Tue09022014

Burke-Aaronson, Luther for LASD board: Editorial

The Nov. 6 election is an important one for the Los Altos School District. The ongoing, and even intensifying, battle with Bullis Charter School over facilities use in recent years has overshadowed the K-8 district’s reputation for academic excellence.

With two open seats on the five-member board, it’s especially vital to elect members who keep their emotions in check and engage in the spirit of reaching out, not digging in.

We think candidates Amanda Burke-Aaronson and Pablo Luther are most qualified to meet the challenges the board faces ahead.

Burke-Aaronson, a university professor who has also worked as a nurse, knows the education system and the process of negotiating with unions.

As a Bullis Charter School parent, she understands the school’s needs but doesn’t appear to fall into the “us vs. them” mentality that keeps the rift alive. She has some creative ideas for facilities use that accommodate the charter school without taking over a district campus or a city property.

Well spoken and reasonable, we’re confident Burke-Aaronson can forge more collaborative inroads as liaison between the charter school and the board. As a Mountain View resident, she could address the needs of students headed to the district in the wake of that city’s new housing development.

Luther has that rare combination of excellent people and financial skills. A finance executive, he has served on the district’s Citizens’ Advisory Committee for Finance for the past seven years as well as on the facilities subcommittee (which he currently chairs) for the past five years. You could say he has done his homework in his quest to be elected to the school board.

Luther is reasonable, objective, friendly and approachable. Members of our editorial board endorsed him unanimously.

With Burke-Aaronson and Luther aboard, we see progress in thawing out the animosity between charter school and district officials. These two candidates offer the best potential for improved diplomacy, creative solutions to problems and bringing the focus back to educating children.

You can read a full listing of Town Crier election coverage here.

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