Guest Editorial: District 3 Council candidates speak up for Measure A

By Brian Poochigian, Merritt Wiseman & Steve Woods
Visalia City Council
District 3 Candidates

A quality school system is critically important to the overall health of our community, and that is why we have chosen to support Measure A as a united front.

Quality schools result in graduates who have brighter futures ahead of them in terms of jobs and income.

A quality education is directly related to the health of our children and our community.

The levels of hunger, poverty and crime in a community are directly connected to the quality of education.

School properties also provide a place for activities ranging from school athletics to club soccer and water polo, to church meetings, after school programs and more. These facilities are used year-round and we are so accustomed to having them available, it’s easy to take them for granted.

Consider also the indirect benefits of a quality school system that has safe and well-maintained facilities.

It’s been documented that property values go up in a community with a school bond because quality schools directly enhance a community. Employers seeking a location for expansion or relocation consider the quality of the school district and its graduates as part of their due diligence.

A strong education system truly is the core of a safe and prosperous community.

Visalia Unified School District faces challenges of aging campuses, rapidly changing technology, security and population growth, as more people discover the affordability and charm of Visalia.

Measure A will make possible investments in new science labs, contemporary classrooms, improved learning technologies and more. Further, Measure A will strive to ensure equity across the district through investments in energy-saving lighting, heating and air conditioning, roofing and flooring, and enhanced accessibility.

Of Visalia’s four high schools, two are overcrowded, one is at maximum capacity, and the fourth one is just 100 students short of reaching its maximum ideal population.

Visalia is growing and we have to respond to that, with vision and caution. We don’t like taxes either, but in the State of California a property tax is the only way that a school district can generate the funds necessary for upgrades to older schools and the new high school in about five years.

We simply do not have adequate performing arts or athletics facilities, and Measure A will fund these amenities – in the short-term, not years later when the costs have multiplied.

We hope you will join us in supporting a bright future for our students and our community by supporting Measure A.

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