Updated: Tuesday, November 3, 2015 – 10:11 AM
Polls for the Board of Education election opened today, and if you haven’t yet voted, it’s time to do it!
The Courier has endorsed incumbents Noah Margo and Lewis Hall for a second term on the board, along with newcomer Isabel Hacker, a Beverly Hills mother of three school children.
It’s been a particularly brutal election season that included personal attacks, anonymous door hangers, vandalized lawn signs, City Council missteps into an election outside its purview, and perhaps most damning, a litany of misinformation espoused by those wishing to usurp the incumbents.
Roughly 12-percent of the City’s population are students at Beverly Hills public schools. Not only are the schools the recipient of property taxes that come directly from its citizens and businesses, but so too does the City provide almost $10 million annually in the form of its Joint Powers Agreement. The remainder of the Beverly Hills Unified School District’s annual $52 million operating budget comes largely from federal and state funds.
The district continues to be “financially healthy” according to BHUSD Chief Administrative Officer LaTanya Kirk-Carter. And under Margo and Hall’s tenure on the current board, their voting records attest to the fact that the educational success of students remains paramount, despite whatever curve balls Sacramento continues to pitch. Under their watch, Steve Kessler was appointed superintendent; AhYoung Chi was hired as dean of College Admissions for BHHS; and Hawthorne School became a national “School to Watch.”
The incoming trio that voters choose to elect to the five-member body tasked with setting policies that effect the 4,143-students now enrolled in BHUSD schools will be crucial for creating and implementing a realistic school-building plan that ensures student safety and learning, in addition to ensuring the continuation and creation of academic programming.
This election is crucial.