Advocacy for education and teachers has been a common thread throughout my life and career. I was a Trustee for San Jose’s East Side Union High School District Board for eight years. While on the San Jose City Council I helped open numerous homework centers and provided other assistance to our public education system.
At the County level, I led the creation of School-Linked Services which is a $40 million a year program currently in about 200 schools. It puts counselors and coordinators who are linked to County services on campuses so we can intervene early before young students run into issues and problems that get out of control. I will continue to champion public schools in the State Senate. The vast majority of state funding goes to education and most property taxes collected are returned to cities, counties and school districts.
I believe that public education, especially teacher’s salaries have been underfunded. We have teachers in the first five years of their careers who are paid near the federally adjusted poverty level. Meanwhile we have skyrocketing home prices. The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors is pursuing a teacher housing project on County land. Measure A funds will provide help to teachers, the disabled and others who are looking for down payment assistance or low-income housing.