Editor:

I’m writing regarding your editorial on GS and GSH. Strong educational values and support of them, keep communities strong.

Education is a large and looming topic in our state, yet we remain 44th out of 50 states in the nation in per pupil spending. State funding fluctuations put Santa Monica schools in precarious places too often. Children need safe, modern learning environments with skilled teachers. Sacramento has no comprehensive plan or vision to maintain and advance public schools, and we are forced to rely on inadequate funding to maintain rigorous academic programs, arts education and to provide our students with the technology and skills they need in science, math and engineering to succeed in the 21st century. The physical needs in our schools — many of them over 100 years old — are great and the state has eliminated funding for maintaining them. It is up to us as a community to ensure our students and future students have the excellent education we expect and they deserve.

The City of Santa Monica has been a reliable, responsive partner and collaborator with our school district for many years. Having identified education as one its top priorities, the City has faithfully fulfilled its financial commitments to our schools, where the state legislature has not.

Santa Monica citizens have diligently supported our local schools because we believe in the promise and value of public education and the excellent teachers and resources needed to fulfill that promise and maintain that value. Voting yes on GS and GSH is a great way to support education with more than 50% of the funding contributed by tourists and visitors.

Our schools will face budget cuts without the passage of GS and GSH. Let’s lift up our community and the children in it. Let’s stay true to our values and say YES to GS and GSH for our students.

Jennifer Smith

President, Santa Monica Malibu Council of PTAs