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Above and Beyond

Last week a San Leandro resident shared his views on obsolete libraries, teachers being overpaid and the need for technology. He invited the readers to check the facts.
I did, and here was my response:


I am writing in response to last weeks letter "Says we shouldn't use Measure B funds for teachers' salaries or for school libraries.

Mr. Huang made many bold statements and made his opinion known. He also invited us to "Do your research and check it out for yourself". I took him up on it.

The average teacher salary in San Leandro Unified is $89,000 per year. The average health insurance cost for a family of four is $24,000 per year, which teachers pay for out of pocket. $65,000 per year to not only educate our children, but to watch over them in a safe environment for 8 hours a day, in some cases teach them a new language, for some of our younger students to teach how to tie shoes, teach manners, life lessons and prepare for the next grade level teaching multiple subjects in some cases. We also have many teachers that go above and beyond, spend their own money out of pocket for their class and manage with up to 32 students in a class. Let's also remember they live in one of the most expensive regions of the country. I would argue that our teachers deserve more.

Four years ago when our current Superintendent arrived, we were at a 40 to 1 ratio with technology to student on a network that was tested to it's limits almost daily. Thank you to the generosity of OSI Soft, the City of San Leandro and grants, our school district now boasts some of the fastest internet speeds in the country for a school district with our fiber optic connection. SLUSD is also very proud to say they are at a 1 to 1 ratio for technology to student.

While circulation in the school libraries is up, the district is in the middle of remodeling and modernizing the libraries. Not only will students be able to continue to check out books, but these libraries will now incorporate Maker spaces, 3D printers and computers for student use. All of this is possible to the J1 Bond passed last year with overwhelming support from the community.

The timing of Measure B was to help continue the momentum forward before the current tax expired next year. Sixty-four percent of the people that voted, voted YES. That is a fact, the majority voted yes. Let's remember, California is ranked 46th in the country in per pupil spending for education.

I support our students, our teachers and our district alongside the other 64 percent of the voters.

Leo Sheridan

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