you know that a student's education has an impact on his or her use of county services in the present or future? A simple illustration of this is that without adequate funding for education more youth get into trouble, being around negative influences, and fewer others graduate ending up in the county's juvenile justice system. This means that the county has a BIG stake in the fight for quality education. With this in mind, as both a parent and as County Supervisor, I am going to continue to fight for better education funding. I hope you will be able to join me at one or both the events being set up for this purpose.

For the past eight years, I have sponsored a one day bus trip to Sacramento. I have taken more than a thousand community members, parents, students, teachers, educational leaders, and others interested in quality education to discuss our concerns with our legislators. We have spoken with our legislators and told them point blank that we are not happy with funding cuts in our schools. Last year we had a number of students from East Side Union High School District join us as part of a field trip arranged through School Board member Frank Biehl. Their stories provided a real world picture of the impacts that funding cuts have on students. We have commitments from a number of legislators to stop cutting our school funding.

It is very important for us to keep the discussions alive. I am very pleased that this year's trip will be cosponsored by the Silicon Valley Education Foundation. It will take place on Monday, May 16, 2011 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The trip, including lunch, is absolutely FREE!

Two weeks before we board the bus to Sacramento, we will hold an Education Summit. The Education Summit will take place on Tuesday, May 3, 2011 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Board Chambers at the County Government Center at 70 W. Hedding Street in San Jose. This is a great opportunity to share your concerns about cuts at your schools with people from schools and neighborhoods across the county. We will have a panel of education leaders who can share the history of budget cuts and give a better picture of the future of our county if the cuts are allowed to continue.

We will compile this information to drive the discussion with the legislators in Sacramento. So, by attending the Education Summit, your voice will be heard as far away as Sacramento. Who knew your voice could travel so far? After we return, we will put out a summary of commitments we received so we can make sure promises were kept.

Once again, I urge you to join me in the fight for better education funding. Our students need and deserve a high quality education. The future of our county and our nation are at risk if the cuts continue. It is imperative that we get together and make our voices heard in Sacramento.

To register for the Education Summit, the Sacramento Bus Trip, or both please visit my website at www.supervisorcortese.org or call (408) 299-5030. Also, if you are a part of an organization that would like to partner with us for this trip, please e-mail Lara McCabe at lara.mccabe@bos.sccgov.org for details.

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