Editors note: This opinion piece only reflects the views of the authors and not the staff of The Paly Voice as a whole.
Due to Camille Townsend’s impressive qualifications, we support her in her bid for re-election. She has two valuable terms of experience as board president, during which she has effectively managed the Palo Alto Unified School District’s operating budget through difficult financial times without sacrificing the quality of our teachers.
“My No. 1 priority is to protect teachers from getting cut,” Townsend said in an Oct. 2 address to Palo Alto High School journalism.
Townsend’s commitment to teachers is important to us as students. During our time in Palo Alto schools the No 1. element that has caused us to enjoy and succeed in a class has been the caliber of the teacher. Townsend promises to uphold the quality of district teachers.
“I remain committed to competitive salaries,” Townsend says in her ballot statement.
So far under Townsend’s presidency, the PAUSD has been very successful in attracting teachers. This year alone, 400 teachers applied for the 80 positions available, according to Townsend.
Mayor Yiaway Yen and State Sen. Joe Simitian along with other political leaders endorse Townsend in her re-election bid.
“In a community where our commitment to public education runs deep, Camille’s collaboration and experience on critical academic and fiscal issues continues to earn my appreciation and support,” Simitian said in his endorsement statement.
While on the school board, Townsend helped pass the $378 million Measure A bond in 2008 which supplied funds for district-wide construction, building new facilities for the growing student population. She also spearheaded the parcel tax in 2010 which helped protect Palo Alto schools from state budget cuts.
Another accomplishment while in office was increasing the minimum number of credits required for high school graduation.
“We adopted new graduation requirements so all graduates have the skills to be successful in a global society,” Townsend said in her ballot statement.
This increase in the minimum graduation requirements demonstrates that Townsend cares about the depth of education given to all students and not just the college-bound.
Townsend will bring valuable experience to the School Board, helping to ensure excellence in Palo Alto education for all students present and future.