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Re: “Shiny Buildings, Shady Dealings

Let's talk about how the state of the art El Cerrito Performing Arts Center has already benefited both the high school music program and the community through several fundraising events held there. Don't tell me we're the only school district who has had to cut arts programs because of under funding from the state! We have a 600 seat theater that can draw in the numbers needed for effective fundraising. We had a full house for a recent Jazz program concert with members from Tower of Power. Outside users such as Berkeley Opera provide more fundraising opportunities and expertise. Growth and improvement of the high school theater arts program is also in the works. It will take time, but will definitely pay off! As for the perception that El Cerrito was privileged to earn such a structure - look again at the population which the high school serves, approx. 61% who are low income. Come look at the diversity of our excellent Dance program who uses our theater. Also, please note all the other improvements across the district which the bonds fund such as the new theater at De Anza in El Sobrante. New athletic fields are going up where they're needed across the district. Seems to me that the same people who vote for school bond measures also vote for school parcel taxes - it is the 2/3 majority requirement that is the culprit. The majority of homeowners know that improving both the facilities and school programs in their neighborhood will only raise their home value and provide safe schools for the children, especially in our earthquake ridden area.

Posted by EC parent on 06/23/2011 at 11:05 AM

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